Production site in Bischwiller celebrates 30th anniversary under new technical director
Expertise and tradition
28 Sep 2014 —
To mark the 30th anniversary of its French site in Bischwiller, Duravit AG is introducing its new Technical Director of Ceramics, who will be responsible for further developing the progressive infrastructure of the ceramic factory. Christian Gilles (31) knows every detail of Duravit’s innovative manufacturing techniques. The materials engineering graduate has been working at Duravit in Hornberg since 2007, where he has been successfully managing the glazing workshop, firing technology and finishing. He is replacing Thomas Stammel (51) who will, in future, be focussing more closely on the company’s international production issues.
The ceramic factory in Bischwiller has become established as an important European production site within the Duravit Group. In 1984, Duravit AG took over the site in Alsace and further developed the already high quality standards and modernised the production processes. By acquiring this manufacturing site, the designer bathroom manufacturer not only increased production capacity as a whole but also took the first important step towards internationalisation. Sanitary ceramics have been manufactured in Bischwiller since 1974. The original owner, Céramique de Bischwiller, already had expertise in the manufacture of toilets, which Duravit has continued to hone.
With a production
area spanning some 50,000 m², Bischwiller is one of Duravit’s largest factories
in the world in terms of area and employs state-of-the-art technologies. The
factory manufactures models from the entire product range, however, it focuses
on technically complex toilets and urinals. The Alsace-based team specialises
in precise lines and rectangular forms. In 2011, Duravit invested in its own
toilet-casting plant with four different forms, using this cutting-edge
technology to optimise its market position. Today, the Bischwiller factory has
a production capacity of up to 400,000 ceramic parts per year, which are
destined for the international market.
In addition to ceramic production, the majority of whirl tubs are also assembled and tested in Bischwiller. There are currently 20 employees working in assembly and quality management. Wellness specialists carry out stress and material tests on-site and also the company's high quality standards are achieved. The Alsace site has a workforce of 350 employees working in production, sales and administration.
The Bischwiller factory is certified in compliance with ISO 9001 (quality management) and ISO 14001 (environmental management). In 2012, the production site was one of the first in Alsace to attain ISO 50001 certification (energy management).