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Around 30 Million Invested in Achim - Zeppelin Power Systems expands site with the latest test facilities and production halls


Zeppelin Power Systems is experiencing rapid growth and has embarked on a major expansion of its Achim location, near Bremen. Around 30 million euros have been invested in a state-of-the-art high-performance test facility, production halls and warehouses, and a large office building with its own training center. The official opening on June 3 was attended by around 500 visitors – including Peter Gerstmann (Chairman of the Management Board of the Zeppelin Group), Jim Umpleby, (Group President, Caterpillar Inc.) and Achim`s mayor, Rainer Ditzfeld – who learned more about innovative engineering and construction plans.

Since it was established as an independent business unit of the Zeppelin Group, Zeppelin Power Systems has continuously invested in and expanded the Achim location. The last major construction phase resulted in a second engine test facility with three state-of-the-art test cells, several production halls and warehouses, and an office wing of around 3,000 m², which also includes a cutting-edge training center.


On June 3, Zeppelin Power Systems officially inaugurated its new engine test facility and the other buildings. Around 500 customers, visitors and prestigious guests from Caterpillar, the Zeppelin Group and Achim mayor, Rainer Ditzfeld, accepted the invitation and took the opportunity to learn more about the extended service and sales portfolio of Zeppelin Power Systems. 

As a leading provider of drive, propulsion, traction and energy systems, Zeppelin Power Systems conducted a tour to present its individual, high-efficiency system solutions and comprehensive services in the areas of industrial and marine applications, the oil and gas industry, rail vehicles, and energy and heat production. 


Engine test facility – mechanical and electrical test runs in eight test areas in total


With the new test facility, Zeppelin Power Systems has now extended its first test area to eight test cells in total. Equipped with cutting-edge technology, it is possible to perform all the necessary mechanical and electrical test runs for our Cat® engines and powertrains across all performance classes.

“Equipped with the latest technology, we use the test facility to perform all the required test runs – both mechanical and electrical,” explained Volker Poßögel, CEO at Zeppelin Power Systems, commenting on the new system. “We can now also provide load tests for external mechanical and plant engineering companies on the market, where performance certificates or application optimization are needed.”

Efficient drive, propulsion, traction and energy systems with customized service – the focus for 2016

As well as presenting the proven areas of expertise, Sales and Service presented their new ranges and the main focus for the current year.

With respect to sustainability and environmental protection, the power and heat units division focused its presentation on its gas engine portfolio. Engineers from the construction department presented the extensive planning phase of a CHP plant. The importance of sustainable solutions to the marine sector is continuing to increase, which is why Zeppelin Power Systems have trialled solutions for ballast water treatment and ships’ systems. 

The visitors discovered that Zeppelin Power Systems is about far more than just engine sales. Its services also include comprehensive engineering and service solutions. From planning and CAD design to realization and commissioning, the long-standing Caterpillar partner offers complete drive, propulsion, traction and energy systems. These include customized service and maintenance expertise for all segments with digital solution for remote monitoring and system integration.

With a constant focus on the benefit to the customer, the company has also realigned its strategic focus with respect to service expertise. Since the turn of the year, rail vehicle customers have benefited from a new service competence center in Lippstadt with its own siding, which was developed in collaboration with Westfälische Landes-Eisenbahn (WLE). Zeppelin Power Systems also offers its own turbocharger service with a cutting-edge workshop in Hamburg. 


Zeppelin – a Caterpillar partner for more than 60 years


The partnership between Caterpillar and Zeppelin partner has existed for more than 60 years. “Quality and reliability, tradition and state-of-the-art engineering expertise with worldwide service: This is the commitment made by Caterpillar and Zeppelin,” says Volker Poßögel. “And Zeppelin Power Systems today stands for individual system solutions in the area of drive, propulsion, traction and energy systems.” 

The Achim location has a rich history: The initial investment dates back to 1978, when the company had yet to be spun off and was an “engine division” of Zeppelin Baumaschinen GmbH. The business was continuously developed and expanded. In 2007, Zeppelin Power Systems was established as a separate company and the Cat and MaK brands were united under one roof from that time.

As an independent business unit, Power Systems today is a key pillar of the Zeppelin Group. The workforce grew constantly, from around 40 in 1978 to some 800 employees today in Germany, Austria, Russia and the former CIS states. 

Around half of the 500 employees in Germany are based at the largest site, which is located in Achim, while the company also has sites in Hamburg, Cologne, Leipzig and Duisburg. 

“Today, we are integrating complete systems into customer applications, customized and with all the additional components our clients request, and into applications in the industrial, marine and rail, and energy, oil & gas segments,” says Volker Poßögel. “Here in Achim, we are working with our customers to plan projects for systems that we equip or repair in the state-of-the-art workshops. Of course, these also include test runs and acceptance tests – all from one source.”