Construction work has begun on Baumann’s new Innovation and Reliability Centre at the company’s HQ in Cavaion, Italy.

The expansion project is the largest ever undertaken in the 53-year history of the business, as it looks to prepare for the next stage in its development and take advantage of the growing popularity of its high capacity and electric sideloaders.

The work includes the excavation of 1,200 lorry loads of earth, removing and buttressing much of a steep escarpment and adding over 3,000m2 of automated storage, around half of which will be underground. Over 700 locally-sources plants will add green space to the finished area, whilst decades-old olive trees have been carefully relocated.

A new rolling road, testing centre, energy supply upgrade and sandblasting area are also being added. A restructuring of the pre-assembly process is already underway, with full completion expected in late 2023.

Managing director, Klaus Pirpamer, said the work would set the foundations for the next generation of the company, which has recorded record sales for the past three years, despite the challenges of post-Covid supply chain issues and the impact of the conflict in Ukraine.

Said Klaus: “This project is incredibly important to our future. We needed to make significant changes to meet the challenges of the next 50 years, where electric machines in particular will dominate. That will also have an impact on our own power needs. We can also add efficiency to our storage operations as well as provide further space for our product innovation team.”

A number of important markets for Baumann have seen equipment capacities increase and industries such as timber, steel and concrete producers rediscovering the art of working sideways. The trend towards larger capacity models prompted a new production hall to be built in 2019, coinciding with the company’s 50th anniversary. At the time, the new hall was one of the biggest projects Baumann had undertaken – this latest expansion is around five times in scale.

“We’ve seen an unprecedented level of growth and all our departments here have done amazing work to respond to the difficult conditions,” says Klaus, “and this level of investment cannot be underestimated. Years of planning and negotiations with local authorities have been undertaken to reduce the environmental impact of the work, as well as keep one of the town’s largest employers in place.”

Earlier this year Baumann added a new robot welding line, overhead cranes, guided vehicle and new CNC machine to facilitate 90% of mast production in-house. The work is intended to allow Baumann to continue its philosophy of high quality, hand-built production by bringing further efficiencies and economies of scale to pre-assembly processes, such as welding, painting and CNC work.

“Our roots are firmly established in Cavaion,” adds Klaus. “We want to maximise the opportunities for our people and the increase in production capacity to boost efficiency. We remain a niche manufacturer in logistics, where consolidation has reduced the number of players but we feel strongly that our experience and expertise is unmatched. Many of our employees and customers have been with us for years, if not decades. The long-term continuity of both our work and philosophy is something we are working hard to achieve, grow and maintain.”

Based in Cavaion on the shores of Lake Garda, Baumann has led the sector for over 50 years, and now sells its products worldwide through 106 dealers in 76 countries. The multi-award winner produces equipment up to 50 tonnes capacity and has a reputation for consistent invention and the highest level of design and productivity.