Fecken-Kirfel: 150 years of tradition and innovation
The Aachen-based German company Fecken-Kirfel GmbH & Co. KG, a specialist in the manufacture of customised splitting and stacking machines for the plastics, rubber and cork industry, is celebrating a very special anniversary in November 2020: The family business becomes 150 years.
According to Fecken-Kirfel, the course has been set for a successful continuation of the history of the future-oriented mechanical engineering specialist. Success factors include a consistent focus on the cutting process and a high in-house production ratio. With its claim to being at the forefront of technology, quality and service worldwide, the Fecken-Kirfel team is currently focusing on digitalisation in the sense of horizontal and vertical networking of processes. In the anniversary year, the cutting specialists will be holding a digital conference for the first time from 8 – 10 December 2020.
Focused on the cutting process
For more than 100 years, the Schiffler family has been at the helm of Fecken-Kirfel. With decisions that are long-term and strategically oriented, the owning family, now in its third generation, has played a major role in the success of the company. The two managing directors Norbert Leyens and Volker Schiffer consider the consistent focus on the cutting process and on the specific customer requirements to be important factors for the company's success. “Our customers all over the world can rely on us to remain a long-term leader in technology, quality and service,” said Norbert Leyens.
Digital conference from 8 – 10 December 2020
Fecken-Kirfel is now offering another example of this for the first time at a digital conference, which will take place from 8 – 10 December 2020. A total of six presentations in English will inform about trends and current new developments. Interested parties can register to participate at the event from mid-November 2020 via the website www.fecken-kirfel.de. For the entire duration of the conference, participants also have the option of individual video conferences.
Resistant to crisis thanks to a high in-house production ratio
The managing director team also sees the high in-house production ratio as a competitive advantage. Machines and components are developed and produced exclusively at the Aachen plant. Many suppliers also come from the region. This pays off especially in the environment of the Corona pandemic. Leyens: “Our in-house production ratio is 90 % and we use a predictive warehousing. We can always deliver quickly and efficiently and offer the best possible service”.
Focus on digitalisation
Fecken-Kirfel works with modern machines and equipment in its factory in Aachen. All work processes are networked and extensively automated. The result, according to Leyens, is efficient processes and top quality. The focus at Fecken-Kirfel is always on solutions from which customers can benefit, currently the topic of Industry 4.0, large-scale digitalisation in the sense of horizontal – machine-to-machine – networking and vertical networking via the machine controller, the machine planning level, the ERP system and the company management. The possibility of collecting and evaluating data and making it accessible in a cloud has already been created. People with the appropriate authorisation can thus access production and maintenance data from any location. Software tools for this purpose are already being offered in cooperation with partners.
The basis: a strong team
The owner family Schiffler and the operative managing directors are optimistic about the future. They are sure that cutting will continue to be indispensable in the future for certain materials, e.g. the wide variety of polyurethane foams. “The support of our technology, quality and service leadership are our qualified employees. It is also thanks to their commitment that we will emerge stronger from the Corona crisis,” said Volker Schiffer. He added that the Fecken-Kirfel team is committed to giving its best every day and is taking the opportunity to further develop machines and software solutions.
Continuity and forward thinking
In 1919, Hermann Schiffler took over the small engineering company Fecken-Kirfel, which was founded by Johann Fecken in Aachen in 1870. He and his wife Anna shaped the spirit of Fecken-Kirfel with their values. Their sons Helmut, Rudolf and Robert Schiffler continued the company together in the second generation. With the consistent conversion of the production programme to the manufacture of fully automatic cutting and splitting machines for the plastics, rubber and cork industry in the 1950s, Helmut, Robert and Dr. Rudolf Schiffler laid the foundation for the worldwide success of Fecken-Kirfel in the following decades. In 2006 the Schiffler family handed over operational responsibility to the employed managing directors Norbert Leyens and Volker Schiffer. However, Dr. Rudolf Schiffler and the third generation of entrepreneurs Dagmar Schiffler, Claus Schiffler, Jutta Rollinger and Dr. Christa Rübben are still very closely associated with the company and, as shareholders, provide essential impulses for the strategic development of their company.