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Celebrating a Legacy of Innovation and Quality at Krefeld Rail Vehicle Plant

Celebrating a Legacy of Innovation and Quality at Krefeld Rail Vehicle Plant
foto: Siemens Mobility/Celebrating a Legacy of Innovation and Quality at Krefeld Rail Vehicle Plant
08 / 05 / 2023

The Krefeld rail vehicle plant is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year. Founded on March 16, 1898, as Waggon-Fabrik A.G. Uerdingen, the plant was taken over by Siemens in 1989. The facility has grown steadily since then and, with more than 2,000 employees working on the design, development and production of state-of-the-art trains and electrical components, is one of the most modern rail vehicle plants in the world.

“With its strong focus on innovation, quality, delivery reliability and productivity, the Krefeld plant makes a significant contribution to the success of Siemens Mobility – and to the success of our customers,” said Michael Peter, CEO of Siemens Mobility. “On average, we build around 600 state-of-the-art, digitally mastered rail vehicles a year at the plant. This top performance is possible only thanks to our highly motivated, specially trained team and the comprehensive use of digitalization throughout production and logistics. We’re quite proud of these achievements!” 

On the Krefeld plant’s production area of approximately 74,000 m2 and logistics area of around 64,200 m2, Siemens Mobility manufactures Mireo, Desiro, Velaro and ICE4 trains for regional and high-speed rail transport. The vehicles are then delivered, primarily by rail or ship, to rail operators throughout the world and are used for national or cross-border service. 

The ICE: A German success story from Krefeld

With the success of the ICE4, the new ICE 3neo, and other orders, Siemens Mobility is proving that complex, large-scale, billion-euro projects can be executed punctually, reliably, and with cutting-edge technology. The Velaro MS, which Deutsche Bahn calls the ICE 3neo, was designed and built in record time and delivered to the customer just two-and-a-half years after the order was received. The planning and construction of the ICE series also secures thousands of jobs at Siemens and suppliers throughout Germany. Siemens Mobility stands for the retention of key know-how in the German railway industry, and thus has a global signal effect. Around 1,100 suppliers, mainly small and medium-sized companies, and their employees benefit from the strong position of the Krefeld plant. Projects like the ICE 3neo generate over 75% of their added value in Germany alone.

A strong employer in the region

Over 2,000 people are employed at the Krefeld plant, including 1,200 in manufacturing and around 300 in development. In cooperation with the Siemens Professional Education program, around 125 trainees attend the Krefeld Training Center every year. Trainees in mechatronics, industrial mechanics and industrial management, and student trainees in dual training programs for Bachelor of Engineering degrees in mechanical engineering, industrial mechanics, electrical engineering, information technology, as well as mechatronics and a BA in international management are on the way to highly qualified, next-generation professional careers.

Major orders with a huge impact

In 2011, a framework order from Deutsche Bahn for up to 300 ICE 4 trains bestowed Siemens with the largest train order it had ever received. The Rhine-Ruhr-Express project in 2015 was one of the largest orders won in Germany to date for Siemens Mobility – and for the Krefeld plant – in the local mass transit sector. Krefeld delivered 82 Desiro HC (High Capacity) trains for the order. In 2022, this success was again surpassed, this time by Egypt. The country commissioned Siemens Mobility to develop and build a 2,000-kilometer high-speed rail network across Egypt. For Krefeld, this means an order volume of 41 Velaro trains and 94 Desiro HC regional trains. It is the largest order in the company’s history.  

Hydrogen and battery drives

The company’s trains powered by hydrogen or battery drives – the Mireo Plus H and the Mireo Plus B – are also being built at the Krefeld plant. Both of these train types combine innovation and sustainability and operate on routes where electrification with overhead lines is neither possible nor economical.

Factory digitalization is a key theme

Siemens Mobility invests millions in the Krefeld plant each year to secure a leading position worldwide in rail vehicle production. In the digital Krefeld plant, fully digitized manufacturing and logistics processes ensure maximum transparency and efficiency. With the help of continually collected data, operating processes are constantly monitored and improved. This way, the company can simultaneously work on 14 different customer projects based on five different platforms per year. In addition to using digital twins for the vehicles and for virtual welding training, Siemens Mobility is introducing a state-of-the-art robotic welding system in Krefeld this year to manufacture innovative aluminum bodyshells and components at a continuous pace. These and other innovations showcase Krefeld as a highly modern and highly productive manufacturing and development facility for state-of-the-art rail vehicles – a location where around 350 engineers work on developing advanced rail platforms. 

Source: Siemens Mobility