Ignition specialist NGK has officially opened a new European distribution centre to supply customers in 44 countries.
The world’s largest manufacturer of spark plugs, glow plugs and NTK Lambda sensors will supply original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and aftermarket customers from the new state-of-the-art facility at Duisburg in Germany.
The new centre – which complements NGK’ s UK operation at Hemel Hempstead – significantly increases the company’s logistics capacities following the recent expansion of its product portfolio in Europe.
NTK Exhaust Gas Temperature Sensors (EGTS), NTK Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensors and Manifold Absolute Pressure (MAP) sensors have all been added to the existing line-ups of spark plugs, ignition coils, glow plugs and NTK Lambda sensors.
NGK Spark Plug Europe has become a one-stop shop for ignition products and oversees sales in Europe and throughout the EMEA region, which includes the Middle East and Africa.
Industry VIPs and European Press were welcomed to the new facility by Shinichi Odo, President and CEO of the NGK Group, at an opening ceremony attended by Volker Mosblech, Mayor of the City of Duisburg, and Tammy Suzuki, Deputy Managing Director, NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd.
Each day, NGK Spark Plug Europe ships more than one million pieces in 300 consignments containing approximately 5000 delivery items to aftermarket customers and Mr Odo said the priority of the new facility was to deliver customer satisfaction.
Damien Germès, Senior Vice President of NGK Spark Plug Europe, added: “The opening of our new regional distribution centre is an important milestone for NGK Spark Plug Europe. Our company developed with time. Until now, we had run three different warehouses at our Ratingen location.
“They will now be merged into our new central warehouse with its optimal traffic connection. We now have more space, shorter distances and more efficient, partly automated processes and our customers can depend on fast and fault-free delivery.”
With the new distribution centre, which is the largest of its kind, NGK has paved the way for even faster and more efficient handling of high volume shipments. Also, there is enough room for further growth: 22,000 pallet bays, 21,000 square metres of storage area and 44,000 shuttle storage places offer sufficient capacity for storing all product groups and ensuring optimum product availability.
More than 100 employees will keep the new regional distribution centre running. Automated processes as well as powerful warehouse management software ensure that every order is packaged and dispatched the same day.
This significant investment is preparing NGK to take on the challenges of the future by ensuring fast, reliable deliveries to steadily growing markets in the EMEA region over the long term.
Mayor Mosblach said Duisburg’s excellent transport connections are making it an important logistic hub for the automotive industry with Volkswagen, Audi and Mercedes-Benz already running logistic centres in the city which has the biggest inland port in Europe.
Following a tour of the new facility guests were shown round NGK’s technical centre at nearby Ratingen which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week to test the latest vehicles that are coming onto the market, including those equipped with electrical and hybrid technology.
The latest figures show NGK worldwide has a turnover of £3.1 billion Euros, with 25 percent of turnover coming from the EMEA region.
The company has been developing spark plug technology since the 1930s and manufactures plugs for every type of automotive engine, as well as for motorcycles, marine, horticultural, plant and many other applications.
For more information on NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd and its products and services, please visit the website www.ngkntk.co.uk You can also check out its blogzine at ngktorque.com