Ziehl-Abegg Inc. has been awarded the prestigious 2024 Developing Markets Leadership Award for its outstanding contributions to innovation, quality, and economic growth. As a global leader in ventilation technology, ZIEHL-ABEGG provides cutting-edge products across various significant markets, including data centers, agriculture, clean rooms and indoor air quality applications. The company’s recent investment of 100 million in a new production plant in Winston Salem, NC, marks its most significant single investment in one location in its 113-year history. This expansion is driven by the increasing demand for quiet, dependable, high-efficiency, energy-saving fans, showcasing Ziehl-Abegg’s commitment to meeting market needs and driving economic growth.
Given their focus on building fans, the ventilation market presented a significant opportunity for Ziehl-Abegg. However, they realized that relying on subsidiaries, all 29 within Ziehl-Abegg, was no longer sustainable due to limited production capacities and shipping constraints from Germany. “To meet the demands of our customer market, particularly in the United States, we recognized the imperative of local production. Transitioning operations locally posed challenges, requiring adequate space, equipment, and personnel. Fortunately, we found all these resources in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, North Carolina. Despite the foreseeable challenges, the community support and the growth potential were evident. With a clear 10-year plan in mind, we forged ahead. Within 24 months we’ll be moving into a state-of-the-art facility to accommodate our expanding operations,” stated Jimmy Mitchell, vice president of Ziehl-Abegg USA.
The new facility, covering 522,000 square feet, will be completed by July 2024 and will significantly expand production capacity. The plant aims to enhance efficiency, shorten delivery times and foster stronger customer partnerships by incorporating state-of-the-art research and development facilities and vertical integration. This investment not only boosts Ziehl-Abegg USA’s presence in North America but also contributes to the economic growth of Winston-Salem, Forsyth County and North Carolina. “We envision Winston-Salem and Forsyth County as the centralized hub for ZIEHL-ABEGG in the future, potentially extending our reach to include South America. As we continue to plan for at least seven years, we foresee Ziehl-Abegg becoming the primary supplier for all of South America. By 2030, we anticipate expanding our operations at least once to accommodate our growing presence and meet the market’s demands.”
Ziehl-Abegg attributes its success to its North American employees and the remarkable growth witnessed since its incorporation in 2004. With over 300 current employees and plans to add 600 more by 2030, the company’s headquarters in Winston Salem serves as a vital hub for North America, with eleven sales offices serving the USA, Canada and Mexico. This growth underscores Ziehl-Abegg’s commitment to creating job opportunities and driving regional prosperity. “Our employees are central to our success, and this principle guides our decisions, including our recent expansion near our original facility. We thoroughly analyzed the situation before the expansion, considering our workforce’s needs and preferences. With approximately 200 employees at the time, retaining and expanding our skilled workforce was paramount. We ensured that the new location would be within a 15-minute radius of our current facility, facilitating an easy transition for our employees. As a result, we have successfully retained our entire workforce, reflecting our commitment to their well-being and satisfaction,” said Mitchell.
In addition to economic factors, Ziehl-Abegg strongly emphasizes environmental protection, offering products designed to conserve energy and maximize efficiency. Drawing inspiration from nature, the company develops products that emulate the most effective concepts found in the natural world. With a commitment to sustainability and reducing their carbon footprint, Mitchell took over the operational side three years ago, facing a supply chain that was only 11-12% localized. The organization made substantial progress over the past three years, now nearing 70% localization. This shift has involved collaborating with local suppliers to produce items like sheet metal, copper wire and plastic injection molding domestically. ”Investing in our regional partners, whether through tooling purchases or other support, has cultivated strong relationships across various sectors, enhancing our operations and advancing our sustainability goals,” claimed Mitchell.
Ziehl-Abegg remains dedicated to producing the highest-quality, most innovative, and energy-efficient fans from its new state-of-the-art facility in Winston-Salem. Through its commitment to excellence, environmental stewardship, and economic development, Ziehl-Abegg continues to shape the future of ventilation technology and foster growth in emerging markets. Ziehl-Abegg chief operating officer Joachim Ley says receiving the 2024 Developing Markets Leadership Award is “another valuable building brick for our ambitious growth plan.”
“Winning the 2024 Developing Markets Leadership Award is a testament to our dedication to growth and innovation in the North American market. This recognition validates our efforts to expand our presence and better serve our customers and the community for Forsyth County. We are proud of our organization’s hard work and commitment to excellence. We see this award as motivation to continue pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in our industry,” proclaimed Mitchell.