WEG is making a significant investment in expanding its European operations and has recently commenced manufacturing at its second factory in Portugal. This new facility will be dedicated to the production of low voltage electric motors.
With an investment of more than 30 Million Euros, Santo Tirso is now the largest WEG manufacturing plant in Europe. This investment is a further step to the company’s on-going commitment and strategy in the expansion of its operations in Europe, following on from the acquisition in recent years of the Austrian company Watt Drive Antriebstechnik, the two German companies Antriebstechnik KATT Hessen and Württembergische Elektromotoren, and Autrial S.L. in Spain.
The new factory in Portugal has a footprint of around about 45 thousand square metres and also has the capability for future expansion up to 100 thousand square metres. It incorporates production line facilities including machining, rotor manufacturing, stator winding, assembly processes and dedicated testing areas. Similar to other WEG manufacturing plants, the layouts of this facility were outlined in a modular design to create faster and more efficient material supply for the industrial processes. This allows WEG to continually increase its production capacity to meet expansion needs.
The second plant in Portugal has been designed to be state-of-the-art. It harmonises perfectly automated and manual processes to focus on productivity. This ensures both an environment and a worker friendly system, including safe and comfortable working areas.
The first factory located in Maia is only 20 minutes away from the new facility at Santo Tirso. WEG currently employs over 600 people in its two factories in Portugal.
António Duarte, managing director of both plants, said: “Our aim, every day, is to reach out to our customers and exceed their expectations. For us, being close to our customers’ means a lot more than geographical proximity – it means to partner with them, advise them and actively support them.”
He added that the new factory will allow WEG to enhance the delivery lead times and increase the production capacity of the Maia facility. The first Portuguese plant will now be focused on the manufacture of medium and high voltage motors, with an emphasis on explosion-protected solutions. It will expand its current portfolio of manufactured products, whilst strengthening the in-house service capabilities and automation solutions.
“It will be better and simpler for our customers and more productive and efficient for our business,” said Duarte. “The two facilities will make us more resilient in this business environment where flexibility, creativity and agility are the foundations on which we must continue to build on.”