23 June 2016
By Tom Collins
Automation Technology company Pilz Ireland has recently finalised the purchase of a site adjacent to its existing facility from the IDA in the Cork Business & Technology Park, Model Farm Road, Cork. Pilz Ireland is the Irish subsidiary of Pilz GmbH & Co KG, a leading international automation technology company providing safe manufacturing and process automation solutions.
The company is planning to begin construction on the site of a new facility to accommodate the Software Product Research and Development Centre, a global centre of excellence to configure and program intelligent automation systems.
As well as the creation of the new Centre the existing building will also be substantially redeveloped to create additional space for the expansion of the Pilz International Services Group which provides technical and project management support for Pilz subsidiaries around the world on international projects. New office space and lab facilities will also be developed for Pilz Ireland Automation and Safety Engineering Services Division which serves its Irish customer base with the provision of consultancy, project management and automation engineering solutions. This business unit assists manufacturers throughout Ireland to achieve high productivity and compliance within an increasingly complex regulatory environment. Ultimately such services enable Pilz customers to provide safe workplaces when using automated processes and machinery.
The addition of the new building will create a campus of ‘connected’ facilities which will use advanced building management solutions to create a unified, collaborative and comfortable working environment.
In line with the development of the Pilz campus the company is currently recruiting from the areas of Software and Automation Engineering, Project Management and Support Services. The expansion is anticipated to result in an increase in the numbers employed at Pilz Ireland. As Cork is internationally recognised as having a wide pool of highly skilled talent in the software and engineering fields the company also attracts well qualified and experienced technical professionals from around the world to work and settle in Cork.
Pilz have been supported by the IDA since first establishing a presence in the IDA Business & Technology Park on the Model Farm Road and have fostered a long term partnership. Through this support Pilz Ireland has increased its R&D activities at its Cork base. The purchase of the site from the IDA positions Pilz Ireland as an integral part in the development of the Pilz group worldwide.
Welcoming this announcement, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’ Connor, TD said the expansion of Pilz operations in Cork is a strong vote of confidence in Ireland and in the skills of the Irish workforce. “We have developed extensive expertise in software development and the Cork area is rapidly becoming a very attractive location with a cluster of over 50 cutting edge technology companies employing close to 12,000 people. A key priority of mine as Minister is to embed such companies in Ireland by creating the right business environment to encourage more job creation in our regions. Only a strong economy supporting people at work can pay for services needed to create a fair society. This will ensure a more inclusive prosperity for all. I am delighted that Pilz is now extending its operation in Cork and I wish the company all the best for the future.”
Commenting on the new development John McAuliffe, MD of Pilz Ireland and VP Pilz International Services Group said: “The construction of the new building and refurbishment of the existing facility is a real milestone in the company’s development. The IDA have supported us as a start-up many years ago and continues to do so with this expansion. We look forward to creating a campus which not only provides increased capacity to grow our business but offers a modern work space for our employees.”
Martin Shanahan, CEO of IDA Ireland said: “IDA is pleased to be in a position to assist in the expansion plans of this well established company in Cork by facilitating the sale of a site adjacent to its existing facility. The evolution of the Software Product Research and Development Centre will allow this progressive company to develop next generation configurations and programmes for intelligent automation systems. It’s good news also, and further testament to Pilz success in Cork, that it is also expanding the technical and project management support side of its business. I wish the company continued success.”
The development of the campus not only reflects the worldwide growth of the Pilz Group and Pilz Ireland within the domestic market but will enable the company to positively respond to the new demands and challenges of the manufacturing and process sectors. The Irish operation will support Pilz group’s positioning in the forefront of the fourth industrial revolution with technologies based on IOT, Collaborative Robots and cloud based automation services.
For the local market the development of its new campus will enable Pilz Ireland to continue to build on its existing relationships with customers in both the multinational and domestic sector partners, educational bodies and support organisations such as the IDA. In that context Pilz recently hosted an industry leading forum in Cork addressing the challenges and opportunities resulting from the paradigm shift which will be created by the use of Collaborative Robots (CoBots) in the manufacturing sector.