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Viega CEO Dan Schmierer kicked off the event early by welcoming guests. “This facility represents Viega’s commitment to the plumbing and heating industry,” he told visitors. Joining Schmierer on stage were 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 is a family-owned business employing 500 employees in North America and approximately 2,800 people world-wide. 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-style BBQ lunch complete with 12 oz. ribeye steaks and a cake spanning 3 feet by 5 feet, which resembled the enormous facility. The $40 million Manufacturing and Distribution Center spans 11-acres, equating to nearly 10 football fields under one roof, the company says.
The new facility is equipped with extrusion and injection molding machines, logistics and office space. The new state-of-the art equipment it employs will help streamline operations, improve efficiency and provide Viega employees the space to start developing new products. According to Viega, 22 states throughout the Midwest will receive all Viega products from this location.
When Viegener was asked if he would have invested such a large facility had he known the housing industry was about to collapse, he 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 termed 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, which Viega is confident will happen, this new facility will enable the company to easily meet the demands of the rebounding housing industry, the company said.