A huge plant, a major investment, a strong commitment to the site: the commissioning of the new anodizing plant marked the start of another chapter in SWAROVSKI OPTIK’s history, as this surface finishing technique is a key technology at the company’s headquarters in Absam, Tyrol.
Anodizing, or the application of an aluminum surface finish, is one of the most important and time-intensive tasks at SWAROVSKI OPTIK. The top quality expected by our customers cannot be bought in without compromises and so, after 18 years of operation and capacity bottlenecks, the decision was taken to replace the old plant. This was absolutely the right decision, as it turned out, because the previous facility would not have been able to adequately meet the strong demand for long-range optics that we have seen in recent years.
The new plant was designed and produced precisely to SWAROVSKI OPTIK’s demanding requirements in close consultation with internal and external experts and constructed on site. This ensured adherence to all quality requirements – from the point of view of both the company and its customers. This was also the only way the plant could be seamlessly integrated in the existing production process. The combined expertise of a wide range of departments was required to bring the project to fruition: assisted by their teams, Martin Gabl, Head of Process Development; Johannes Köchler, Quality Assurance; Christoph Schwaniger, Building Services; and Bernhard Ölz, Building Planning, ensured the successful planning and implementation of the ambitious project
The test phase lasted for around four months, until the company was one hundred percent satisfied with the results and the new plant could go into operation. Capacity utilization of around 70 percent is planned for the start phase. The plant is operated in two shifts, which is also very important in relation to smooth flows as well as daily inspection and maintenance work. The plant now processes around ten million anodized components a year.