Cherry has been making mechanical switches and keyboards for a long time. Soon, it will have a fresh place to do it. The company is breaking ground on a new 20,000 square meter campus that will house its headquarters and a new fab.
It sounds as if Cherry is in dire need of some new digs. For the last two years, it’s been wandering in the desert, so to speak. “We have been at the ZF campus since 2016, when Cherry GmbH became an independent company again,” said Cherry’s Michael Schmid in an email interview. “ZF” is ZF Friedrichshafen AG, the German auto parts maker. Cherry has been renting production facilities and office space from ZF, with what Schmid described as “very limited space.”
Even less conducive to productive teamwork is the fact that Cherry’s various teams have been spread out across multiple locations on the ZF campus. That just makes it tough to collaborate. “With the new fab and office building, we will move all German Cherry parts much closer together,” said Schmid. “This [move] will enable us to react even quicker to any request [from] clients and partners. Of course, we will modernize all processes in regard to factory and logistics by using the latest technology like robotic, sensorics, digitalization, etc.”
Cherry is going to be making its switches as this new fab, including all versions of Cherry MX, Cherry ML, and Cherry MX Low Profile. There are some mysterious “innovative future products” slated for production there, too.
The new fab and HQ will be near its old campus in Auerbach, Germany. The location is significant to Cherry, because (as the company noted in a TV news story), it means their 300 or so employees won’t have to move. As a further mark of goodwill, Cherry has contracted local builders for the construction of the facility.
Cherry did not disclose how much this will all cost, but (via admittedly shaky translation) it appears that two local investors have put 12.5 million euros into the project. Construction is scheduled for completion by the end of 2019, at which time the Cherry folks can move in and get down to business.