Frankfurt-based valve manufacturer builds state-of-the-art "Factory in the City" on Offenbach's Innovation Campus
SAMSON AG, a long-established company based in Frankfurt since 1916, has made an investment in a 143,000-square-meter property in the northeast of the Innovation Campus in the City of Offenbach, which is located between the Main River and Mühlheimer Strasse.
"Over the next few years, we will transfer our company site, which has grown for over 100 years, from Frankfurt am Main to Offenbach. The reason for this is the limitation of our profitable growth at the Osthafen site in Frankfurt. Neither the arrangement and equipment of the infrastructure, the flow of goods along our deep value chain, nor the new requirements for state-of-the-art production can be mapped out on the existing site in a way that it is fit for the future. We have run through all possible scenarios at the Osthafen, including exchanges of properties with other residents. In the end, it was the entirety of the constructional and technical possibilities, the economic burden and the time feasibility that led to our decision in favor of optimization and scalable growth on a Greenfield site versus investing in an infrastructure full of logistical compromises," said CEO Dr. Andreas Widl.
Production is currently located on a large number of buildings and partial areas on the company site, which is crossed by three public roads and covers more than 130,000 square meters between Hanauer Landstrasse and the Main River. "We will, of course, remain closely associated with the City of Frankfurt. Among other things, we continue to operate the state-of-the-art ROLF SANDVOSS INNOVATION CENTER (RSIC) at Osthafen, where we develop new generations of valves and automation solutions for the process industry. In this context, we are developing ideas and concepts for industrial settlement and the future design of attractive workplaces on the vacated SAMSON sites," confirms Dr. Andreas Widl.
"For the City of Offenbach, the future relocation of the headquarters of one of the world's leading manufacturers of smart process automation with more than 2,000 employees in Frankfurt am Main alone means one of the most important settlements in the last 60 years," agree Mayor Dr. Felix Schwenke, Deputy Mayor Peter Freier and City Counciler for Construction Paul-Gerhard Weiß.
SAMSON AG, a manufacturer of control valve technology founded in 1907 with about 4,500 employees worldwide and a leading supplier of control valves for the chemical, food and beverage, industrial gases, energy, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, plans to gradually relocate its electronics production, mechanical manufacturing and finally its headquarters to Offenbach over the next few years. Just a few kilometers from the current company site, upstream on the other side of the River Main, an ultra-modern and representative site is to be built on the conveniently located Innovation Campus.
The SAMSON CEO is convinced that the new headquarters will offer more efficient workflows and new opportunities for customer interactions and product acceptance testing as well as be highly attractive in terms of recruiting and retaining employees. "SAMSON has been undergoing a remarkable transformation for a good six years now: from a manufacturer of first-class valve technology to a solution provider for intelligent, self-learning valve and process technology. Smart control valves from SAMSON now supply data in real time, providing customers with process-relevant, if not production-critical, information via their own cloud platforms. We now combine proven valve technology with functional design, diagnostics, and artificial intelligence. With the fundamental decision for Offenbach, SAMSON is pursuing an integrated, state-of-the-art concept of a "Factory in the City" and will become a lighthouse for innovation, sustainable production and job security in Germany," Dr. Andreas Widl continued.
According to Offenbach's Mayor and head of the economic department Felix Schwenke, the company thus fits in perfectly with the strategy of developing the former 179-year-old chemical site into an innovative technology location. "To realize this, the City of Offenbach is also working on establishing a design campus that will bring together research and development departments of companies that are asking themselves how they need to adapt their products to digitalization and artificial intelligence. The inspiration in late summer 2020 that I should go to SAMSON for a visit came from this project," says Dr. Schwenke, "namely from Professor Frank Georg Zebner, Design Institute of Technology (DIT)."
For the further procedure in Offenbach, Mayor Felix Schwenke first consulted with City Treasurer and Deputy Mayor Peter Freier. Both agreed that City Councilor of Construction Paul-Gerhard Weiß and the INNO management, Daniela Matha and Peter Walther, must also be involved at an early stage. The municipal company INNO Innovationscampus GmbH & Co. KG is developing the site on behalf of the City of Offenbach. According to Dr. Schwenke, the goal was to convince through reliability and speed.
As the City's Treasurer, he was naturally delighted with the major development progress at the Innovationscampus, said Peter Freier. "After the decline of the chemical industry at this location, there is now foreseeably a high level of value creation for the city again in the form of trade tax revenue and jobs. This means an enormous step forward for the City of Offenbach."
City Councilor of Construction Paul-Gerhard Weiß assures that the city will support the company as much as possible in its plans to build the new site and will also push ahead with the traffic infrastructure. "The external development is our task and we will fulfill it in time and very gladly" clarifies Weiß.
"Offenbach presented itself as a highly attractive location in the region from the very first second," says SAMSON CEO Andreas Widl. "As a visionary and creator of his city, the Mayor is always available, you can feel the support of his colleagues Freier and Weiß, and my team reports extremely constructive discussions with the INNO management and the construction administration."
Both sides have agreed not to disclose the purchase price. According to the city, in order to ensure speed and support along the entire route, the development of SAMSON AG will be a central project in the joint round of Mayor Schwenke, Deputy Mayor Freier, Councilor Weiß and the departments involved until the last day of completion.
Daniela Matha: "With a total area of 36 hectares, the Innovation Campus is the largest contiguous inner-city development area in the region for commercial use. The acquisition of SAMSON is an important motivator and a door opener for the acquisition of further innovative companies. The City of Offenbach has been able to revitalize the former Clariant site faster than expected and even before the official start of marketing." With the sale of 14.3 hectares to SAMSON AG, more than half of the 26.6 hectares still to be developed have already been marketed, she added.
Peter Walther, Managing Director of Stadtwerke Offenbach Holding (SOH) and INNO: "This is a key site of central economic importance for the city of Offenbach." As Offenbach's central service provider, Stadtwerke Offenbach would gladly accept the challenge of filling it with new life and thus advancing Offenbach's urban and economic development. INNO and its real estate sister, OPG, which has already been successful in revitalizing the port, have the exciting task of developing the former chemical site into a forward-looking commercial area for the city.
SAMSON offers products and systems to control all kind of media. Its core competence is control valve engineering. SAMSON has been setting trends for more than 110 years, driving forward new developments and introduce innovations to the market. The evolution of the control valve from analog components to smart control valves has been significantly influenced. Today, SAMSON is focusing on the opportunities provided through Industry 4.0.
SAMSON continues to expand its market position for control valves, butterfly valves, positioners, actuators, and modular automation units for all areas of process engineering. The associated add-on parts, such as sophisticated transmitters, controllers, and automation systems, complement the product range and form the link to digitalization. Solutions such as SAM DIGITAL and SAM GUARD round off the portfolio and make SAMSON a solution provider that optimizes its customers' processes and life cycle management.
SAMSON was founded in 1907 and has around 4,500 employees worldwide. SAMSON AKTIENGESELLSCHAFT is headquartered in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, with approximately 2,000 employees. In addition to production sites in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Turkey, India, the USA, China, and Russia, SAMSON has more than 50 subsidiaries and over 200 representatives worldwide. For more information, visit www.samsongroup.com.