News 2024-05-06

Industrial building of the future

Erbe Elektromedizin GmbH opens a new industrial building for development and production of medical technology instruments in Rangendingen near Stuttgart. io acted as lead consultant for the 25,000 square meter newbuild.

Last Friday, Erbe Elektromedizin GmbH invited clients, politicians, business leaders and the press to the grand opening of its new building in Rangendingen. Guest speaker FDP Federal Chairman Christian Lindner also took to the stage in front of 250 invited guests.

The medical technology company’s 25,000 square meter industrial building combines production and product development with logistics and administration. It offers space for up to 500 employees and boasts a modern cafeteria. The project started in 2019, in partnership with io, the Heidelberg-based consulting and planning company. As lead consultant, io was responsible for building planning, process and logistics planning, and kitchen and clean-room planning.


“This building here in Rangendingen is the central hub for our medical instruments. They are developed and manufactured here, to be sent all over the world. It is Erbe’s largest single investment in our 170-year history,” said Christian O. Erbe, Managing Director of Erbe Elektromedizin, at the new building’s opening ceremony. Developers, neighbors and representatives from politics, business and the media were given the opportunity to visit the new production building. The celebrations also featured a tour of the new premises under the guidance of the design and construction team. The atrium on the first floor, where the ceremony took place, functions as a new kind of arterial intersection, ensuring quick and accessible connections to all departments. It has been designed as a lively communication space and is also open to neighbors and guests. The same applies to the company restaurant – called the “Stammlokal”, in the middle of which stands a wooden sculpture of a tree with its branches extending over the tables. “The new building doesn’t just radiate friendliness: it’s positively inviting,” says Jeremy Hotchkiss, Partner and Design Lead at io.

Industrial construction embraces all sustainability aspects
Environmental, economic and social sustainability were core considerations for the new building, and fully consistent with several of the goals set out in our corporate strategy,” says Christian O. Erbe.

Most of the building was constructed using timber. Erbe made a conscious decision for wood as a building material and for energy efficiency at its second headquarters. It is one of the first industrial buildings in Germany to meet the KfW Efficiency House Standard 40 Plus – consuming no more than 40 percent of the primary energy required by comparable buildings. The building has 2,800 photovoltaic modules on its roof generating an output of around one megawatt and producing around 610,000 kWh of electricity per year. The remaining energy requirement is supplied by a cogeneration plant powered by biogas.

“In line with our Lead Consulting // plus approach we holistically combine functionality, design and sustainability in architecture as well as logistics, clean room and kitchen planning. That makes this industrial building a flagship project, both in terms of energy and architecture,” says Thomas Kilimann, Managing Director at io.

Wood as a load-bearing element
The overall concept is for the new industrial complex to be an effective part of the surrounding nature. Architecturally, the new building features a resource-saving and sustainable design with a minimalist use of materials. Wood and wooden materials used in the roof structure, facade and finishing create the building’s character. The interface between wood, concrete and precast elements posed a special planning challenge for the architects and engineers alike. The energy-efficient building envelope reduces the annual operating costs for heating energy by €120,000.

Compact layout for seamless material flows
One focus of io’s planning brief was on short transportation routes, seamless material and personnel flows and a compact layout on a tightly dimensioned site.

It was a particular challenge to realize the ISO 8 class clean room in accordance with DIN EN ISO 14644-1 in a timber construction. Medical devices production involves specific requirements for factors such as hygiene, insulation? And climate. Among other things, the clean room must have smooth, deposit-free surfaces, a controlled high air exchange rate and a specific overpressure safeguard to protect the products. The production area can be expanded at any time.

The heart of the new logistics center is an AutoStore small parts warehouse where the majority of client orders and internal production replenishment will be handled. It integrates perfectly into the building structure with its more than 20,000 containers. The storage system can be expanded very flexibly, making it highly future-proof: without any structural modifications. Containers and robots can be added in stages as required up to the maximum capacity to increase the system’s dynamics.


About Erbe
Erbe Elektromedizin GmbH develops, manufactures and markets surgical instruments and devices worldwide and offers professional services in a range of medical fields. Medical technology from Erbe is used in operating rooms all around the world. Their portfolio includes devices for electrosurgery, endoscopy, plasma surgery, thermofusion, hydrosurgery, cryosurgery and imaging.

The international network comprises 18 sales and service units and four production plants in Europe, America and Asia. Erbe is active in over 110 countries and employs about 1,900 staff worldwide.

About io ×

Over 60 years of experience in lead consulting 

io offers consulting and planning services for the supply chain – across the board and from a single source. Established in 1958, io supports its clients from the first strategic idea through to the implementation of complex industrial projects for the supply and value chain.

Competence through close interlocking 

With its comprehensive expertise in production, logistics, SAP/IT, architecture and project management, io develops holistic solutions along the complete supply and value chain, offering an unparalleled blend of services.

Worldwide partners 

In addition to its headquarters in Heidelberg (Germany), io also has offices in other European locations (Germany: Berlin, Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Kaiserslautern, Leonberg, Leverkusen, Munich; Poland: Łódź), the USA (Bethlehem, PA), the Middle East (Dubai) and Asia (Hong Kong, Singapore).