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Manufacturing to the highest efficiency:
BOMAG unveils its new drum plant

The latest technology in asphalt work was the focus of this year’s BOMAG Asphalt Days, an event which took place for one week at the headquarters of BOMAG GmbH in Boppard when the manufacturer presented its full product range. At the same time, the company also gave a preview of its new state-of-the-art drum plant, where manufacturing has been underway since the end of June.

The large-scale drum project started last year in July. The total investment of 22.5 million € is the largest single investment in the history of BOMAG. About half of the outlay represents buildings, the other half to machines, robots and crane systems. “The decision to build a new drum plant was absolutely necessary. We had already reached maximum capacity and the new facility enables us to double production output and, additionally, to reduce the costs of external procurement”, explained Ralf Junker, Manager Production at BOMAG, at the event.

Latest machine technology and optimised processes
During a tour of the fully equipped drum plant, visitors to the event could see the impressive way in which this large project had been completed in only 12 months. An independent factory within a factory has been created on an area of 12,600 sqm plus canopies and recreational buildings. Innovative production technology and state-of-the-art system and machine technology provide a guarantee of quality – the core of BOMAG machines. “The new drum plant will continue to increase our competitiveness in the long term. Having the most modern drum facility in the world, we are again setting quality standards in the production of our machines”, says Junker. The whole concept of the layout follows the value stream design. This means short transport distances, reduced buffer stock at the production line and low stocks in the warehouses. A high value was placed on automation when designing the project. A computer controlled, unmanned transport system 'organises' the material flow so that fork lifts are used rarely.

The modern workplace
Nevertheless, in spite of increased automation, the focus of the new factory is still on people and planning centred on the ergonomic design of workplaces. As material is stored near to the assembly location, short distances reduce the workload. Additionally, a state-of-the-art ventilation system ensures that fumes are completely extracted so that clean air circulates at the workplaces. Skylights covering large areas flood the whole plant with daylight and convey an open and bright sense of space. The connected staff building contains modern recreation and changing rooms as well as offices and conference rooms. In the long term, 160 employees will work in the plant – almost twice as many as today.

Everything went to plan
The first big commissioning phase began with the production of large drums for single drum rollers and tandem rollers. All the preparations for this, the installation and the complete move, took place during a busy production season without disturbance to output – an outstanding logistical feat by the project team. “Of course we are pleased that everything went smoothly. In a project of this scale there are always unexpected challenges which you simply cannot plan for. This year, for example, we had a very long winter which impeded construction work. That is why we are satisfied that everything turned out well and we were able to meet our deadlines“, says Kai Riedel, Head of Production in charge of the project. Nevertheless the team cannot draw a line under the project just yet. At the moment they are working on a project for an automated and solvent-free paint facility, which will also be integrated into the drum plant. So far everything is going to plan for completion in autumn 2014.
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