WIKA has opened the Innovation Center in Klingenberg with a ceremony. The new building manifests the Group’s hopes for the future and, with its open architecture and new high-tech laboratories, it opens up new horizons.
300 guests were invited to the opening, including the Bavarian Minister-President and other representatives from politics and trade associations. They were also joined by WIKA’s customers and the employees who looked after them. The 30 longest-serving employees were invited and represented the company’s longstanding success, while the 2021 graduate apprentices represented the future.
Mastering the challenges of the future with WIKA developments
Alexander Wiegand welcomed the guests with words of hope. Thanks to timely stockpiling, among other things, WIKA is currently enjoying dynamic business development even in the age of digitalisation and scarce resources. “The market for measuring instruments, sensors and transmitters continues to enjoy strong growth”, stated the CEO. The “challenges of the future, such as decarbonisation or demographic change can only be overcome with the help of robust, reliable measurement technology and sensing systems”. Now and into the future, WIKA wishes to secure itself a commensurate share of this attractive market. The new Innovation Center is there to assist with that goal. A place “where products and services are developed that enable us to help our customers, and to master the challenges of the future”, as Alexander Wiegand put it.
In his keynote address, Prof. Dr. Klaus Schilling, Professor of Robotics & Telematics at the Julius-Maximilian University in Würzburg, took the guests in the Innovation Center on a journey “From outer space to everyday life”. He mapped out the development of networks of tiny satellites that are so important to Industry 4.0 because they enable fast internet anywhere and are therefore ideal for the digital networking of devices. To illustrate his point, he had brought one of these satellites with him.
“Dance of Molecules” in the Innovation Center
In the afternoon, with the “Dance of the molecules”, classical music encountered natural science – an exceptional and interconnecting combination. While two chemists, Dr. Roland Full and Dr. Werner Ruf, created colours and shapes from Petri dish experiments and projected these onto the big screen, Anne Luisa Kramb and David Marquard, a violin duo, sat directly in front of them and performed music ranging from Mozart to Prokofiev. This mixture of chemistry and music inspired the imagination – a departure to new horizons feeling almost physically tangible.
Then the Bavarian Minister-President, Dr. Markus Söder, addressed the public. As a Franconian, he acknowledged the Lower Main region, which he said was “the heart of Europe”. He went on to say that WIKA is a great example of how, even in a traditional company of this size, innovation can be the wellspring of a kind of new startup.
Insights and perspectives in the video and during guided tours
Two videos framed the celebration. The intro film showed the construction phase of the Innovation Center in a spectacular time-lapse as well as interviews on the challenges during construction, the sustainability aspects of the new building and its importance for the region. The closing video, on the other hand, took a promising look into the future. In addition, greetings from the regions of the world in which WIKA is active arrived via video message. After the ceremony, interested guests were given guided tours of the Innovation Center. Many colleagues contributed to the success of this event, planned for ever since 2020, and for this we wish to extend our heartfelt gratitude to them.
With the ceremony, WIKA also officially made up for the celebration of the company’s 75th anniversary, which had been postponed by one year due to the pandemic. Find out interesting facts about the 75-year history or about the company today.
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Get further insight into our Innovation Center in the following video: