The inauguration ceremony was attended by Christoph Ammann, President of the Cantonal Government and Head Cantonal Department of Economic Affairs, Erich Fehr, Mayor of the City of Biel, representatives from politics and business, and numerous GF customers from all over the world.
"For our business location and local industry, GF's strongly expanded presence is a very positive signal," Christoph Ammann explained in his speech. The new building is "an important milestone for the canton, the region and the City of Biel." Erich Fehr thanked GF for its investment: "This will significantly and, above all, sustainably strengthen the City of Biel – a place for research and innovation. Switzerland as a business location has its legitimacy even in the face of tough international competition." Andreas Müller, CEO of GF, underlined: "We are committed to our roots and our tradition as a technology and innovation leader. Swiss made is more than the confirmation of a certain origin. Nowadays, it is a global brand which stands for quality and reliability."
Pascal Boillat, President GF Machining Solutions, emphasized in his speech: "From this new location, we will be able to strengthen our position as a global player, and at the same time rely on our Swiss roots." Boillat thanked the authorities, and in particular the general contractor HRS Real Estate AG for their excellent collaboration. Bernhard Iseli, overall project manager, and Vincent Mohni, Head of the new Biel site, talked about the importance of team spirit in order to achieve the best results, and shared a couple of facts about the facility during the construction period.
Sufficient space for innovations
In Biel, the three former GF Machining Solutions' sites in Nidau, Ipsach and Luterbach (all in Switzerland) will be united under one roof. On a total area of 44'000 m2, GF Machining Solutions bring the entire Swiss Milling machine and Laser production together. The new building, which is also the division's headquarters, provides more than 13'000 m2 of space for production and assembly. It allows room for a research and development center and a modern application center too. This enables customers to experience the division's broad portfolio first-hand and to attend several training courses on-site. Employees benefit from bright, spacious project rooms that foster creative and interdisciplinary collaboration.
GF Machining Solutions provide machine tools, automation solutions and customer services for the production of molds, dies and high value-added metal parts. The division has manufacturing facilities in Switzerland, Sweden, China and in the USA, and serves its customers in more than 50 countries.