The Görlitz Innovation Campus

A manufacturing plant reinvents itself: Siemens’ turbine production location in Görlitz, Germany is evolving into a cooperation platform for decarbonization, digitalization and new manufacturing technologies.
Görlitz as an industrial and innovation location

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Green. Energy. Network.

Innovation forms our future.

Siemens’ turbine manufacturing plant in Görlitz, Germany looks back on a long history marked by continuous change. Since 1906, the story of this production location has been shaped by technical innovations, changing product portfolios, changes in owners driven by the course of history, and the transformation of markets. Yet, one thing has always remained constant: Energy. 

 

Ever since its founding, this industrial production site has been delivering products and solutions for generating electric power and heat. And, in future, energy conversion and storage will continue to be the most important driver of the Görlitz Innovation Campus.

 

Going forward, the Görlitz Innovation Campus will be a cooperation platform conceived as an ecosystem of new structures and innovative concepts devoted to fields of research and development that seek answers for ensuring our future energy supply.

Do we really need innovations, at all? It’s a question worth asking. My answer is: absolutely, if we want to be able to shape our future. Innovation is imperative for the Görlitz location because we want to continue to play a lead pioneering role in the market for energy systems.
Hagen Semmer, Görlitz Location Manager, Siemens Gas & Power GmbH und Co. KG
Dezember 2019

Innovation Campus Görlitz is taking shape

The Siemens innovation campus enters the next phase: On December 2, memorandums of understanding for collaborations and local establishments have been signed, in the presence of Saxony’s Minister President Michael Kretschmer. With the support of the Free State of Saxony and the city of Görlitz, among others, Siemens was able to win long-term partners with a strong innovation background - the Technical University of Dresden, the Hochschule Zittau/Görlitz – University of Applied Sciences (HSZG), and the HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management. 

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Press release

At a glance

What’s the Innovation Campus all about?

The world’s growing population and the industrial processes of a future shaped by rising demand for energy and climate change demand answers for sustainable, affordable and reliable energy supply.

 

Siemens will not find all the answers on its own. Only by pooling knowledge and practical expertise and by working in partnerships to unleash creativity and innovative solution approaches will we succeed in mastering these challenges.

We stand at the cusp of the most far-reaching transformation in the global energy market since electricity was first introduced. It’s vital now that we play a decisive role in shaping this process. This makes it all the more important to develop our innovative abilities into a regional center of excellence through diversity and networking of expertise.
Christoph Scholze, Innovation Manager at the Görlitz Innovation Campus, Siemens Gas & Power GmbH und Co KG.
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Hydrogen is an element that offers huge potential. There’s a lot of renewed focus today on “green hydrogen”, which is produced in processes driven by electricity generated from renewable energy sources and used as an alternative fuel or storage medium instead of fossil fuels. We’re working in cooperative partnerships to explore the role that hydrogen will play in what stands to be the biggest transformation in the energy market since humankind began generating and using electricity.

 
In this way, we’re creating an ecosystem for what will be one of the most attractive future-oriented fields over the long term when it comes to measures for combatting climate change – and thus also when it comes to ensuring Germany’s competitiveness in industries of the future.
Joe Kaeser, President and CEO of Siemens AG, in July 2019 at Görlitz turbine manufacturing plant

Future pact for Görlitz

Siemens, the Free State of Saxony and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft agreed on a future pact for Görlitz. On July 15, 2019, the three partners signed a memorandum of understanding today in Görlitz, Germany, to strengthen this location over the long term and support the structural transformation of Germany’s Lusatia region.

The key facts:

  • Innovation campus for attracting high-tech companies 
  • Hydrogen research laboratory with Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft 
  • Investments to total around €30 million, roughly 100 new jobs 

 

New manufacturing technologies and digitally networked processes are revolutionizing value chains. They’re creating whole new possibilities and significantly expanding the diversity of producible components, while also making production faster and more cost-effective.

 

 

One critical factor in many industrial processes is their high demand for energy. Industries account for almost 20% of the emissions worldwide that are driving climate change. This is why leveraging decarbonization to limit the greenhouse effect is becoming a crucial goal of global industrial and energy policy-making. 

The Görlitz Turbine Manufacturing Plant wants to be a trailblazer in the low-carbon economy by achieving climate-neutral production by the year 2025.

 

 

 

 

Power-to-X: Solution for decarbonization

Siemens supports global decarbonization, the shift from fossil to renewable energy sources and the associated massive reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

 

The Innovation Lab will network experts who share knowledge, expertise, ideas, and creative processes in this continuously expanding ecosystem. At the same time, they’ll have access to the location infrastructure such as manufacturing technologies and production halls, and can utilize these assets as a basis for developing their own business models and products.

Everyone who has a good idea is welcome.
Joe Kaeser, CEO of Siemens AG, commenting on the future Görlitz Innovation Campus where small startups are being invited to set up shop and join in the industrial development of the post-coal era.
Over a hundred years of industrial tradition

Creating a future full of opportunities

Siemens’ turbine manufacturing plant in Görlitz, Germany has long played a vital part in the city’s industrial history, as it continues to do so today. This factory has been undergoing continuous technical transformation ever since it was founded over 100 years ago, always adapting to market dynamics and thereby developing into a strong and future-focused production site.

The signs all point to the future – the strength to innovate, the spirit of research, and the will to continuously improve and further develop are the driving forces behind a major, highly ambitious undertaking: 

 

the Fraunhofer Society, the Free State of Saxony, and Siemens AG sign a memorandum of understanding to transform Siemens’ manufacturing plant in Görlitz into an Innovation Campus.

 

The President and CEO of Siemens AG, Joe Kaeser, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel visit and tour the site.

 

The new Enhanced Platform Design combines proven standards of industrial steam turbines with new technology. These design modifications make it possible with the same, unaltered set of resources to improve turbine performance and expand the scope of unit applications.

 

These new industrial steam turbines an be operated under main steam pressures of up to 165 bar in combination with main steam temperatures of up to 565 degrees Celsius.

Siemens’ Görlitz Manufacturing Plant delivers its 2,000th steam turbine – an 8-MW back-pressure turbine-generator set, i.e. a relatively small industrial steam turbine paired with an electrical generator – to a sugar factory in Turkey.

The company location Turbinenwerk Görlitz (TuG) is incorporated into Siemens AG in 1992. The location employees a workforce numbering some 1,100 at the time. The plant completes production of its first Siemens steam turbine one year later, a unit of the 1-5 MW G-series modular system.

Direct contact between the company Görlitzer Maschinenbau (GMB) and the Industrial Turbines unit of Siemens KWU in Erlangen, Germany is first established in 1984, before Germany’s reunification.

 

In 1990, following German reunification, Siemens reprivatizes the company as the German limited liability entity “GMB GmbH”. The management of GMB and Siemens KWU Erlangen announce their intent to merge in a memorandum of understanding.

 

The company Siemens Turbinenbau GmbH was then consequentially founded in 1991.

In 1970, the Kombinat Kraftwerksanlagenbau (KKAB) – a combine state-owned business conglomerate formed under East German socialist law – is established with headquarters in East Berlin. Creation of this business group brings significant investments aimed at increasing the location’s ability to export products. The new, modern turbine blade manufacturing capacity improves productivity as well.

 

One area of focus of the combine is to develop its own products. The location’s facilities include its own data center and electric power systems for manufacturing special tools.

In 1952 the plant completes its first new steam turbine since the end of the Second World War. The turbine is constructed in the new EKM design intended for power plant applications.

 

In 1953, the company is renamed the “Energie- und Kraftmaschinenbau Görlitzer Maschinenbau VEB”, or EKM GMB VEB for short.

After the complete dismantling and removal of the factory’s machinery in 1945, the state-run “Volkseigener Betrieb Görlitzer Maschinenbau (GMB)” is founded in 1947, which continues to operate in this business form until 1990.

1935 sees the delivers of the 3,500th steam turbine. The total electrical generating capacity of all steam turbines manufactured in Görlitz (the number rose in the 1960s to 3,632 units) is 1,165 MW. Today, just nine of Siemens’ SST-600-series steam turbines can equal this output.

 

Sales of WUMAG steam turbines rose in the 1930s to over 20 units per year.

Three companies – Görlitzer Maschinenbauanstalt und Eisengiesserei AG, Görlitzer Waggonbau AG, and Cottbuser Maschinenbauanstalt und Eisengiesserei AG – merge to form Waggon- und Maschinenbau AG Görlitz, or WUMAG for short.

 

WUMAG focuses on building new and larger steam turbines suitable for application in complex thermal configurations. 

Steam turbines delivering a maximum power output of 7,000 horsepower (hp) were not up the task of meeting 20th-century demand for electricity. The Görlitzer Maschinenbausanstalt (GMA) decided in 1903 to begin manufacturing steam turbines. 

 

The first 700-hp steam turbine that GMA constructed is delivered in 1906 to the utility company Elektrizitätswerke Liegnitz in what at that time was Germany’s Lower Silesia region, today in southwestern Poland.

 

From 1910 onward, the company develops its own designs geared for use in power plants and industrial processes. In 1912 the plant completes and delivers its first compressor-drive turbine. The company also supplies its first steam turbine to an overseas customer, in Argentina.

The company Görlitzer Maschinenbau-Anstalt und Eisengiesserei (GMA) acquires a 176,300-m² piece of land on the southern edge of the city. Efforts to move all workshops and offices from the original riverbank location on the Lusatian Neisse River into the factory at the new site are completed by 1886.

Wilhelm Steininger establishes a workshop for fabricating textile machinery on what today is Görlitz’s Jakob-Böhme-Strasse on the bank of the Lusatian Neisse River. 

 

 The machinery factory delivers its first steam engine in 1858.