Ottobock steps up European production, moves some wheelchair fabrication from China

Ottobock Bulgaria production plant opening ceremony

Ottobock is stepping up production in Europe after officially opening a new equipment plant in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria.

A team of 225 employees currently work in Blagoevgrad, which is Ottobock’s tenth production location. Eventually it will employ up to 300 staff.

The plant in Bulgaria serves as a production site for finished products and components primarily for manual activities.

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The corresponding assembly and production processes are therefore being transferred across from Duderstadt, Königsee and Vienna.

Production steps in wheelchair fabrication that were previously carried out in China will now be performed in Bulgaria as well.

As a result, the products will be available much more quickly and at the same high level of quality.

The moves will also allow the teams in Duderstadt, Königsee and Vienna to focus on their strategic competencies, the company said.

Select products in the supply chain that were previously manufactured externally will now be produced in-house going forward.

Less time will be required for implementing new products, and existing products can be upgraded more quickly.

“Blagoevgrad is an ideal location for our new plant,” said Hans Georg Näder, owner and chairman of Ottobock. “It has an optimal infrastructure, the people are very well-trained and technically adept, and we are creating new jobs in the EU by selecting this as our location.”

The city of Blagoevgrad is located in a region of southwestern Bulgaria with well-developed logistics and personnel. Its location allows for shorter and therefore more sustainable delivery routes.

The new plant represents the final step in Ottobock’s production structure known as ‘Operations Footprint’, which is part of a strategy that has been underway for the past three years.

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Andrew Seymour

The author Andrew Seymour

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