Phoenix Contact USA celebrates 25th anniversary, breaks ground for expansion | Automation.com

Phoenix Contact USA celebrates 25th anniversary, breaks ground for expansion

Phoenix Contact USA celebrates 25th anniversary, breaks ground for expansion
June 30, 2006 - MIDDLETOWN, Pa. -- Celebrating the past while looking toward the future, Phoenix Contact officials from Germany and the United States marked 25 years of U.S. operations by breaking ground for a $12 million expansion project at U.S. headquarters in Middletown.

“It was an ambitious and visionary decision of my brother Gerd Eisert, the architect of the Phoenix Contact business activities abroad, to enter the North American continent 25 years ago,” said CEO Klaus Eisert. “He was convinced that this highly developed nation would be a future market for Phoenix Contact. At that time, we were competing with a small range of European DIN-rail terminal blocks on the one hand and PCB terminal blocks on the other hand. This turned out to be a success story!"

“The market chances with the product range completed by surge voltage protection, Interface modules and automation technology have not changed today. We will do our utmost to provide for more marketability and thus for more customer satisfaction.”

Eisert and other Phoenix Contact representatives performed the ceremonial “first dig” for a new 45,000-square-foot distribution center and the expansion of the company’s manufacturing facility from 28,000 to 90,000 square feet, necessary to keep up with recent growth.

Founded in 1923, Phoenix Contact is a worldwide leader in the development and manufacture of specialized electronic components and connection systems. World headquarters are located in Blomberg, Germany. The U.S. subsidiary employed five people when it was established in Harrisburg in 1981. In 1985, the company moved to Middletown, where most of its 415 employees work today.

Strong sales growth in recent years has led not only to the expansion of physical facilities, but also to increased employment. One hundred twenty new employees have been hired during the past year and a half, and the company plans to add 250 more by 2010.

“It's exciting to see our continued rapid growth in the U.S., even in our 25th year of operation,” said Jack Nehlig, president of Phoenix Contact USA. “At Phoenix Contact we consistently deliver exciting new products to our customers, providing unparalleled support and service.”

“With a continuous growth and creative marketing, Phoenix Contact USA has become our largest subsidiary abroad and reached a leading market position since the foundation 25 years ago,” said Frank Stürenberg, executive vice-president of Global Sales. “This is due to the excellent performance of the entire team. The present decision to establish our Phoenix Contact Center of Competence in Harrisburg with R&D, Product Management, Production and Logistics for the North and South American continents forms the basis for a sustainable, successful and prosperous future of Phoenix Contact in the USA.”

Last year the company changed its business structure to become a Trans-National Corporation (TNC), and the Middletown site, along with headquarters in Germany and China, became one of three Regional Business Units (RBUs). The Americas RBU is responsible for the research, development and engineering of new products for all of the Americas subsidiaries, including those in the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Mexico and Argentina.

The new distribution center, slated for completion in 2007, is needed to address the rapid growth of product distribution through the Middletown facility. Already operating near capacity, the current distribution center cannot optimally handle the expected growth in shipments for customers in the United States, and increasingly, for Phoenix Contact subsidiaries across the Americas. The manufacturing expansion, which will accommodate the growth in product development that has resulted from the creation of the Americas RBU, is expected to be completed by 2008.

Phoenix Contact is an independent subsidiary of Phoenix Contact GmbH & Co. KG of Blomberg, Germany, which operates 40 subsidiaries around the globe and employs more than 7,500 people. Phoenix Contact has implemented and maintains a Quality, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety Management System that is registered to: ISO - 9001:2000 (Quality Management System), ISO - 14001:2004 (Environmental Management System) and OHSAS - 18001:1999 (Occupational Health & Safety System).

Pictured (l-r) Don Springer, former Phoenix Contact USA president; Frank Stürenberg, executive vice-president of Global Sales; Klaus Eisert, CEO; and Jack Nehlig, president of Phoenix Contact USA, break ground at the site of Phoenix Contact's new distribution center, which is scheduled to open in 2007.
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