CLT at the Schlitz plant
Official sales of CLT at the Schlitz plant started in early 2020 and with the completion of the second expansion stage in June 2021, production capacities was doubled to 100,000 m³. Due to increasing demand for Pfeifer CLT, plans are already being made for the site's further development.
With the installation of an additional finger-jointing system and a state-of-the-art joinery line, the course was set for even better performance and quality all around. “Our CLT plant is state of the art. The latest system upgrades and conversions not only improve our output but also the working conditions of our skilled workers in production,” says a happy Plant Manager Sebastian Eggel. A total of 6 million Euros were invested in the second expansion phase. The two high-performance and flexible Hundegger PBA Industry systems, in combination with the Hundegger UFA installed in the course of expansion stage I take care of cutting the CLT panels. This will enable the plant to meet growing demands for cross laminated timber in the future: “The new joinery centre allows for faster, automated processes and optimises the material flow in the hall. Among other things, this is made possible by the integrated panel cosmetics system, which processes the entire panel to the desired quality in a single step downstream from the press.”
Technical Sales Manager for CLT
”As we had hoped, the plant’s central location has proven to be an advantage. From Schlitz, we serve the northern German metropolitan areas just as quickly as we do northern Italy and France.“
Completely automatically, the panels are transported from the warehouse to the two gantry processing plants by crane, each of which comprises a multifunctional unit. Cut-outs are being made directly in the plant at high speed and can thus be disposed of more easily. The system is conveniently operated from a cockpit in which several control screens provide a full overview, even from a distance. Spatially separating man and machine ensures improved safety and an optimised workflow, as Eggel reports: “Thanks to the joinery plant’s high degree of automation, we only need a single person controlling it, while the other employees can optimise the data on the PC and use them to feed the systems.”
No chip is left unused: In line with this corporate philosophy, Schlitz is currently working on solutions for the utilisation of residual wood. Implementation is planned for the end of 2023. According to Eggel, however, the work doesn’t stop in Schlitz: “Issues such as our heating system or the construction of a new representative administration building will inevitably affect us in the next few years.” Optimisations are also to be made to internal processes and the service areas such as quotation preparation, logistics and short-term delivery capability. “In addition, we aim to address special market areas and customer groups with targeted offers and product variations,” says Bernd Gusinde, Technical Sales Manager for CLT. When it comes to digitalisation, a separate B2B platform with an automated enquiry portal will be set up, which will offer the possibility to order raw panels (CLT without any joinery) online. A consulting offer including services in early project stages is also on the agenda.
In the heart of Milan, a multi-storey residential complex is being built as a solid timber construction, exclusively using Pfeifer CLT.
Plant Manager Schlitz
”Our CLT plant is state of the art. We are now prepared for all market challenges.“
With these measures, Pfeifer is positioning itself as a customer-oriented manufacturer with its finger on the pulse of the market. Gusinde’s interim conclusion is a positive one: “Following the completion of the second expansion stage, we now run one of the most efficient CLT production facilities in the industry. Thanks to our central location in our core sales area and secure supply from our sawmill in Lauterbach, we can look to the future with confidence. We are in a position to cover the main part of the market requirements and to set an example in terms of industrial CLT production and standardisation.” Despite a turbulent 2021, Gusinde retains a positive attitude about the future for timber construction and thus for CLT: “After a certain consolidation phase, these volatile circumstances will ultimately boost the further development of timber construction as well as CLT and also bring new innovations.”
With its CLT production, Pfeifer has tapped into an enormously dynamic market which, in addition to strengthening the core markets in the DACH region and Italy, still leaves plenty of room for international expansion.
With its CLT production capabilities, Pfeifer has entered an enormously dynamic market with lots of international potential apart from deepening activities on the core DACH markets and Italy. In the autumn of 2021, Pfeifer CLT was officially approved in France, one of the fastest growing timber construction markets in Europe. Order intake from the Benelux countries is also rising steadily. Pfeifer’s solid panels are also sought after among private, commercial and public clients. Schlitz has also proven to be equipped for large-scale projects, as the successful completion of a student residence in Frankfurt has shown. With a total of 3,000 m³ of CLT installed, the hall of residence on the Riedberg campus is one of the largest CLT projects ever completed in Germany.
For the new Fuchshofschule, the city of Ludwigsburg is relying on timber construction with a high degree of prefabrication. It is scheduled for completion just in time for the new school year 2022/2023.
Pfeifer regularly has high-quality white papers written and offers them for free download on its website. The publications, written by industry journalists, provide attractively prepared, solution-oriented insights into the present and future of timber construction.
Two white papers in 2021 and a third at the beginning of 2022 are the prelude to a more in-depth examination of relevant timber construction topics. “1000 gute Gründe für das Bauen mit Holz” (1000 Good Reasons for Building with Wood) explains what led to the boom in timber construction, analyses current trends and lets experts from research and practice have their say. “Holz als Klimaretter mit starken Bauqualitäten” (Wood as a Climate Saver with Strong Building Qualities) elaborates on the advantages of timber construction in the face of the political, economic and social upheavals of our time - with examples from (engineering) timber construction from around the world, multi-storey buildings and urban redensification. White paper No. 3 highlights modular construction with CLT and its possibilities, challenges and opportunities.
Pfeifer makes these expert-written technical texts available free of charge on its website. After straightforward registration, all interested parties receive a link and can download the professionally designed PDF file. New white papers are added continuously and are announced on the company's social media channels, among others.