Hightech for timber house construction
Companies that nowadays manufacture prefabricated houses will sooner or later almost inevitably encounter the Lonsingen-based WEINMANN enterprise.
Since more than 30 years in the market and having started out as a two-man-office, the company has evolved to a world market leader employing 130 people. The product range comprises assembly tables, carpentry machines and butterfly turning tables for small businesses up to fully automated production lines for prefabricated housing manufacturers. By integrating in the Schopfloch based HOMAG Group, the Lonsingen machine and plant manufacturer managed to expand its market position. Today, the company delivers production lines to prefabricated house manufactures on every continent.
In 1985, company founder Karl Weinmann started out as a small engineering office in the village (Lonsingen). A self-developed patent for the automated nailing of special palettes had been the reason for the company foundation. But after some changes to the packaging regulations in 1989 suddenly the product was not in demand any more. This forced the company to rethink, and WEINMANN started to focus on automated handling technologies which happened branch independently.
In 1992, a Swabian prefab house manufacturer approached WEINMANN with the task to develop a production line for the nailing of wall elements. The know-how was already there: Nailing and handling technology. „This was the entry into the timber framing market“, remembers Weinmann. With this success more orders came in, a building in the nearby village Dottingen had to be rented as a temporary solution. Then the first production building in Lonsingen was built. The CNC-controlled machines quickly won recognition in this market, and German prefab house manufacturers invested in WEINMANN technology.
With the entry into the HOMAG Group, a worldwide operating company group with its main focus on woodworking machines, the international markets were conquered in 1998. Today, the Lonsingen-based company can rely on a worldwide network of sales and service structure.
In 2002, WEINMANN became a global market leader – and has remained so until today.
In the meanwhile some other production halls were built in Lonsingen. At the turn of the millennium the innovators from the Swabian Alb had a production area of 2100 m², today the production capacity has increased to 8000 m².
The entrepreneurs consider the location Swabian Alpes as no disadvantage. The Swabian Alpes offer some good infrastructure and a pleasant working atmosphere due to the peripheral location. It is set a high value on bright rooms and the open view to the outside.
The modular manufacturing systems are planned and customized individually, the mechanical engineers explain – no matter if carpentry businesses that produce about ten houses per year or factories with an annual production volume of 6,000 houses are concerned. The industry leader has its own project and engineering departments.
The high quality standards and the demand for flexibility force the production industry to automate. There should be a good mixture of man and machine. "We do not want to expel people," says managing director Hansbert Ott.
Since the drop due to the financial crisis in 2008, the company registered a flood of demand. "Like our customers, we are operating in a growth market, not in a cut-throat-market," says Ott. Timber construction still has got a great potential, not only in Europe but also around the world.
Source: Reutlinger General-Anzeiger, 16.03.2016