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Smart factory: Continental plans largest investment in a decade in Korbach hose production



Automated and networked plant will optimize existing manufacturing and enable production of new products

Continental Smart Factory
Continental is planning to invest around five million euros in a new plant for the production of industrial hoses at its Korbach site in Germany.

New production technologies, new applications, new customers: Continental plans to invest around five million euros in a new plant for the production of industrial hoses at its Korbach site. The production line, which will operate around the clock seven days a week, is scheduled to start up at the end of 2023. This is the largest investment in Korbach in over ten years.

With the new line, the technology company can manufacture existing products even more efficiently, while at the same time expanding its portfolio and increasing its competitiveness. Goals: To optimally position the Korbach site for the future and further expand the business areas, particularly in the industrial sector. “The new line will improve our manufacturing process enormously. We are producing more sustainably, more flexibly, more safely and more ergonomically,” emphasizes Torsten Dietmann, head of the hose plant in Korbach, adding: “Networked and automated plant elements based on a smart factory approach guarantee energy-efficient production and ideal value creation in the process.” ContiTech reacted very prescient to house the new S-Line. Trough efficiency measures in one of the production halls space for the new plant and thus also for innovative technologies was already created at an early stage.

More efficient, flexible and sustainable production

With a capacity of around five million meters per year, the new production line in Korbach in northern Hesse will soon be able to manufacture industrial hoses with an inside diameter of up to 38 mm – for food and water, but also for fuels or coolants.

A major plus of the new line is its flexibility: It can produce hoses using different techniques, with inner layers of either rubber or plastic. Thus, both rubber hoses and hybrid hoses made of these two materials are produced on it.

“This gives us tremendous flexibility. On the new plant, we are continuing to manufacture standard products, but also adding new applications. This enables us to better adapt to rapidly changing market needs and expand our product portfolio in a focused manner,” says Dietmann.

Continental’s investment is not just about greater product diversity and increased competitiveness – it also focuses on the issue of sustainability. Thanks to the additional materials expertise and various recycling options, the Korbach site is taking an important step toward climate-neutral production, in line with the Group-wide strategy.

Similarly, the topic of sustainability is an important component of the new “Site Perspective” company agreement, which came into force in January. Following this, the Korbach site is striving for sustainable and self-sufficient production. To make the tires of the future even more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly in terms of production, use and recyclability, Continental is systematically investing in research and development of new technologies, alternative materials and environmentally compatible production processes. The company’s own cogeneration plant, which supplies the entire production facility with climate-friendly energy and heat, is just one of the projects that has already been implemented. Energy generation is based on recycling waste, which makes it possible to save fossil fuels and conserve natural resources.

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ABB E-mobility simplifies payment of electric vehicle charging with Vourity acquisition

ABB E-mobility has enhanced its customer offering with the acquisition of Vourity, a Swedish start-up with award-winning cloud-based technology for payment of EV charging




Swedish fintech start-up’s technology simplifies payment at electric vehicle charging stations

electric vehicle charging
electric vehicle charging image (abb)

Delivering easy-to-use and seamless payment options for consumers is one of the most critical components in accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles (EV). ABB E-mobility has enhanced its customer offering with the acquisition of Vourity, a Swedish start-up with award-winning cloud-based technology for payment of EV charging.

Vourity’s technology simplifies the driver’s life at the charging station, eliminating the need for numerous phone apps or payment tags. Its technology enables rapid, secure payment for EV charging, using a wide variety of payment options including credit cards, mobile pay and RFID tags. Vourity’s cloud-based solution can be operated through a pay station or directly integrated into the charging station.

“What impressed us most about Vourity’s technology is just how simple and easy it is to use and that’s what we aspire to in our systems, so it’s a perfect strategic fit for ABB E-mobility,” said Daniel Alarcon-Rubio, Chief Digital Officer at ABB E-mobility. “The addition of both the people and the technology from Vourity will strongly enhance and accelerate the development of our own systems and enable us to better serve our customers.”

“Our aim with Vourity has always been to deliver a seamless customer experience at the point of payment. As we evolve from the start-up phase into full commercialization, we are confident that as part of ABB E-mobility we will be able to ramp up our ability to deliver that experience at scale while continuing to develop and improve our technology,” said Hans Nottehed, co-founder and CEO of Vourity.

The addition of Vourity brings a key element to ABB E-mobility’s technology stack, allowing it to integrate seamless payment systems into its customer offering. The acquisition will also bring important technical expertise to ABB E-mobility, with Vourity’s team of Android and fintech experts to play an important role in developing the key payments area of EV charging.

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Continental, German Production Sites in Mobile Fluid Systems Area to be Transformed




Between now and late 2025, Continental will reorganize its German hose sites in Waltershausen, Korbach, and Northeim as well as the Oedelsheim/Hann. Münden production network. In this way, Continental will rigorously align the Mobile Fluid Systems (MFS) business area with the requirements of the automobile and commercial vehicle market, which has been undergoing constant change for several years, while at the same time securing its German production facilities as innovation drivers for the business area. “As a development partner and original equipment manufacturer to the automotive industry, we want to use our material and process expertise in such a way that the business area for automotive hoses and lines is ready to face future competition in the field of e-mobility for cars and trucks,” says Philip Nelles, a member of the Continental Board and head of the ContiTech group sector.

The transformation has accelerated enormously due to the current overall economic and political situation. In addition to overcapacities for rubber hoses for combustion engines, another reason for the reorganization is the high cost pressure and the associated need to secure the competitiveness of its hose business. At the same time, new growth opportunities are appearing. For example, battery and fuel cell vehicles require innovative solutions for hose components and complex line systems for thermal management. “In the future, we want to concentrate on these promising applications,” Nelles says.

Strengthening core skills

Within the business area, Continental researches, develops and produces lines, hoses, and clutches at more than 30 locations worldwide for manufacturers of electric, hybrid and combustion vehicles, as well as trucks and busses. Among other things, its products are deployed for thermal management and emissions reduction.

“Germany is perfectly suited as a location at which innovative products for a changing market can be both developed at our research centers and sent for production nearby,” Nelles adds.

In the coming years, the Waltershausen, Korbach and Oedelsheim sites will be developed into centers of excellence for the manufacture of hose connection applications for the auto and commercial-vehicle industry.

Best possible support for employees

Up to 870 jobs in the MFS business area are expected to be impacted by the realignment. In cooperation with worker representatives, Continental is trying to find individual solutions on the internal and external labor market for employees at affected locations. Internally, Continental is very conscious of enabling as many affected employees as possible to move to other areas within the company.

The in-house Institute for Technology and Transformation (CITT) is offering employees tailored courses, seminars and training for targeted qualification. Continental is also working with other companies in the regions around the impacted sites to support employees in searching for new jobs.

The planned reorganization of the Mobile Fluid Systems business area followed talks with worker representatives with the aim of providing perspectives for the relevant locations.

Continental is already investing in the remaining sites in a targeted manner to give them the best possible foundation and capitalize on the growth potential presented by products and applications for other promising industrial sectors.

Information on the measures decided for the different sites

Korbach site
Korbach site

Korbach: Approximately 3,300 people are currently employed at the Korbach site. In addition to a tire plant, three other ContiTech business areas, including MFS, are also located there. The business area is working to further expand expertise in the processing of rubber piece goods. Close ties with the MFS research centers also enhance the business area’s innovativeness. At the Korbach site, Continental is diversifying its product portfolio for applications in various industries, for instance for pump manufacturers. To strengthen its industrial hose business, the company plans to invest EUR 4.5 million in Korbach. Bundled expertise in materials is clearly upgrading the location in the German state of Hesse.

Waltershausen site: plant 1
Waltershausen site: plant 1

Waltershausen: Waltershausen is what is known as a “zebra location” of the Continental Group. A total of about 1,000 employees produce there for three ContiTech business areas. Among other things, they manufacture rubber compounds, printing blankets for the print industry, manifolds, and air-conditioning hose lines, as well as plastic hoses for the automotive industry. Since 2018, Continental has invested some EUR 8.3 million in Waltershausen. Firstly, approximately EUR 4.3 million was invested in modern mixing technology and additional storage capacity at the site. Approximately EUR 4 million more has been spent on plastic manufacture alone since 2018. Due to the existing expertise, Waltershausen’s role as a center of excellence for plastics processing is being enhanced significantly. As part of the reorganization, air-conditioning hose production will be moved away from Waltershausen. This is expected to affect up to 190 jobs at the site by the end of 2025. At the same time, initial and continuing staff training will continue to be an important building block for the development of the site, which boasts attractive and demanding jobs.

Oedelsheim site
Oedelsheim site

Oedelsheim/Hann. Münden: The previous production network spread across sites 25 kilometers apart is to be merged in Oedelsheim. The sites currently employ a total of about 750 people. Continental will expand the remaining sites in such a way that a significant proportion of the jobs in Hann. Münden can be transferred. Whereas the Oedelsheim site will be underpinned and grow by focusing on silicon manufacture and charge air hoses, the closure of production operations in Hann. Münden will affect a total of about 300-350 of the approximately 560 jobs.

Northeim site
Northeim site

Northeim: In Northeim, more than 1,650 employees currently produce at four ContiTech business areas, including MFS. According to the plans, the manufacture of auto hoses will be phased out by late 2024 due to the technological transformation of the automotive industry. More than 300 jobs are expected to be impacted by the move. The production of conveyor belt systems, elastomer coatings and precision seals as well as molded parts for brakes, steering and axles will remain in Northeim. Approximately 1,350 people will be employed at the site after the measures announced today have been implemented.

In a next step, Continental plans to start a dialog with the respective local employee representatives on the basis of the Framework Social Plan that was approved in March 2022.

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