SMS group held a groundbreaking ceremony to kick off the construction of its new SMS Campus in Mönchengladbach, Germany. The new campus will be the home of a new technology, service, and digitalization center, enabling the company to expand its pioneering position in the development of extrusion, rolling, forging, and other equipment and technology for the aluminum and other metals industries.
‟We see huge growth potential from the interaction of technical service and digital solutions,” said Burkhard Dahmen, CEO of SMS group. “Our campus will enable us to connect these technologies closely with our product units, bringing together specialists from all over the world to form interdisciplinary teams via virtual infrastructures.”
The New Campus
SMS is currently working with its employees to develop the workplace of the future. The new innovation campus will cover a gross surface area of around 44,000 sq m and consist of five module buildings. The core of the complex will be a covered atrium serving as a meeting and communication area. A membrane-type roof with an 82 m diameter will connect all buildings to create a unique campus.
The five individual modules offer a total of 1,500 modern workplaces. The site also includes a conference center with a large, divisible hall allows for meetings and conferences with up to 500 participants. Furthermore, the office buildings will have a wide range of social facilities that make the SMS Campus more than just a workplace.
With a modern space concept, the company aims to create an atmosphere that promotes creative and collaborative work. ‟Our recent experience with various forms of mobile working options has shown us that we can actually get our work done wherever we are,” said Torsten Heising, member of the managing board at SMS. “For creative processes, though, we still need a shared environment that makes us feel inspired. The open architecture of the new campus promotes living our corporate culture and enables us as an employer to take into special consideration what our highly skilled workforce expects from a modern workplace.”
An adjoining staff parking lot will offer sufficient parking space for employee vehicles and will be equipped with charging stations for electric cars and bicycles. Combined with future investments in the infrastructure of the immediate neighborhood by the city of Mönchengladbach, the whole district will be upgraded and the new campus will become well connected with the local public transport system.
Bringing the Company Together
With the start of the construction work for the new campus, SMS is setting a new milestone just ahead of the company’s 150th anniversary. ‟One of the reasons our company has become the world market leader in metallurgical plant engineering is because we are a reliable partner for our customers and, as a family business, take special care of our employees,” noted Heinrich Weiss, chairman of the shareholders’ committee, SMS Holding GmbH. ‟With this new complex we are providing a significantly enhanced working environment, making us an extremely attractive employer for future talent.”
SMS group is a group of companies internationally active in plant construction and mechanical engineering for the aluminum, steel and other metals industries. It has some 14,000 employees worldwide, with over 1,200 employees in Mönchengladbach. Once the new SMS Campus is completed, the competences from the company’s five locations in the region will be brought together at this central location in the Rhineland.
At the groundbreaking ceremony, one could already get an impression of the dimensions of the future campus from the ring-shaped area of removed ground. In the coming months, around 70,000 cubic meters of soil will be removed, with shell construction work for the five module buildings due to start in the spring of 2021. The shell construction will be completed as early as summer of 2022.
The SMS Campus will be ready for occupancy by the end of 2023.