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Atlas Copco (SE) invests in its innovative Flanders site

Over the next three years, Swedish industrial group Atlas Copco is investing EUR 70 million in its Wilrijk site in Flanders. The investment focuses on innovation with additional R&D capacity, an expansion of the company’s smart factory, new production technology and the continued retraining of its employees. By initiating these projects, Atlas Copco is only adding to its local anchorage in Flanders, which earned it the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Trophy from Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT) in 2021. 

Atlas Copco in Flanders

The Wilrijk site in Flanders is Atlas Copco’s most advanced R&D excellence center for compressed air worldwide. With these investments, we innovate once again for a more sustainable future.

Wouter Ceulemans
President Airtec Division at Atlas Copco

Three pillars for futureproof investments

The newly announced investments are a continuation of projects that started in 2018 with new production technology for Atlas Copco’s smart factory and the (re)training of staff. With its Airpower Master Plan, Atlas Copco focuses its investment efforts on three main pillars: 

  • innovation (including new production technologies and machinery, increased R&D capacity, the expansion of laboratories and extra production space for core components of the Atlas Copco smart factory);
  • attractive working environment
  • mobility and safety

The “university” of compressed air

“The Wilrijk site is our most advanced compressed air R&D excellence center in the world. With over 800 engineers, it is often dubbed the ‘university’ of compressed air," says Vagner Rego, Business Area President Compressor Technique at Atlas Copco. “Here, we develop, test and produce new industrial ideas. With innovative solutions focused on energy efficiency, energy conversion and digitalization, we want to offer our customers the most energy-efficient and sustainable solutions that also make a positive contribution to society and the environment.”

Attractive and safe working environment

In addition, Atlas Copco wants to create an attractive working environment for its employees in Wilrijk. Through a hybrid work policy for office workers, the site should become the place to be to create and innovate together. Furthermore, the Swedish group remains committed to lifelong learning by investing in the retraining and education of its employees in Flanders. 

Last but not least, Atlas Copco is also investing in mobility and safety on and around its Wilrijk site, including new parking infrastructure and, in time, an on-site truck waiting zone to limit truck traffic around the site. Furthermore, the company is providing green solutions to strengthen local water storage capacity. As such, Atlas Copco is providing an eight-meter-wide green buffer zone on its Flanders-based site, while transferring 8,156 m² of land to the Province of Antwerp free of charge to be turned into an open space area. 

Future success, rooted in the past

The recently announced investments are bound to further boost Atlas Copco's successful business activities in Flanders. In 2021, the Swedish group's local anchorage in the region received major recognition from Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT), which presented Atlas Copco with the 2021 Lifetime Achievement Trophy for its decades-spanning dedication. Check out the company's legacy in Flanders in the video below!

More info

Atlas Copco
Reported by
press release Atlas Copco
5 July 2022

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