Nearly a thousand industry partners, government officials and Viega personnel gathered for the official grand opening of Viega's 439,000-square-foot Manufacturing and Distribution Center. “Today, we unlock here in McPherson [Kansas] another door to the future,” said Viega co-owner Walter Viegener.
The event kicked off in grand style at 10:00 a.m. when Viega CEO Dan Schmierer welcomed guests. “This facility represents Viega's commitment to the plumbing and heating industry,” said Schmierer. While the housing market is not favorable now, Viega is confident the housing market will soon recover. Joining CEO Dan Schmierer on stage were also Viega owners, Heinz-Bernd Viegener, Walter Viegener and newly elected McPherson Mayor Tom Brown. “We have three reasons to celebrate. Our 110-year global presence in Germany, our 10 years in North America and today's grand opening,” said Viega co-owner Heinz-Bernd Viegener.
Viega GmbH & Co. KG (Viega), headquartered in Attendorn, Germany, has been providing plumbing and heating solutions to builders, contractors and wholesalers for 110 years. Viega is a family-owned business that employs 500 employees in North America and approximately 2,800 people worldwide. Approximately 210 of Viega's North American employees work at the new facility in McPherson.
Presentations concluded with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, plant tours and a Kansas BBQ lunch complete with 12-oz. ribeye steaks and a cake spanning three feet by five feet, which resembled the enormous facility. The Manufacturing and Distribution Center spans 11 acres, which equates to nearly 10 football fields, under one roof.
Equipped with extrusion and injection molding machines, logistics and office space, the new facility and the state-of-the-art equipment it employs will help streamline operations, improve efficiency and provide Viega employees the space to start developing new products. Soon, 22 states throughout the Midwest will receive all Viega products from this location.
When co-owner Heinz-Bernd Viegener was asked if he would have invested in this large of a facility if he had known the housing industry was about to collapse, Mr. Viegener quickly responded, “Yes. Viega has remained a family-owned company for 110 years. Long-term thinking and employee interests have always been more important than short-term financial figures. The money earned during the good times is to remain in the company and be used for future-oriented investments.” When the housing market turns around, this new facility will enable Viega to easily meet the demands of the rebounding housing industry.