Governor Whitmer visits Güdel headquarters in Switzerland

Ann Arbor, Michigan / Langenthal, 27. Januar 2023. As Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer swung through Europe to speak at the World Economic Forum in Davos to discuss “The Return of Manufacturing,” she stopped in Langenthal, Switzerland to visit the headquarters of Güdel Group. The company, a global manufacturer of tracks for industrial robots, gantry robots, and complete solutions for industrial automation, has announced it is expanding its U.S. facilities by building an additional 39,000 sq. ft. space and adding production capacity. In addition to the building, numerous new jobs will be created. The hiring of new employees will take place over the next three years, ranging from engineers and project managers to welders, electricians, and machinists.

Güdel’s customers include the automotive OEMs like Ford, GM, Tesla, and Rivian and their suppliers as well as companies involved in aerospace, warehouse, and material handling logistics, and various other industries. The company manufactures the tracks that heavy industrial robots often use to extend their reach and provide them with a 7th axis of movement and gantry robots with high performance and precision.  Additionally, Güdel provides full turnkey automation solutions for various industries, including material handling and stamping press automation.

The Covid pandemic, supply chain issues, and the challenge of hiring qualified employees have all accelerated the push towards automation for manufacturers.  Robotics can help relieve some of these pressures.  Improved through-put, better worker safety, increased production quality, and cost savings are just some of the benefits companies are reaping through automating their processes.

The CEO for Güdel Group, Armin Haller, said, “We are actively expanding our capabilities and production capacity in the Americas.  There were several locations we considered;” he said, “but the Michigan, Ann Arbor location has been a fantastic partner for our business with close access to the economic and human resources we need to grow and succeed.” The $10 million investment in the building and the people will benefit both Güdel and the people of Michigan. The tax abatement incentive offered by the state tipped the balance of scales for the expansion location towards Michigan.

The “re-shoring” of manufacturing activity back to the Americas after recent supply chain and geopolitical tensions is growing increasing popular in the U.S.  By re-shoring, companies are reducing lead times, avoiding shipping challenges, improving quality and variability, and reducing costs. Güdel offers the best of both worlds, Swiss quality, design, and ingenuity while the tracks and gantries for the Americas market are made in the USA.

Whitmer has a compelling case to make. For the first time in nearly 40 years, the Michigan state government is in full control of one party, the Democrats. Gov. Whitmer recently won re-election in convincing fashion, was one of four finalists to become Biden’s Vice-President in the 2020 elections, and has been mentioned as a possible future White House candidate.  Michigan has a nearly $6 billion surplus and is competing with other states and countries for manufacturing projects using programs like the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to attract those business investments.

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