On June 27 we enjoyed with more than 30 participants a fascinating visit to two leading companies in Styria, AVL List GmbH and ANDRITZ HYDRO GmbH, as well as a reception in the Town Hall of its capital, Graz.
Prof. Dr. Helmut List, the Chairman of AVL, his wife Kathryn and his team of managers gave us a very warm welcome. Prof. List was born 1941 in Graz and is an engineer, businessman and philanthropist. 1979 Prof. Helmut List took over AVL, founded in 1948, from his famous father and pioneer Hans List, who was already 83 at the time. Given his current age Prof. Helmut List is following in the footsteps of his father, being the CEO of AVL List GmbH.
After an extended presentation of AVL List GmbH by Prof. Helmut List, followed by an overview of the AVL Cultural Foundation by its manager, Ms. Kathryn List, we had a tour through parts of the company and could enjoy among other activities a visit to central testing area for cars and a driving simulator.
AVL is the world's largest independent company for the development, simulation and testing of powertrain systems (hybrid, combustion engine, transmission, electric drive, batteries, fuel cell and control technology) for passenger cars, commercial vehicles, construction, large engines and their integration into the vehicle.
The company has decades of experience in the development and optimization of powertrain systems for all industries. As a global technology leader, AVL provides complete and integrated development environments, measurement and test systems as well as the state-of-the-art simulation methods.
As a pioneer in the field of innovation solutions, such as diverse electrification strategies for powertrains, AVL is increasingly taking on new tasks in the field of autonomous driving, especially on the basis of subjective human sensations (driveability, connectivity, ADAS, etc.). In the competition of technologies - internal combustion engine, battery/electric drive and fuel cell - and their combinations, AVL is working intensively and with the same priorities.
AVL has digitized the vehicle development process with state-of-the-art and highly scalable IT, software and technology platforms, and creates new customer solutions in the areas of big data, artificial intelligence, simulation and embedded systems in an agile and integrated development environment.
AVL has more than 10,400 employees in 45 affiliates worldwide, 4,150 in its headquarters and research centre in Graz.
After the visit to AVL we visited the town hall of Graz. We enjoyed a very kind reception of the Member of the City Council, Univ.-Prof. Dr. med. Daisy Kopera, who gave us an introduction and overview of the history and the activities of the city council showing us the remarkable premises of the City Council and offering us the opportunity to have a look from the balcony of the town hall to the central place and the famous clock tower of Graz. We then were invited for lunch in the town hall.
The next visit was to the headquarters of another leading Austrian company, ANDRITZ AG, respectively ANDRITZ GROUP, in Graz-Andritz. We were received by the Chief of Marketing, Dr. Uwe Seebacher and Senior Sales Manager of Large Hydro, Mr. Michael Sommer, as well as other top managers of the company.
The headquarters of the international ANDRITZ GROUP supplies technologies and services for all business areas. The cornerstone of today?s international technology Group ANDRITZ was laid in 1852 when a small iron foundry was set up by the Hungarian entrepreneur Josef Körösi in Andritz, a suburb of the city of Graz.
Today, with its approximately 1,200 highly qualified employees at its headquarters, ANDRITZ AG in Graz supplies technologies and services for all of its five business areas. ANDRITZ is a globally leading supplier of supplier of plant, equipment and services for hydropower stations, the pulp and paper industry, the metalworking and steel industries, and for solid / liquid separation in the municipal and industrial sectors, as well as for animal feed and biomass pelleting. The company has a staff of over 29,000 employees and operates more than 280 sites in 40 countries. ANDRITZ Hydro has been operating in the hydraulic power generation sector for more than 175 years.
In close cooperation with the customers, continuous development of new technologies takes place in R&D facilities and pilot plants.
The manufacturing department with a total area of 95,000 m2 produces and assembles components for about 90 different products for the Hydro, Pulp & Paper, Separation, and Metals business areas, and also carries out repair, rebuild and field installation work. In its own apprenticeship workshop ANDRITZ educates young skilled workers.
ANDRITZ contributes substantially towards creating economic value locally and is very important for Graz as a business location because it creates or safeguards jobs in the region, both in the company itself and indirectly through its cooperation with numerous local suppliers.
The company has close links to research institutions and is a member of industrial and environmental clusters. In June 2017 ANDRITZ became a part of the Green Tech cluster and is thus strengthening the Province of Styria as a hotspot for innovative energy and environmental technology. Within the cluster, ANDRITZ is seeking to promote digital initiatives and cooperation with start-ups.
Mr. Sommer and others from the management showed us around the enormous manufacturing halls as well as research and testing areas. They offered us an additional impression of the activities of the company.