Lufthansa Technik is building a research and development center in Hamburg for the Cabin Innovation business unit. Construction will start in March and the move into the new building is scheduled to begin as early as December. The new building represents an investment of around 10 million euros. In addition to offices, the center will feature state-of-the-art testing laboratories and exhibition areas for the new products that are being developed for customers around the world.
"The new building will represent an expansion of Lufthansa Technik's competence in the field of cabin innovation," said August Wilhelm Henningsen, Chairman of the Board at Lufthansa Technik, "and we are paving the way for the long-term growth of the business unit in Hamburg." At the present time, 60 employees are on the core team of Cabin Innovation at Lufthansa Technik. That figure should climb to 100 at the new innovation center. Other positive effects on jobs will be generated through the supplier operations that will be settling in the building as well. All in all, 200 people will be employed there.
The new innovation center will be built using a combination of modular and solid structures with a front constructed using a thermal insulation composite system. Five stories will provide a total gross area of 6,500 square meters, 2,500 for offices and 4,000 for laboratories, workshops and special presentation rooms. The firm of architects responsible for the building is Renner Hainke Wirth Architekten GmbH. They also designed the reception building of Lufthansa's base in Hamburg, which has been awarded several prizes.
The most modern testing facilities to monitor the airworthiness of new products (pre-compliance tests) are being built in a "qualification lab," which includes an environmental testing chamber, devices to ensure electromagnetic compatibility, as well as vibration and crash tests. Lufthansa Technik's existing Office of Airworthiness will be moving into the new building.
"This new innovation center will lead to a considerable improvement in the networking of Hamburg's pooled expertise relating to airplane cabins," Henningsen stressed.
For Bernhard Conrad, head of development and innovation and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Lufthansa Technik, one thing is certain: "The new innovation center will allow us to expand our position as the leading one-stop shop for products related to the cabin. The concepts for future standards for airlines, as well as business and VIP business jet customers, will emerge in this building. Cabin Innovation began very modestly and developed into a very successful core business of Lufthansa Technik."
The new home for the Cabin Innovation business unit is part of a major investment program at Lufthansa's base in Hamburg. In February 2008 the cornerstone was laid on an additional 15,000 square meter engine overhaul center. The Airframe Related Components business unit will be enlarged with a new facility, and the Landing Gear unit is investing heavily in its expansion of an existing building.