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€23.5m motors factory in Portugal will include test lab

26 July, 2022

The Brazilian motor manufacturer, WEG, has revealed more details of the new factory that it is building in Portugal at a cost of €23.5m, which will double the size of its manufacturing operation in the town of Santo Tirso. The factory, due to be fully operational by 2024, will boost WEG’s workforce by 100 people, as well as creating what WEG is calling “Europe’s most complete testing laboratory” for MV (medium voltage) and HV (high voltage) motors and drives.

The 22,680m2 factory, first announced earlier this year, will support the manufacture of MV/HV motors and drives, LV electrical panels and the provision of the corresponding servicing activities at the factory and on site.

WEG Portugal has been the heart of the company’s production of motors and MV/HV drives in Europe for 20 years. It is currently split between sites in Maia and Santo Tirso, which together employ more than 750 people and produce more than 10,000 motors annually. The new project will see the activities of the Maia factory being transferred to Santo Tirso, centralising all operations at one location. The gradual transfer will start during 2023 and will not affect production or deliveries.

The investment in Santo Tirso will boost WEG’s production capacity for IEC 1400 frame motors and matching MV/HV drives. This is in addition to its specialist flameproof, smoke extraction and marine motors, engineered automation systems, and digital and automation tools such as Motion Fleet Management.

The factory includes a substantial investment in a new laboratory for full-load testing of a portfolio of new products from WEG. Customers will be able to monitor the tests remotely in real time.

“WEG has long believed in the importance of manufacturing products local to the market where they will be sold,” says António Duarte, managing director of WEG Portugal. “The new investment will significantly improve the site’s manufacturing capabilities, our flexibility and time-to-market, and reinforces our continued commitment to the European market.”

Construction of WEG’s new factory in Santo Tirso is already underway alongside an existing factory built in 2017

The new factory will also see WEG intensify its use of robotic and automation technologies such as AGVs (automated guided vehicles) and six-axis robots. An automated vertical warehouse will be commissioned for picking smaller parts and products.

“Our plans are based on the WEG Manufacturing System (WMS) – a programme WEG follows to continually improve the way we manufacture,” Duarte explains. “This philosophy helps us to eliminate waste and achieve the best possible efficiency. In fact, we employ the WMS model throughout our entire business, including our offices. The upcoming investments in Santo Tirso follows this way of thinking, and will make us more resilient for decades to come.”

WEG:  Twitter  LinkedIn




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