OBERSULM, GERMANY - For the second time in just three years, the German camera manufacturer IDS Imaging Development Systems has expanded its facilities to create more space for offices, production and logistics. The representative new building at the company headquarters in Obersulm, Germany, was opened at the end of 2008, after a short construction period. The central feature of the new building is a future-oriented production system focused on efficiency and flexibility.

The new building opens a new chapter in the company's success story, which started out in 1997 with the development and distribution of frame grabbers. IDS has a staff of about 80 employees in the development, production, sales, marketing and support departments at its head office in Obersulm, Germany. The new building with the striking glass facade houses the modern, spacious office and training rooms.

The central feature of the building is the future-oriented production system in the now 900 sq.m. large production and logistics area. Designed to make the manufacture significantly more flexible and efficient, the system has already increased the production of uEye® cameras by 30% within only a few weeks.

‘‘With the new manufacturing cells, we can quickly scale our capacities according to demand,’‘ says Achim Terhoeven, Technical Production Manager at IDS in Obersulm. ‘‘The warehouse located at the center is the core of the production shop floor. The entire material flow takes place on a single level around the warehouse along the shortest possible paths!’‘ A state-of-the-art paternoster system interfaces the warehouse to the production. The paternoster receives the orders from the production planning software and automatically makes the required components available for processing. The advantages, according to Terhoeven, also include a clearly structured material flow that is easy to monitor. ‘‘The individual workstations are designed so that there is no material accumulation. This makes bottlenecks easy to identify and fix!’‘

The requirements specification for the new building stipulated not only a high-performance production system and a pleasant office environment. When planning the building, a further key focus of managing director Jürgen Hartmann was on environmental protection and energy efficiency: ‘‘The photovoltaic panels installed on the roof of the production plant can supply the average annual power needed for the building's CO2-neutral geothermal heating system and the air conditioning.’‘