Eurocopter opens new development center at Donauwörth
Eurocopter today officially opened its new Systemhaus helicopter development center at Donauwörth, Germany in the presence of Bavarian Prime Minister Horst Seehofer.
Am 14. Mai 2013 weihte Eurocopter in Donauwörth sein Systemhaus ein. Im Bild von links: Dr. Wolfgang Schoder, CEO Eurocopter Deutschland; Dr. Thomas Enders, CEO EADS; Horst Seehofer, Bayerns Ministerpräsident; Guillaume Faury, CEO Eurocopter. Foto: Eurocopter/Charles Abarr
The facility, which provides workspace for some 900 employees, offers complete system capability for the production activity at the German location of Eurocopter – a key aspect of the company’s worldwide innovation strategy.
This new development center allows Eurocopter to manage the entire life-cycle of its helicopters at one German location, covering all aspects from research, development and prototype con-struction through manufacturing and final assembly – along with training, maintenance and product improvement. Approximately 900 employees are moving from an existing operation in Ottobrunn near Munich, bringing the Donauwörth location’s total workforce to a staff of some 6,500.
EADS CEO Tom Enders said the Systemhaus is part of a series of major investments that EADS has pursued in Germany – and particularly in Bavaria. “Premium AEROTEC has officially opened a new engineering center in Augsburg; Astrium is building a new engine production facility in Ottobrunn; and a planned research campus also is taking shape in Ottobrunn,” he said. “This is all good news for the region and for EADS: We are building on Germany’s long tradition of aerospace strength and laying the groundwork for a consolidation of the Group’s leading posi-tion in the market.”
Along with office space at Donauwörth, the new Systemhaus building incorporates state-of-the-art testing and research facilities, which include simulators, avionics trainers, laboratories, test centers and a prototype shop.
This new center for innovation also is home to the System Support Centre (SUZ) for the German armed forces (Bundeswehr) helicopter fleet, including the NH90 and CH-53 transport helicopters, and the Tiger attack helicopter
Bringing design and production physically closer together makes it possible to achieve much better networking between individual specialist areas at the Systemhaus. Interpersonal ex-changes and increased reactivity are encouraged by galleries, central meeting rooms and short-er access ways that lead through an atria. Facilitating the working environment is a paramount consideration for Eurocopter’s new X9 helicopter development program, which will be conducted primarily in Donauwörth.
Since the start of the Systemhaus’ construction in July 2011, Eurocopter has invested some 100 million euros in the development center project. With a total floor space of 30,000 square me-ters, the building was the region’s biggest construction project.
A project comparable to the Systemhaus is being realized at the company’s Marignane location, close to Marseille in the south of France. There, too, Eurocopter is building a new development center as part of its strategy of sustainable innovation and technology.