In the early evening of 16 December 2016, the staff at KIESELMANN gathered in the town hall in Knittlingen for the Christmas party. The exciting evening promoted by the company management and works council marked the celebratory conclusion of another successful and hard-working year. Managing Director Klaus Dohle talked about a year that had brought the Knittlinger fluid technology experts to the limits of their capacities. He also praised the commitment of the workforce in the same breath. The integration of the youngest member of Fluid Process Group, Guth Ventiltechnik from Landau, in particular was associated with additional work for many employees. So it was all the more gratifying that the company was able to reach its announced sales target in November within the first year of the Fluid Process Group. Klaus Dohle also talked about the synergistic impact that the acquisition of Landauer had. They often helped their parent in Knittlingen as an extended workbench to stick to the delivery dates that were promised in such a busy year.
Continuing on a growth course
Kieselmann Pharmatec also reached sales targets at an early stage and announced a doubling for the coming year. KIESELMANN recorded turnover of 63 million euro in Knittlingen alone. Together with its subsidiaries Rieger Behälterbau, Guth Ventiltechnik, Kieselmann China and MTA (Maschinen & Technologie Allgäu), the company achieved an annual turnover of 100 million euro and 150 million euro within the entire Fluid Process Group (FPG). The successful annual financial statements are due in particular to the pronounced service concept and the innovative strength of the corporate group. In the past 12 months, numerous new products have emerged, such as the control valve, new safety valves, hygienic overflow valves as well as optimisations and variants of existing components.
KIESELMANN’s internationality is also progressing. The French branch office in Lille opened mid-year. Starting in the summer months, the office has looked after the “Grande Nation” as well as other French-speaking countries such as Morocco, Tunisia and Belgium. “I’m proud of our people who are so reliable during such decisions and who have made the expansion Kieselmann has experienced in recent years possible. Thank you so much”, said Klaus Dohle praising the extraordinary motivation of the employees. While looking past the company’s own borders, the Kieselmann managing director also talked about the prestige projects of the year.
One of the highlights was an XXL valve hub with 125 double-seat and 23 butterfly valves for one of the world’s largest breweries. Knittlinger’s international reputation is also reflected in the fact that Kieselmann is the valve supplier for almost every major whiskey distillery in Scotland. The smooth handling of the major projects “ Doppelleu” in Switzerland and the Bavarian “Tegernsee brewery” also did not go unmentioned. “I believe we are well positioned with our business model and prepared accordingly with the investments of recent years. However, we cannot let up in our quest for the best possible quality and customer-friendly delivery times”, said Klaus Dohle with regard to the uncertain effects of Brexit and the “Trump effect” on the global economy. “But the bottom line is that the course is still set for growth”, said the managing director concluding his global analysis.
Largest single investment in the history of the company
In order to make such growth possible in the first place, the company shareholders have approved 1.5 million euro for a new logistics building. The building is almost finished and can be occupied in February. The shareholders have also approved 7 million euro for a new production hall with canteen and office space. It is the largest single investment Kieselmann has ever made. The demolition of the tennis hall where the new premises will be located begins in February. The construction phase is to be completed and the building ready for occupancy by the end of 2017. It’s a nice gift for the company’s 80th anniversary next year.
Many anniversaries were honoured at the Christmas party in 2016 again, as in previous years. Patrick Bittigkoffer, Christian Löffler, Sabrina Dragonetti, Ilona Dittess were honoured for 10 years of service. 11 employees received an award for 25 years of loyalty to the company. Dieter Hartmann, Dietmar Jopp, Leo Olfert, Torsten Grulke and Michael Müller received their honours on the spot. Siegfried Epple, Ali Kizmaz, Martina Leismann, Markus Braun, Ahmet Kisbet and Kai Sauer were honoured in their absence. Egon Schneider received a certificate of honour from the IHK for 40 years at Kieselmann. “As a long-term oriented company, we are grateful for any kind of stability and continuity. We are proud of our traditionally low turnover in employees and above-average length of service”, said Klaus Dohle to the employees.
After honouring the retirement anniversaries, Klaus Dohle opened the buffet prepared by KIESELMANN canteen chef Wolfgang Wittig for the invited guests. And the excitement did not end after the food. The entertainment which included a presentation of the trainees was also excellent. The newest Kieslmann men and women amused the audience with their annual retrospective. And nobody’s eyes remained dry after the dance performance by the apprentices. Afterwards, the bar was opened with sophisticated alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks to ensure nobody’s throat went dry either. And nobody could stay in their seats when the music system started to play. The KIESELMANN workforce danced well past midnight in great spirits. When the lights came on in the hall again, everyone agreed: It was a celebration befitting a successful year.