New FACC opens technology, engineering test center

Austria-based FACC AG has opened a new composites Technology Center and Engineering Test center to consolidate and accelerate the company's research and development activities.

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FACC AG (Ried, Austria; St. Martin, Austria) on Sept. 20 officially opened its new composites Technology Center at its St. Martin location in Upper Austria. It will serve to bundle the company’s worldwide research and development (R&D) activities. FACC also inaugurated its the new Engineering Test Center. Annexed to the Technology Center, this is one of the most modern plants for the analysis, testing and certification of composite materials and components.

With his patronage of the formal opening Michael Strugl, State Minister of Economic Affairs, praised the technical progress and the resulting secure future potential of FACC as a global supplier of the aviation industry: “FACC is a valuable technology leader and economic driving force for the business community of Upper Austria. A flagship company, which is characterized by unusually high level of innovation and is a strong employer for the region. Only those who invest in research and innovation today will have commercial success tomorrow. This is what FACC stands for - and this course will be strengthened by the new technology center and the multimillion Euro investment.”

Walter Stephan, CEO of FACC AG, declared in his speech, “Our ‘Vision 2020’ strategy is clear: we want to consolidate our position as one of the leading suppliers of technologically advanced lightweight constructions in the expanding aviation sector and become our customers’ preferred partner.” With the new Technology Center and Engineering Test Center, FACC is making a major investment in the future and at the same time a clear commitment to the Upper Austrian location where the company currently employs 2,400 workers, 380 of which FACC has taken on over the course of last year. And thanks to the high level of orders and steady growth, the next few months will see creation of about 100 additional jobs.

FACC's investment in research and development increased in the last financial year by 37.5 percent to €96.8 million and is set to keep rising. The company received a specific acknowledgement of its innovative strength in the form of the “Frontrunner” award from the Austrian Ministry of Traffic, Innovation and Technology (bmvit), which was presented to FACC as the first company in Austria by Innovation Minister Doris Bures during her visit in May this year.

The global presence of its engineering organization with locations in Germany, Slovakia, USA, Canada, China and India enables FACC to develop components and processes in cooperation with leading customers across the world. The new technology center will in future serve as the hub of the company’s global R&D activities. Additionally, the engineering departments of the divisions Aerostructures and Interiors, which have to date been situated in separate facilities, will be brought together in the new building.

The new Technology Center will focus on research into process and material technologies, component design and development, including stress engineering, testing and certification, tool design and production, right up to the introduction into serial production. With the additional capacities FACC can continue its growth successfully and set new standards in advanced lightweight aircraft construction.