The CUBIC is synonymous with innovation, collaboration, and training
Uzwil (Switzerland), May 22, 2019 – After a construction period of 20 months and an investment of about CHF 50 million, Bühler Group is today officially opening its CUBIC innovation campus with eight Application Centers. “We are with this driving forward our strategy of innovation, training, and development,” says Stefan Scheiber, CEO of Bühler Group. “Together with our customers, partners from industry and science, academia, and start-ups, we are using the CUBIC to conduct research into new and sustainable solutions that we can apply to successful business ventures. And, we are taking a step forward here in providing modern training and development,” says Scheiber.
The global challenges associated with nutrition and mobility are becoming increasingly urgent. How can we sustainably feed and provide mobility for a population of nearly 10 billion in 2050? Addressing these issues and responding to them with sustainable, commercially attractive solutions is the goal of the innovation campus. “This is our contribution to transforming the urgent global challenges of our time into solid business solutions together with customers, partners, academia, and start-ups,” says Stefan Scheiber, CEO of Bühler Group. “In this campus, we are also promoting new professional skills and competencies, modern learning and working methods, and collaborating with our partners.” Every year, the company invests a sum in the three-digit millions in research and development (R&D). In 2018, this amounted to CHF 145 million or 4.4% of turnover.
The three-story CUBIC is designed to accommodate up to 300 people, and is, in itself, a model of sustainability and innovation. The building uses 15% less energy than comparable structures of its size. Its smart electrochromic glass facade was coated on equipment from Bühler Leybold Optics. This enables Bühler to slash energy consumption for heating and air-conditioning by as much as 50%. Building sensors measure carbon dioxide levels, air humidity, temperature, and flow of people to continuously fine-tune the functionality and energy consumption of the CUBIC. On the basis of this smart building concept, Bühler expects to be able to sustainably optimize the operation of the building. The CUBIC complies with the sustainability standards of Leed (Leadership in Energy and Environment Design), which certified the structure by awarding it a gold rating.
In terms of its design concept, the new innovation campus is integrated into the Bühler site in Uzwil as the bridge that links the development, engineering, and design teams with the modernized Application Centers and the factory. This enables Bühler to develop solutions together with customers, start-ups, and industry and research partners up to the point of market maturity with much higher speed and efficiency. The CUBIC represents Bühler’s purpose of “Innovations for a better world” and it focuses on promoting new training and development methods. Among other things, it embraces the dual education system of Switzerland, housing apprentices and academics, as well as youth and experience.
Project teams from all Bühler business areas currently reside in the CUBIC. Many of them are developing digital solutions, including Bühler Insights, a cloud-based IoT platform for digital services, which was created in close partnership with Microsoft. About 20% of the R&D budget went into the development of digital solutions in 2018.
“The CUBIC campus will become the epicenter of our collaborative ecosystem,” says CTO Ian Roberts. “It embodies our innovation spirit and culture, where we will inspire, discuss, understand, and derive actions that will support us as an industry to create more sustainable value chains, while contributing to addressing the burning environmental and societal challenges of our time.”
Shorter time to market thanks to the Application Centers
Vital elements of the new innovation campus are its eight modernized Application Centers. The ideas of customers and prototypes are tested in the Application Centers, where they are refined up to the point of market maturity.
In the Battery Lab, researchers are continuing their efforts to develop a new, continuous process for mixing electrode slurries applied in the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries. In the Grinding & Dispersing Application Center, Bühler is developing wet grinding and dispersion solutions, for example for making printing inks. In the Die Casting Application Center, five die-casting cells are installed for training operators and for conducting customer tests. Many of these developments are already incorporated into modern applications for the e-mobility industry.
In the Pasta Application Center, the latest pasta is being developed, for example high-protein pasta containing flour from pulses or products with a proportion of microalgae. The Grain Technology Center, at 3,000 square meters, is the world’s largest Grain Milling Application Center. It also has its own Analytics Lab. Among other things, the Nutrition Application Center develops textured vegetable proteins –alternatives for the growing number of flexitarians. Together with customers, the Bakery Innovation Center develops wholesome, fresh bakery products.
In the Chocolate Application Center, new flavors and novel processes for cocoa-based products are tested. In the Coffee Application Center, customers test low-energy roasting processes to develop new taste variants.
The CUBIC and the Application Centers will be presented to Bühler’s partners from industry and academia on the occasion of the Bühler Networking Days 2019. On August 26 and 27, 2019, Bühler expects to welcome nearly 800 guests from process industries around the world to this event.
Keynote speakers at the Networking Days 2019 include, among others, Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, Norway’s first female Premier Minister, and Stefan Palzer, CTO of Nestlé. Read more about the speakers here: https://networkingdays2019.
Find out more about the Bühler Networking Days here: https://networkingdays2019.
Image 1: Stefan Scheiber, CEO of Bühler Group
Image 2: Ian Roberts, CTO of Bühler Group
Image 3: CUBIC outside view
Image 4: CUBIC electrochromic glass facade coated on Bühler Leybold Optics equipment
Image 5: CUBIC Auditorium
Image 6: CUBIC Food Maker Space
Image 7: Bühler Bakery Innovation Center with customers
Image 8: Bühler Process engineer in Bakery Innovation Center
Image 9: Bühler Pasta Application Center
Image 10: Chocolate Mass and Coffee Application Center
Infographic: Bühler Application & Training Centers worldwide
Burkhard Böndel, Head of Corporate Communications
Bühler AG, 9240 Uzwil, Switzerland
Phone: +41 71 955 33 99
Mobile: +41 79 515 91 57
Markus Reber, Media Relations Manager
Bühler AG, 9240 Uzwil, Switzerland
Phone: +41 71 955 12 44
Mobile: +41 79 864 29 41
Billions of people come into contact with Bühler technologies to cover their basic needs for food and mobility every day. Two billion people each day enjoy foods produced on Bühler equipment; and one billion people travel in vehicles manufactured with parts produced with our machinery. Countless people wear eye glasses, use smart phones, and read newspapers and magazines, all of which depend on Bühler process technologies and solutions. Having this global relevance, we are in a unique position to turn today’s global challenges into sustainable business. We want every human being to have access to healthy food. We want to do our part to protect the climate with energy-efficient cars, buildings, and machinery. Our motto is creating “innovations for a better world.”
Bühler invests up to 5% of turnover into research and development. In 2018, over 13,000 employees generated a turnover of CHF 3.3 billion. As a Swiss family-owned company, Bühler is active in 140 countries around the world and operates a global network of 30 production sites.