The German automotive supplier Schaeffler has opened a new development centre in Kysuce, Slovakia. Here, the company is developing products and components for e-mobility as well as chassis applications that are used for automated driving, among other things.
The supplier is also expanding its test centre at the location with new test benches, test and laboratory facilities. Schaeffler is investing a total of around 20 million euros in the new building and the expansion of the testing facilities. By 2025, around 500 developers will be working at the location for the mobility of the future. New positions are being created at the location, particularly for partially and fully electrified drives, for example for electric axle drives and hybrid modules.
As Schaeffler explains, the newly built areas cover around 8,000 square metres – 4,000 square metres in the four-storey development centre and a further 4,000 square metres for testing facilities and test benches. Schaeffler began construction of the new building at the end of 2021. After around one and a half years of construction, the first employees are now moving into the new development centre. Schaeffler describes the special feature of the building as being equipped according to the so-called New Work concept, in which “flexible and digital collaboration” of the employees is already taken into account.
In terms of content, the developers are to deal with new products and customer-specific solutions. “These activities include system and software development, simulation and testing, hardware design, and mechanical product design. The development centre’s specialists also undertake a comprehensive range of project management activities for international customers from the automotive industry,” Schaeffler specifies.
In the adjacent production facility, the supplier manufactures engine and transmission systems, numerous bearing variants, actuator systems, components for electric axles and hybrid drives as well as chassis actuators such as roll stabilisers. Around 4,300 people are employed there, currently more than 350 of them in development. This area will therefore be increased by around 150 employees with the new centre.
Schaeffler hopes that its investment will enable development and manufacturing to be closely interlinked at one location. “The ability to innovate has never been more critical to our company’s success. As a future-oriented technology company, Schaeffler is therefore investing heavily in research and development – in Kysuce and worldwide,” says Matthias Zink, Member of the Schaeffler AG Board of Managing Directors for Automotive Technologies.
The new centre in Kysuce is part of Schaeffler’s global network with, according to the company, around 8,000 employees at 20 research and development locations. “At more than half of our development locations, we are working on future-ready electrified powertrain and mobility solutions and innovative chassis solutions for our customers worldwide,” said Dr Jochen Schröder, head of the E-Mobility division at Schaeffler. The development locations include Wooster and Troy (USA), Puebla (Mexico), the German locations Bühl and Herzogenaurach, Szombathely (Hungary), Svitavy (Czech Republic), Pune (India), Seoul (South Korea), Yokohama (Japan) as well as Taicang and Changsha (China).