Made in Katzenfurt

Leading politicians of the district were visiting the HEDRICH Group general management to dis­cuss an “Encourager” project for the crisis.
Equipment similar to the one by HEDRICH shown here are used for the so called casting of rotors for electric motors at a car manufacturer.
Ehringshausen-Katzenfurt. It was a meeting that was headlined by the theme "Politics meets Economy"… on one hand. On the other, business consultant Norbert Müller, who also holds the position as Chairman of the Board at the competence center Dual University studies with StudiumPlus (StudyPlus) and Managing Director of the Asslar based company "Advacon", wanted it to be understood as an "Encourager Action" in the course of the corona crisis.
Attending this meeting that took place in the HEDRICH Group’s headquarters in Katzenfurt were the leading politicians of the district represented by district chief executive Wolfgang Schuster (SPD) and vice Roland Esch (FWG) as well as the district councillors Heinz Schreiber (Grüne) and Wolfram Dette (FDP).
From a little town out to the global world
Also with them were members of the general management, led by CEO Wolfgang Weiß.
Head of sales, Holger Zimmermann, was introducing the HEDRICH Group and outlining it as me­dium-sized company to supply its products from a little town out to the global world.
And not only in one business field. Whereas, only a few years back, the focus had been on sup­plying equipment and service to the electrical industry, sales to the electrical industry are sum­ming up nowadays to 33 percent and service contributes to 16 percent.
2014 saw the market launch for wind energy rotor blades, which has a share of 34 percent now, and in 2018/19, a figure of 17 percent could be achieved in sales to the e-mobility market.
In perspective, Hedrich sees potential in the market for aircraft manufacturing as an addition.
As illustrated by Holger Zimmermann, all Siemens transformer coils in the world have passed through a HEDRICH plant; equipment "made in Katzenfurt" are used to cast wind energy rotor blades. At present, HEDRICH is developing and building the entire production line for the casting of rotors for electric motors of new e-cars for a German car manufacturer.
HEDRICH designs, produces and develops vacuum equipment. Besides the electrical and auto­motive industries, further application ranges, such as the composite vacuum infusion or the cast­ing of e-motors, were evolved with more than 2,500 customers.
The export share amounts to about 80 percent of the products.
The company has 230 employees in Germany, Switzerland, India, Russia and China as well as 30 sales representatives all over the world.
In the past business year, HEDRICH has achieved a turnover in sales of 45 million Euro.
Since 2012, the formerly family-run enterprise (and also the hospital in Ehringshausen) is owned by the Quadriga Capital Eigenkapitalberatung (Equity Capital Consulting) GmbH.
But the meeting was not only to introduce the company, its main focus was the discussion.
Schuster was valuing the company as a medium-sized supplier that is successful and even global market leader serving a market niche, has several pillars and keeps enhancing development, acting right towards the motto "He who does not move with the times, will be removed over time".
Another subject was product piracy – like in China, where, irrespective of existing patent, equip­ment from Katzenfurt are copied. It is hard to prevent this, explained Zimmermann. And Müller concluded that the only weapon against this is that, whenever a “copied” product comes up, its refined successor must already be available on the market.
Of course a subject that could not be left out: Corona.
Weiß said that the company reckons with a lean period of four months, “but we will go on, there are orders, although not as many as usual before the crisis”.
“However”, Müller was adding in conclusion, “we are nevertheless expecting growth in the busi­ness year 2020/2021”.
Time of the crisis is used for further developments
Weiß extolled both workers‘ council and employees (the Katzenfurt headquarters employ 150 of the 230 staff members worldwide) for that they put up with painful measures like short work and the splitting of the holiday pay. Because the common goal is to lose none of the employees. So, the time of the crisis is used also for enhancing developments.
And to continue with the digitalization of work routines. The meaning of this was presented by Emre Erbay (head of IT), who had got the Digital Champion Award 2019 with his team and a video on that subject. The company had won over with its digitalized production in the category "Digital Processes & Organizations". And Erbay‘s team looks ahead, e.g. to the use of artificial intelligence.