Two years after breaking ground, the Miba Forum opens today, the new headquarters and customer, technology and learning center of the technology group based in Laakirchen. With the building designed by Delugan Meissl Associated Architects, Miba is taking an approach to office architecture and to the collaboration between teams that is entirely new for Austria’s industrial sector. Miba also celebrates its 90th anniversary of the company’s founding in 1927.
“The new building is intended to be a place offering the ideal conditions for fostering innovative spirit and creativity,” explains Miba’s CEO F. Peter Mitterbauer. Especially in times of major change, it is crucial that we share new ideas and approaches within the Company, engage in a discussion and, in this way, further develop them. This calls for new forms of collaboration, internal communication and team building. The Miba Forum offers the ideal setting for this. It provides a location for meetings and dialogue, where Miba’s employees can develop their creative potential even better.”
Breaking away from traditional office structures
The architecture and the spatial design of the Miba Forum intentionally renounces traditional models of working. Open rooms, flexible workplaces and a large number of meeting and creative zones foster collaboration beyond team and departmental borders. In this way, the exchange of information, ideas and new solutions is facilitated throughout the various corporate areas.
The building was planned and implemented by the award-winning Viennese architectural firm Delugan Meissl Associated Architects. “The Miba Forum is a reinterpretation of the square courtyard widely seen in Upper Austria,” explains architect Roman Delugan. “A design with regional roots was chosen to meet the requirements of the building as a meeting and communication center with the aim of adequately reflecting the standing of a globally operating company. The typology of the square courtyard traditional in the region was reinterpreted. This makes it possible to find a contemporary solution for both implementing the values that make up the Company’s identity as well as meeting functional standards. The work areas combined with the conference, meeting and training rooms are situated on around 4,600 m2 of floor space. Different functional areas are located on two floors grouped around an interior courtyard. Practical focal points such as “Meet and Collaborate,” “Technology,” “Learn and Grow” are located mainly on the ground floor. In addition, the building includes an office world designed according to new models of working.
Capital expenditure as a commitment to Upper Austria as a business location
Construction of the Miba Forum is part of Miba’s major capital expenditure program in Upper Austria. A total of EUR 155 million has been invested in the five Miba sites in the state since 2010 including growing the Aurachkirchen site, expanding High Tech Coatings and modernizing Miba Sinter Austria in Vorchdorf. In addition, Miba has invested heavily in machinery and technology, including in two new sputter systems and a new engine bearing production line for Miba Gleitlager Austria in Laakirchen. Miba invested around EUR 11 million in the Miba Forum. Furthermore, since 2010, the Company has created around 500 additional jobs and invested around 205 million in research and development in Upper Austria alone. “We remain true to our roots and, through the construction of the Miba Forum, we express our long-term commitment to the business location of Upper Austria,” emphasizes F. Peter Mitterbauer.
90 Years of Miba: Successes of the past are a mission for the future
Miba Forum official opening date coincides with the celebration of the 90th anniversary of the Company’s founding. In 1927, 22-year-old Franz Mitterbauer took over the metalworking shop from his master, laying the cornerstone for Miba. From the repair workshop, Miba grew to become a manufacturer of engine bearings. The sintering business was established in the 1970s. After the death of the Company’s founder, his son Peter Mitterbauer took over the Company’s management in 1983 and transformed Miba into a globally operating group. In 2013, F. Peter Mitterbauer succeeded his father as Chairman of the Management Board of Miba AG, representing the third generation to successfully manage the business. “At Miba, we cannot rest on our laurels or consider our successes of the past to be a safety buffer. Rather they are a mission and an incentive to work intensively on Miba’s future,” says Miba CEO F. Peter Mitterbauer, charting a clear course.
Clear strategy for the future in times of major change
In the years to come, the digitalization of the industrial sector and electromobility will lead to ever greater changes. “We have a clear corporate mission,” explains Miba CEO F. Peter Mitterbauer. “Every day, we work to make our world a little bit cleaner with Miba technologies. No matter what type of drive technology, we are making our contribution to the reduction of CO2 emissions, increased efficiency of existing drive concepts and innovations related to new, alternative mobility concepts and energy sources.” Miba therefore works intensively to further improve conventional power train technologies. Going forward, these still offer a great deal of improvement potential in terms of efficiency, cleanliness and noise reduction. In addition, Miba has for some years been devoting attention to new types of drives such as hybrid technology and purely electric drives. In addition, the technology group develops and produces power electronics components for more efficient energy generation and power transmission.
Miba is also heavily involved in leveraging opportunities arising from digitalization. “By many companies, digitalization is seen mainly as a way to optimize production methods and processes. We have a much broader view of this issue,” explains F. Peter Mitterbauer. “Our goal is to find a digital added value for our customers from our products. That could be components equipped with sensors to continuously measure data and, in this way, to provide their user with information on the ideal maintenance and replacement dates. As Miba, we also want to utilize the potential of big data – in other words, the wealth of information and data existing in the Company.”
Picture galery from the official opening ceremony: http://www.cityfoto.at/content/de/fotogalerie/13287/