Hobart today said British customers would benefit from plans to double the size of its European manufacturing operation by 2020, when it will be capable of producing 70,000 units annually.
The manufacturer said that despite the uncertainty of Brexit, it was pressing on in positive fashion by breaking ground on a new 12,000 square metre facility, alongside its existing plant in Offenburg, Germany, which will double its current production output of 36,000 machines a year.
FEJ first revealed Hobart’s ambitions to radically scale its factory operations in July last year as part of a €20m (£18m) investment programme.
Group president of global warewash, Axel Beck, said Hobart was making a major investment in the plant and that it would deliver significant benefits and savings in terms of time and cost.
“We are sending out a clear message with the plant expansion and are looking forward to a very promising future,” he commented.
In a sign of how strategically important the investment is to the group, Scott Santi, chairman and CEO of Hobart’s parent company ITW, travelled from the USA especially for the event.
David Riley, managing director of Hobart’s Equipment Division in the UK, said: “This is not just an expansion, it’s a pledge to double our already formidable production prowess, resulting in shorter lead times for our UK customer base and reflecting a serious spike in demand for our machines – the European management team are already long-range planning for a further expansion in the coming years.”
The Offenburg facility has already hired 80 new staff over the past 18 months and will continue to add to this number ahead of the 2020 date line.
Hobart’s Offenburg facilities are used to build commercial warewashing equipment that is sold across Europe and most of Asia, except for China.
It has a separate manufacturing facility in North America to serve US customers.