Experts for really tough cases

ELECTRICIANS' GUILD: Visit to crane system manufacturer in Siegen-Feuersbach

Dipl. Ing. Stephan Skelo (left), Erich Schäfer GmbH & Co KG, provides foreman Eckhardt Scharf (right) and managing director Jürgen Haßler with technical information for the test run of a 21 ton automatic crane which is about to be delivered.

The board of management of the Electricians' Guild Siegen was highly impressed by the enormous crane systems being built at Erich Schäfer GmbH & Co. KG in Siegen-Feuersbach. Before the meeting, the members enjoyed a tour of the factory, the design department and the company's warehouse.

What began as a small one-man operation in a slightly remote part of Siegen now enjoys an internationally excellent reputation in the drive and conveyor technology industry and has become one of the leading suppliers in this special market segment. “Everybody gets involved here,” says Stephan Skelo. The graduate engineer explained the continuous development of the company with now 150 employees to the group.

Many customers require individual solutions. Erich Schäfer GmbH & Co. KG has specialised in this field. For example this mighty foundry crane which the company designed and built for a foundry for large rolls. The giant can even transport very large rolls with a weight of up to 170 tons each.

The design engineers from Feuersbach address the special requirements of their customers. In foundries for example, this means adapting to the often still prevalent DC technology in these areas as well as to the particularly rough ambient conditions characterised by high temperatures and foundry dust. The intelligent control technology has to be especially protected and cooled. Skelo: “When a customer has special requests, we will meet these.” From the first customer discussion to the design, production and commissioning of the product, all steps are carried out by Erich Schäfer GmbH & Co. KG. Their second foothold, the trade with standard motors, also allows the specialists to react quickly and flexibly. “We always have 6,000 motors (IE 1 to IE 3) in stock,” says Skelo. Any required size and brand is available directly from the modern high bay warehouse. “It is important to our customers that we can carry out repairs quickly.” Not surprising, as downtimes – especially for the important transport and conveyor systems – can quickly become very expensive in the industry. In this respect, installation and maintenance of crane systems is another fundamental component of the range of services, explains Skelo. The company also has an exemplary apprenticeship program. Two commercial apprentices and two to five in the factory are standard. Stephan Skelo: “We like to keep our apprentices on as they already know our rather special circumstances and requirements really well and get on much better than people from outside.” A good work atmosphere has always been very important to the company. Consequently there are quite a few employees who have been with “their” Erich Schäfer GmbH & Co. KG for their entire professional life. Apart from the high level of competence and reliability, this should be another key to success: “Many hwo have been here from the start have a very special relationship with the company.” KPE