Exclusive: Bühler Shares Preview of CUBIC Innovation Campus in Uzwil
On February 7, the Bühler Group presented its 2018 financial reports during a press event in Uzwil, Switzerland. On this occasion, the company conducted a tour of their CUBIC innovation campus which is nearing completion. The official inauguration of the fully operational campus is scheduled for spring. The CUBIC will combine research and development with other renewed application centers, which will be available to customers for conducting tests and trial series together with Bühler.
With a considerable investment of about CHF50mn over a period of three years, the campus will create new opportunities for cooperation both internally and with external partners from industry, science, NGOs, and start-ups to develop innovations.
Following the successful integration of Haas in 2018, Bühler decided to strengthen its leading position in the consumer foods market with the creation of a new strategic pillar beginning in 2019. With the new Consumer Foods segment, the Bühler Group will increase its focus on this important global growth market. Consumer Foods stands from January 2019 alongside Grains & Food and Advanced Materials, under the leadership of Germar Wacker, the former CEO of Haas.
Overall financial results show that Bühler ‘s business continued its positive development over the last year. Group turnover increased by 22% to CHF3.3bn (USD3.3bn), while investments in the asset base rose by CHF118mn (USD118m) (+18%), driven by spending on the new CUBIC innovation campus and application centers, the ongoing modernization of the Swiss locations, and the ramp-up of sites in China.
In addition to the acquisition of Haas and US-based Sputtering Components Inc., the funds were used for the development of new digital technologies and process solutions, as well as for strengthening Bühler’s innovative capabilities. The new factory and R&D facility for the feed industry in Changzhou, China was opened in 2018 and is in full operation. Bühler also expanded its global production network with the opening of a new battery application lab in Wuxi, China.
Asked about Bühler’s future expansion plans and whether the group favors brownfield investments over greenfield, Germar Wacker, CEO Consumer Foods said “both – there are greenfield and brownfield investments, as you see – Haas was brownfield. At the same time, Buhler has also built on locations, with start-ups, building greenfield businesses, so I think Buhler is open to both. […] When it comes to further expansions in terms of speculating about further investments, […] I think we have very good potential on our hands, but if we run across something that might make a very good addition, and in good terms, then, of course, why not?”