The STIHL chain production facility in Wil, Switzerland, is adding a new entrance building and company canteen to its site. On 16 October 2019, the start of construction activities was marked by a ground-breaking ceremony. The investment volume amounted to around 15 million Swiss francs. Dr Nikolas Stihl, Chairman of the Advisory Board and Supervisory Board at STIHL, stated at the ceremony: "The chain factory is of immense strategic importance to STIHL. In view of our leading global position in the saw chain market and our technological leadership in the area of chainsaws and power tools, I firmly believe that our success story here in Switzerland will endure." Joachim Zappe, Managing Director of the STIHL chain factory in Switzerland, said: "This entrance building and in-house canteen will make the Swiss production location in Wil and Bronschhofen stronger and more appealing." The STIHL chain production facility currently employs around 950 people, making it the biggest industrial operation in the town.
Affirmation of the Swiss location
"In constructing the new building, the company is reaffirming its confidence in the Wil and Bronschhofen location, which we are very pleased to see. The connection between STIHL and Wil has a long history behind it. The company has been here for more than 45 years, creating and maintaining jobs and constantly investing in the future," said mayor Susanne Hartmann. Stefan Kölliker, member of the governing council, added: "STIHL is an excellent training company that offers young people a range of training and further education opportunities. I am delighted that STIHL is giving local young people great educational opportunities by providing nine apprenticeship-based career paths." The three-story entrance building which is being constructed on Hubstraße 100 in Wil will have a gross floor area of approximately 2,700 square metres. The canteen spaces will be located on the ground floor and first floor. This will provide plenty of space for catering to STIHL employees and STIHL dealers, 2,000 of whom come from all over the world each year to visit the chain plant. The rest of the building will contain a reception area, a training room for dealers and visitor groups, meeting rooms, offices and a room for handing over young children to and from the childcare facility when shifts change. The access road to the plant's site will also be redesigned. The entrance building is slated for completion in mid-2021.
Energy-efficient new building
In recent years, the STIHL chain plant has implemented an array of environmental protection measures and increased energy efficiency. These include heat recovery from compressors, the use of geothermal energy and improved insulation. These optimisations also have positive effects on the new entrance building. The new building will be connected to the production building's heating system, which will make it possible to use waste heat from the production facilities as a source of energy. This means there is no need for an additional boiler. "This enables us to operate the new building in a highly energy-efficient way," Joachim Zappe said.
STIHL saw chain production as a success factor
The STIHL chain factory has been part of STIHL's global manufacturing network for 45 years. The saw chains are exported to 160 countries around the world. Steadily growing demand has led to the constant expansion of the Swiss location in recent years. In 2008, for example, a second chain plant was established in Bronschhofen. It has since been expanded to cover 10,000 square metres. In 2013, a new logistics building was constructed on the site, and employees have had their own multi-storey car park since early 2018. The STIHL chain plant was founded in 1945, and initially employed six workers. Now, around 950 employees work in the STIHL chain plants in Wil and Bronschhofen. STIHL is currently the only chainsaw manufacturer in the world that develops and produces a range of saw chains in-house in addition to producing the powerhead and guide bars.
At the ground-breaking ceremony on 16 October 2019 from left: Daniel Fuchs (Architect), Joachim Zappe (Managin Director STIHL Kettenwerk Schweiz), Dr. Bertram Kandziora (Chairman of the STIHL executive board), Hans Peter Stihl (Honory Chairman of the STIHL Advisory and Supervisory Board), Dr. Nikolas Stihl (Chairman of the STIHL Advisory and Supervisory Board), Benedikt Würth (member of the governing council Kanton St. Gallen), Stefan Kölliker (member of the governing council Kanton St. Gallen) and Susanne Hartmann (Mayor of Wil).