Stiegelmeyer China starts bed production in Foshan

The German manufacturer celebrated the official opening of its Chinese facilities

More than 120 years of innovations in health and long-term care, German brand quality and international experience: the Stiegelmeyer Group is one of the world's most successful manufacturers of medical beds. With the launch of Stiegelmeyer China, the German family-owned company is now dedicating itself to the Asian market even more than before.

The new subsidiary is based in Foshan, an up-andcoming city of millions northwest of Hong Kong. In 2021, Managing Director Jochen Zhu-Schleiss and his team moved into a modern office space on the 30th floor of a high-rise building and began preparing for production and distribution and finding regional suppliers. They are now setting out with high goals – in the truest sense of the word. Because the new factory with 5,000 square metres of space is also located in a skyscraper and occupies the 6th and 7th floors there. Factories in skyscrapers are common in Chinese megacities to save space.

The new production site comprises three areas: the innovation centre, the assembly plant and the warehouse for the dispatch of the beds. In the impressive innovation centre, there are 16 workplaces for employees from the areas of product planning, engineering and development. There are also inviting lounge areas for discussions and a large training room: "Here we can train nursing staff and technicians from our customers as well as our own employees," explains Mr Zhu-Schleiss.

The heart of the production facility is an assembly line over 20 metres long. The production of the care beds Libra, variant bodenfrei Plus, and Libra partner by Stiegelmeyer as well as the models Dali and Dali low-entry by Burmeier is currently being tested here. Within the Stiegelmeyer Group, the Stiegelmeyer brand stands for hospitals and nursing homes, while Burmeier is responsible for homecare.

The selected beds are particularly well suited for the entry into the Chinese market. For the Libra care bed, for example, he chose the variant bodenfrei Plus because the laminate or plastic floors in the local nursing rooms are often thoroughly cleaned with a mop, explains Mr Zhu-Schleiss. In the process, the bed's chassis cannot be in the way.

The Dali is Germany's best-selling care bed and is recognised throughout Europe for providing safe, comfortable care for residents in homecare. This model is tailor-made to support the rapid development and professionalisation of geriatric care in Asia. The low-height variant Dali low-entry protects users from fall injuries without restricting their freedom of movement. In addition to these care beds, Stiegelmeyer China is also planning to start manufacturing hospital beds in 2023.

The first deliveries are planned for this autumn. The principle of "China for China" applies to assembly and distribution: several regional suppliers produce the required wood and metal components, and the beds made in China are sold exclusively in Asia. It is helpful that important European partners of the Stiegelmeyer Group are also represented in China and can deliver from there. For example, the location of the Danish bed control manufacturer LINAK is only a 90-minute drive from Foshan. LINAK contributes the modern energysaving drives and the ergonomic handset for the beds.

To ensure that the assembly of the first beds can proceed smoothly, "back-up containers" with components from the European Stiegelmeyer plants have arrived in Foshan for the coming weeks. Sales of 500 beds are planned for 2022, and this number is to increase rapidly in 2023. At the end of August, Stiegelmeyer China employed ten people, according to Mr. Zhu-Schleiss, and by the end of the year this number is expected to rise to 40. Right from the start, Stiegelmeyer China has presented itself locally as an attractive employer.

The official opening of the production facility at the beginning of September was appropriately glamorous. Mr. Zhu-Schleiss hosted a social event with speeches, a buffet and a spectacular dragon performance. In the light-flooded halls, the guests were able to explore all the beds at length. In China, the dragon stands for luck, kindness, wisdom and success – qualities that Stiegelmeyer China has made its own.

The team is also looking beyond China. In the longer term, many Asian countries are to be supplied with customised products. In doing so, the new subsidiary can always rely on support from Europe. A strong export department and a modern engineering and development team in Germany are looking forward to promoting the global growth of the Stiegelmeyer Group. In addition to beds, the company also offers bedside cabinets, mattresses, furniture and digital solutions. The latter are developed in the Connectivity Lab at the German headquarters in Herford in close exchange with customers.

The launch of Stiegelmeyer China is a signal full of optimism in these challenging times. And it is an important building block in the company's goal of offering support and a new quality of life to people in health and long-term care worldwide.

STIEGELMEYER CHINA CO., LTD.
Rm 3007, Block 1, Poly Center, No. 8 South Wenhua South Road,
New Town, Lecong Shunde District, Foshan 528300, Guangdong, P.R. China
Phone : +86 757 298787100
Fax     : +86 757 28790210
Email   : inquiry@stiegelmeyer.cn

--Issue 58--

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