TECH

German-based company to bring $12M aviation plant to US

A German-based company is bringing a $12 million aviation-related plant to Auburn.

The Winkelmann Group will begin production at its first United States production facility in the Auburn Industrial Park, the Opelika-Auburn News reported. The company expects to create approximately 50 jobs over the next five years.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey and Winkelmann Group CEO Heinrich Winkelmann announced the new location, called Winkelmann Flowform Technology LP, in France at the Paris Air Show this week.

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"As we declare to the world that Alabama is open for business, we welcome Winkelmann to our family of aerospace and defense-related companies in Alabama," Ivey said in the release.

Production is expected to begin in about two or three months, according to Arndt Siepmann, industrial development director for Auburn's Economic Development Department.

Winkelmann Group is a fourth-generation German company that has three divisions including automotive, building and industry, and flowforming, which is a metal-forming technique.

The Auburn site will use the company's flowform technology that primarily builds high-precision, high-strength, thin wall roto-symmetrical parts from various metals.

"With the North America operation, my team will be able to better serve the aerospace and defense industry, as well as the commercial automotive and oil and gas industry in the U.S.," CEO Heinrich Winkelmann said in the release. "Our flow-forming engineering and manufacturing knowhow combined with the one-of-a-kind machinery equipment installed at our Auburn facility creates solutions for our customers who demand and deserve only the highest quality."

Auburn University's engineering school should provide a "talent pipeline" for companies like Winkelmann along with advantages for students, said Alabama Department of Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield.

The Auburn plant will add to Winkelmann Group's more than 4,000 employees and 26 independent business units worldwide.