During the Wirtgen Group Technology Days in September 2011, some 3,600 guests enjoyed an exceptional programme around the theme of recent innovations by Wirtgen, Vögele, Hamm and Kleemann. This year's event was hosted by Joseph Vögele AG in Ludwigshafen, which welcomed guests to visit the world's most modern road paver factory.
From North Cape to Capetown, from Alberta to Tierra del Fuego, from Siberia to Sydney – customers journeyed to Ludwigshafen from more than 80 different countries to see the new machines and products and rub shoulders with decision-makers from construction companies based on all the continents.
They all leapt at the chance to get a glimpse of the world's most modern paver factory. As production continued, an excellent informative tour took visitors past high-tech processing machines as well as the birthplace of tamper bars, screed plates and screeds, through flow assembly and the high-performance, environmentally-friendly power-coating facility, among other attractions.
Since the completion of the Vögele factory, the Wirtgen Group has been producing its range of 137 machines with 438 models and 6,157 options at four ultra-modern manufacturing plants in Germany. "From our bases in Germany, we can develop and build the high-end products the market demands in high-tech facilities," said managing partners Jürgen Wirtgen and Stefan Wirtgen, explaining their philosophy. And current results clearly show that they are on the right track. It looks very much as though "2011 will be the most successful year in the history of the company. We are expecting double-figure growth rates for all four brands."
This news could not have come at a better time, coinciding with the company's 50th jubilee, an important milestone in the development of the company. The "50 years of Wirtgen" exhibition presented an impressive view of the company's dynamic development from a one-man operation to the worldwide leading Wirtgen Group with a workforce of 5,000. Pictures and quotes showed just what "Wirtgen means": the service-oriented approach, the quest to continually find new technical solutions and the passion for road construction.
The brands presented their latest road construction and mining technologies on the "Wirtgen Group Avenue". Each and every visitor was able to make a new discovery here, be it the high-tech W 220 Cold Milling Machine or the Slipform Paver Autopilot from Wirtgen, Vögele's MT 3000-2 Offset Feeder, the new H 20i and H 18i Compactors from Hamm or the Kleemann Crusher with EVO technology.
The greatest attractions were the "i"-machines. This appellation designates the latest Wirtgen Group developments with pioneering Tier IV engines. This technology, along with specialist presentations by the Heads of Development for all four brands once again made one thing clear: the Wirtgen Group is tackling challenges and developing advanced high-quality solutions.
Wirtgen Group employees' passion for road construction is an important factor in inspiring innovation. This is particularly pronounced in the service domain, for, as Stefan Wirtgen says, "Services are our roots. That's why we know the needs of our customers." Substantiating this statement, customer services exhibits took pride of place at the centre of the machine exhibition.
Passion was very much in evidence at the live demos, too. Competent and likeable experts from the headquarters presented their machines and technologies for sub-base paving, for paving with subsequent asphalt compaction and for rehabilitating roads and reclaiming materials. As in Development, specialists from the Services and Applications Advice divisions of the individual headquarters worked hand in hand on the presentation, too. Jürgen Wirtgen summarized what it is that binds them: "The desire to create holistic solutions which span the four brands and permit our customers from around the world to operate successfully."