Being in city is both a benefit and a privilege

While twenty seconds may seem just a short period of time, when talking about how fire spreads, it can also be a long time. Industrial fire alarms, such as those used in tunnels, factories and offices, react 20 seconds faster when compared with conventional ones for the home, and these new high-tech alarms are just some of the products manufactured by the Siemens company. 

It is these more advanced fire alarms that for years Siemens has been making near Zug station, some 2.5 million a year in fact. Worldwide, Siemens produces five million of them, but heater controls, valves and actuators, i.e. all the items you need to regulate a building, are also made here in Zug.

Speaking prior to the opening of the new campus, Matthias Rebellius, the head of Siemens Building Technologies (BT), said Zug would long be the location of choice as a competence centre for building technology, as he disclosed that the German industrial concern was planning to create three virtually independent divisions out of five hitherto.

Rebellius went on to confirm that, as from April of next year, Zug would be the main headquarters of the Smart Infrastructure division, under the direction of CEO Cedrik Neike. In practice, this will not mean that much change, bearing in mind the headquarters of the previous BT division were also in Zug. Nevertheless, the news emphasises the company’s strong commitment to the city. “Zug is our home,” said Rebellius. “Being here is both a great benefit and privilege and it is very much an attractive location for specialist employees.”

While there will be much automation, it is not thought many new jobs will be created by all this restructuring. At present, 1,700 people work at Siemens in Zug, just under 400 of them in the modernised factory. Indeed, it is here in the new production plant and offices that the company has invested as much as CHF250 million. The opening of the new premises by company boss Joe Kaeser also coincided with the setting-up of Siemens Building Technologies after it took over the industrial arm of the Elektrowatt company in 1998.

Not that the company has not had its ups and downs, the sudden increase in the value of the Swiss franc in January 2015 meant 150 people in Zug losing their jobs, though nowadays the BT division is the most profitable one, with profit margins as high as 11.4 per cent. Not content with this, the company is looking to raise them to as high as15 per cent at the Smart Infrastructure division.   

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