The Berghoff Group announced plans to set up its first U.S. manufacturing plant in Auburn, where it will invest $30 million and create 100 precision-machining jobs over the next five years.
John Emerson, the U.S. Ambassador to Germany, announced the deal at the 2016 Hannover Messe, the world’s largest industrial fair. The U.S. is the event’s official partner country this year, and President Barack Obama joined German Chancellor Angela Merkel to officially open the fair on Monday.
“The Berghoff Group is a family-owned firm with a strong tradition here in Germany,” Emerson said. “We are proud to join that tradition with U.S. productivity and innovation – among the many reasons foreign firms choose to invest in the United States.”
Starting in 2017, Berghoff Precision Machining will use its manufacturing expertise to produce parts in Auburn for key customers in equipment fabrication, semiconductor and aerospace industries.
“With the North America operation we will be able to serve our global customers both from Europe and the U.S.,” said Oliver Bludau, CEO of the Berghoff Group. “Berghoff’s principles and processes will create the same quality and value for our customers for products made at our Auburn location.
“We are very grateful to the State of Alabama and the City of Auburn for the support that our project is receiving,” Bludau added.
The Berghoff Group specializes in the mechanical processing of highly complex workpieces, including five-axis and high-speed machining. It machines a variety of high-performance metals in the high-mix, low-volume and high-complexity fields.
Fifth Global Location
The German company said the presence of Auburn University and its well-regarded engineering program played an important role in its location decision. The Auburn facility will be Berghoff’s fifth manufacturing location, joining operations in Germany and Switzerland
“The Berghoff Group’s decision to open a facility in Alabama means 100 well-paying jobs and another world-class company operating in the state,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce.
“The Berghoff Group is widely known as a high-quality manufacturer, and its investment in Alabama is a powerful endorsement of the state as an ideal location for expansion," he added.
The Berghoff Group will strengthen the reputation of the Auburn area as center for advanced manufacturing. Auburn University has launched a broad initiative to become a leader in 3-D printing technology – also known as additive manufacturing – while GE Aviation is preparing its Auburn plant to 3-D print fuel nozzles for jet engines.
Last year, another German company, Schmidt Maschinenbau GmbH, announced plans to open a $17 million manufacturing facility in Auburn to produce precision engine components for automakers.
Auburn Mayor Bill Ham Jr. said the Berghoff Group is a solid addition to the city’s industrial base.
"The announcement today is great news for Auburn, and this expansion will provide excellent job opportunities for our residents,” he said. “I am extremely grateful for the support that the project has received from the State of Alabama, and I’m proud to welcome the Berghoff team to Auburn."
About the Department of Commerce
The Alabama Department of Commerce is the state’s lead economic development agency, working with economic development allies throughout the state to fulfill the objectives of Accelerate Alabama, the state’s strategic economic development growth plan. In addition to its business development activities, Commerce divisions promote exporting and international investment opportunities for Alabama businesses, assist small businesses, and position the state as a location for film and television productions. Commerce is home to the state’s primary non-education workforce development programs, including AIDT, a nationally known job-training agency.