Classeq, the British warewashing manufacturer owned by Winterhalter, has opened a new, specially designed factory in Stafford, UK.
The factory, which opened officially on Wednesday 18 October, is located a few miles away from the company’s previous factory in Hixon, Staffordshire. Classeq’s workforce of 40 employees have all moved across to the new factory, which has a show room facility, a call centre for spare parts, ordering and technical enquiries and a manufacturing capacity to produce 15,000 warewashing machines each year, including the brand’s new undercounter DUO range, which launched earlier this year.
This year Classeq is celebrating 40 years of production in the UK since it first started producing dishwashers for commercial kitchens in the pub, restaurant, hotel and cafe sectors in 1977.
Jürgen Winterhalter, formerly CEO and a director of Winterhalter, said of the factory opening: “We are very proud of Classeq. It is the only UK manufacturer of dishwashers and is well set for the future. This new factory shows our commitment to the brand and its future. We are proud to celebrate a new milestone.”
At the opening party, which included a tree-planting ceremony, Jürgen Winterhalter also praised the company’s Manfred Rieger, who is retiring this year, for his “substantial contribution” to the business. David Smithson, managing director of Classeq, also thanked Rieger for his years of service while stating how positive he is for the brand’s future in its new setting. “This is an incredibly exciting move in Classeq’s growth and underpins our 100% commitment to our manufacturing future in the UK.”
Classeq’s technical director Gary Jones also marked the opening of the new factory with an epic bicycle ride, pedalling from Stafford to Winterhalter’s headquarters in Meckenbeuren, Germany, clocking up 1,400 kilometres in 11 days, to pick up the keys to the new facility from Jürgen Winterhalter and his son Ralph, CEO of Winterhalter.
The new factory in Stafford boasts impressive manufacturing capabilities in a state-of-the-art facility. It currently takes the Classeq team just one hour and six minutes to make its undercounter machines from scratch, with the goal to get this down to under one hour in the near future.
Pass-through machines take between 2-3 hours to build from a fresh order being received, the aim being to reduce this down to 1.5 hours next year.
Every machine in the factory undergoes at least 45 minutes of rigorous testing and is issued with a unique serial number for its entire life cycle. Machines are shipped across the world, with the brand performing well in South Africa and Australia, while the factory is currently producing between 30-50 machines just for the UK market each day.