SIBIU 2 LOOKS FORWARD TO 2020 WITH EXCITEMENT

Our Head of Manufacturing Process Engineering Andreas Temmen talks about the new BILSTEIN plant in Romania

Together with his boss, Hanno Luczak, Andreas Temmen is responsible for all investment projects at thyssenkrupp Bilstein. It is a challenging job that requires a good overview, in-depth technical vision and a lot of business travel, and has taken our Head of Manufacturing and Process Engineering mainly to Sibiu in Romania over the last two and a half years. As the production site became very cramped and the order situation required an expansion of the production area, it was decided upon to build a second plant.

“I once knew a somewhat more corpulent production manager from Mexico who always said: “As long as I still fit between the machines, it’s still ok,” Andreas Temmen tells with a smile. “But of course, we cannot and do not want to impose such a way of thinking on our employees.” About 15 minutes away from the old plant, centrally located in Sibiu, the new plant Sibiu 2 with a production area of 21,000 m² was therefore built.

Andreas Temmen and his team of process planners have worked closely with their Romanian colleagues together with operations and logistics in recent years to design Sibiu 2 and supervise the construction of the plant. The team benefited from being able to start off with a clean slate. But the last two and a half years have not been a walk in the park. “Of course there were frictional issues at times – which is quite normal in a project like this,” reveals the 48-year-old. “However, the cooperation with the colleagues from Sibiu was always open and coordinated, we get along very well with each other”.

The work has been worthwhile, as Temmen emphasises. “Sibiu 2 is an ultra-modern, highly automated plant consisting entirely of new equipment,” says Temmen happily. “We have created a really optimal layout which enables us to optimise the process flow conforming to the regulations of the thyssenkrupp production system. We also have offices with windows towards the shop floor and a very nice, modern entrance area.”

Production is already running at full speed: among other products, chassis components for the Porsche 992 and various Jaguar Land Rover models are manufactured in Sibiu 2. Sibiu 2 is looking forward to 2020, when several new production facilities are to be set up for further customer projects. But until then there is still a lot of work to be done. Temmen states: “Recently we did another extensive stress test. In the process of doing so, we have gained many important insights that we use to optimise processes and fine-tune the machines. In addition, we are currently concentrating on training our employees.”

So, how does it feel when the construction is completed, the facilities are in operation and most of the work is done? “I’ll say it like Hannibal Smith from the A-Team: I love it when a plan comes together.” This is more or less the feeling when you walk through a new factory. But joking aside: We have always been able to meet our deadlines and have handed over a great factory. Something like that definitely makes you proud – and of course this also brings confidence for further projects,” says Temmen happily.