Speaking about GF Machining Solutions’ recently opened new headquarters in Biel, the company’s president — Pascal Boillat — said: “This is by far the biggest machine tool facility in Switzerland www.gfms.com
Our ambition is to be the best and — with our new headquarters — we have not only a fantastic ‘state of the art’ facility but also one that will help us achieve our long-term growth plans and objectives.
"From this new site, we will be able to consolidate our position as a ‘global powerhouse’ and offer best-in-class
solutions to our customers world-wide, while at the same time underlining our Swiss heritage.”
The new building, which took 26 months to construct and will house 450 employees (of 29 nationalities), brings together under one roof the nearby facilities of: Ipsach (the former Competence Centre); Nidau (the former milling production site); and Luterbach (a Step-Tec site).
Mr Boillat added (: “When the building project was in its early design stage back in 2015, the Swiss franc was strong — and getting stronger.
“Everybody then was talking about decentralising production operations, but we took the opposite view — one that has now been vindicated.
Furthermore, the geographical location of the new facility cannot be beaten.
“The decision to build the new facility in Biel was an easy one to make. If you draw a 50km circle around Biel, 90% of the Swiss machine tool industry and 80% of the watch-making industry will be located within it.
“Biel is like the Swiss Silicon Valley for precision manufacturing.
“The location of the site is also strategically important, because it is easier to find highly skilled people working in the precision machining industry.
“Furthermore, universities like EPFL in Lausanne, ETH in Zurich and Biel University of Applied Sciences — with its Engineering and Information Technology Department — are all in close proximity.”
GF has spent over 100 million Swiss francs (about 91 million euros) building the new facility, which is intended to manufacture 65 machines a month.
The company says that bringing the different teams and specialisms together under one roof will create synergies and economies of scale, while at the same time delivering constant innovation.