RATIONAL passed a milestone in June 2021 as the 50,000th iVario was manufactured. The success of the cooking system has led to the need for the company to expand its production facilities at Wittenheim in France. Consequently, as the latest iVario headed for its new home in Verdun, members of the RATIONAL management team were laying the foundation stone for a new factory, offices, training centre and company restaurant, all housed in a 10,000 m2 sustainable building due to open in Spring 2023.
Having already expanded production in 2015, we now need to adjust capacity again to meet growing demand,” said Peter Wiedemann, Chief Technology Officer at RATIONAL, during the ceremony to lay the foundation stone. “The production of the 50,000th iVario proves that we are producing outstanding products.”
The Wittenheim factory delivers to over 120 countries and RATIONAL is investing 30 million euros in the new building, creating a production capacity of 25,000 cooking systems per year. The building’s office complex will have around 100 workplaces and, as well as the training centre and 300-seater restaurant, the facility will also have a small museum.
RATIONAL is taking advantage of the opportunity to build a truly sustainable building. The steel construction will be highly insulated and extremely energy-efficient; the building will be heated and cooled by a heat pump; intelligent, daylight-dependent LED lighting controls with separate lighting zones will save energy; and the high proportion of glass in the façade will ensure the best possible working conditions.
As for the 50,000th iVario cooking system, it’s going to the Bistro d’Elo in Verdun, France, which is due to open in July 2021. Owner Elodie Louvet said: “I’m looking forward to using my new iVario for the first time and feel like I’m waiting for my Christmas present.” Since she works alone in the kitchen, she’s also ordered a RATIONAL iCombi Pro to go alongside her iVario in her new venture.
Like Elodie Louvet, Peter Wiedemann is also optimistic about the future: “We look forward to turning many more customers into satisfied customers,” he said on the occasion of two celebrations at once – the 50,000th iVario and the foundation stone laying.
Image credit: RATIONAL
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Editor, International Bakery
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