Atlas Copco pumps 70 million euros into Wilrijk site – Companies

Swedish compressor manufacturer Atlas Copco will invest 70 million euros in its Wilrijk plant. The goal is to develop the place into a ‘smart factory’. On Wednesday, Mayor Bart De Wever was invited to explain Atlas Copco’s plans.

‘In a smart factory, everything is connected in real time,’ explains Wouter Ceulemans, head of the Airtec division at Atlas Copco. ‘This way we can monitor everything remotely and intervene where necessary. It’s a completely different way of working than the factory ten years ago, ‘it reads.

Atlas Copco not only wants to focus on automation and artificial intelligence that controls products, the company will also focus even more on mobility and energy efficiency. ‘Hydrogen is very important here,’ says Ceulemans. “We also focus on water recycling. And we will also collect heat that is released during the production of our products. ‘

According to the board, it is clear why they decided to invest in Wilrijk in Stockholm. ‘We had an excellent business case. There are many good universities around here, and multilingualism in Belgium is also an asset. The Wilrijk plant is our most advanced research and development center for compressed air in the world. ‘

Specifically, it will be an extension of about 3,000 square meters. In this way, the warehouses, offices and research and production departments are expanded. According to Ceulemans, the place will be a ‘walhalla for engineers’.

Meanwhile, the ‘war on talent’ is taking place in Wilrijk. ‘It’s not easy to find people,’ Ceulemans admits. Nevertheless, Atlas Copco’s ambition is to continue to employ around 130 people a year in the coming years, just as in previous years, depending on the financial situation. The company is currently looking for 150 employees.

Furthermore, it is not because the factory has to run automatically that there will be less work, Atlas Copco promises. “We need other competencies,” Ceulemans says. ‘That’s why we retrain people here, and it works very well.’

‘In a smart factory, everything is connected in real time,’ explains Wouter Ceulemans, head of the Airtec division at Atlas Copco. ‘This way we can monitor everything remotely and intervene where necessary. It’s a completely different way of working than the factory ten years ago, “it reads. Atlas Copco will not only focus on automation and artificial intelligence that controls products, the company will also focus even more on mobility and energy efficiency.. ‘Here “Hydrogen is very important,” says Ceulemans. “We also focus on water recycling. And we also want to collect heat that is released during the production of our products.” According to the board, it is clear why they decided to invest in Wilrijk in Stockholm. “We had an excellent business case. There are many good universities around here, and multilingualism in Belgium is also an asset. The Wilrijk plant is our most advanced research and the development center for compressed air in the world. “Specifically, there will be an expansion of approximately 3,000 square meters. The warehouses, offices and research and production departments will be expanded in this way. According to Ceulemans, the place will be a ‘walhalla for engineers’. “It’s not easy to find people,” Ceulemans admits, “but Atlas Copco’s ambition is to continue to employ around 130 people a year in the coming years, just as in previous years, depending on the financial situation.” right now 150 employees. It is also not because the factory has to run automatically that there is less work, promises Atlas Copco. “We need others competencies, “says Ceulemans. ‘That’s why we retrain people here, and it works very well.’

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