ZF Marine has opened a new facility in the New Orleans area that has dedicated transmission and thruster repair facilities, a larger warehouse and training areas.
The new facility, which the company calls the North American Commercial Craft Center of Competence, is in Elmwood, La.
ZF has had a long-standing presence in the state. The company opened its first location in St. Rose in 1996. An increasing base of customers, combined with the addition of the commercial thruster product line in 2009, resulted in the need for a larger physical presence.
The facility is triple the size of ZF’s previous location and offers more modern office space for field technicians and office personnel.
Because a significant portion of ZF’s North American commercial craft business is conducted in the New Orleans area, the decision was made to house the management team for the company’s commercial and fast craft business at the new facility.
“Our top management responsible for the commercial and fast craft business in North America is now positioned right amongst our customer base,” North America Industrial Technology division director Wolfgang Schmid said in a statement. (Schmid also heads business unit marine and special driveline technology in North and Central America.)
“Creating this Commercial Craft Center of Competence creates a resource center for our customers,” said Schmid, who is also head of business unit marine and special driveline technology for North and Central America. “We have the naval architects, the application engineers and all of the support personnel necessary to offer the benchmark support our customers expect. Whether it’s a new build, repower, repair or routine maintenance, this facility will be the center of support for those activities in North America.”
In his address to the gathered audience of industry dignitaries and ZF Marine employees, Klaus Geissdoerfer, head of the ZF Group Industrial Technology division, focused on the rapidly changing technology landscape of intelligent mechanical systems and next-generation autonomous vehicles, and the technology transfer that will be seen from land-based vehicles to marine vessels.
Geissdoerfer talked about the investment in the Elmwood facility.
“This new facility will help you, our customers, receive even more comprehensive service and support than ever before,” Geissdoerfer said.
As an example, Geissdoerfer mentioned the use of Bluetooth-enabled wearable technology that field technicians from the Elmwood facility will be using in the very near future to allow real-time interaction with product experts in the office while they’re out on field service calls.