FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — A company that produces equipment for the wood-based panel board, biomass energy and pellet industry in Forsyth County has invested $1.2 million in their customer support center.
Dieffenbacher USA’s manufacturing plant, located at 2000 McFarland 400 Boulevard in Alpharetta, is one of leading suppliers for complete wood-based panel and pellet plants in the world.
Dieffenbacher moved to the area after they purchased a U.S. based energy and heating manufacturer for wood plants.
The Germany-based company also focuses on manufacturing processes that can be used in the automotive and supply industries, said Randall Toussaint, vice president of economic development for the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce.
“The green industry is one of our niche markets, especially for manufacturing,” Toussaint said. “Our community is one of the first communities to create a local green incentive program where companies are encouraged to manufacture green products.”
Companies that are eco-friendly are given tax-break incentives, Toussaint said.
In Forsyth County, some companies that are in the green manufacturing business include Algae Energy, Bright Light Systems, Hansgrohe and Siemens Industry.
The support center for Dieffenbacher will be able to handle spare part sales for their equipment to companies using their equipment throughout North America, said Rolf-Dieter Krey, manager customer service.
“The majority of the customers we deal with are in the U.S.,” said Krey.
Krey said the company is growing at a steady pace and plans to hire about three engineers and service technicians this year.
“Our goal is to really grow and to offer technical service at this location,” Krey said.
The company, which launched in the area in November 2012, currently has 50 employees.
While wood is about half of production cost in panel board plants, Dieffenbacher offers products and services to save about 30 percent by using raw recycled wood.
Dieffenbacher leaders say that with the improvement of the North American housing market, the wood-based panel industry for the first time in more than four years is seeing increased sales, while the pellet plant market in the U.S. is also strong.
In the future, this will mean a boost in the demand for service and parts in the U.S.
The family-owned company was started in 1873 and has built a strong reputation worldwide, with the heart of the technology still being produced in Germany. They have about 1,800 employees worldwide (50 in Forsyth County) and last year had a turnover of about $5 billion dollars.
“Our customers are specialized industrial plants around the world, not so much the typical consumer,” Krey said. “Our customers, being in a highly competitive environment, rely on Dieffenbacher and our cost saving innovations.”