On best form for the best solution
Cover story . What's been driving transfluid® for 25 years
25 years. Is that old or young?
That depends entirely on the observer. A child might think light-heartedly of his 25-year-old parents as ancient. If a man in his prime at 50 stands next to a 25-year-old, he is the one who looks old. But in a company this is different. Though a company still does not mature slowly and demurely like a wine. It may well be a lot livelier when you are travelling in the fast lane.
That’s why, even after 25 years, transfluid® still feels noticeably young, dynamic and powerful. At the same time we are proud of our knowledge, our skills and our years of experience that we have worked so hard to achieve. We have always worked hard for these together with both our customers and our partners. For this, and for your loyalty in this eventful and moving quarter of a century, we at transfluid® want to take this opportunity to offer our sincere thanks!
Anyone who works hard also deserves to let their hair down a bit. But even then our customers come first: as many large projects had our full attention around the day of the anniversary, 1 April 2013, the celebration took place quite a while later in November. After all, such an occasion needs a little preparation. Especially when you can look back together on an exciting two and a half decades. We want to reflect on these for you here once again, and we hope you will enjoy it.
Our company was founded as Nöker & Bludau oHG on a sunny 1 April in 1988 in Schmallenberg-Gleidorf in the Sauerland. At that time Ludger Bludau was still working for a packaging machines manufacturer in Düsseldorf, and Gerd Nöker at an automotive supplier in Attendorn. They started back then with 125 square metres of floor space, which were rented in a complex. We put a lot of our own hard work into the preparation of the production facilities. The first innovation was quick to follow, when the two founders developed a bending machine for small series up to a tube size of 16 mm (ZB 616).
It was the first of its kind on the global market. It was a difficult start, and the pressure to succeed was enormous. This is why the desired success did not happen immediately. It was not until a few machines had been sold and the income seemed assured that this machine developed into a real bestseller.
The idea is successful
By the end of 1988 the first mobile bender, the MB 642, was developed as a supplement, for tubes with a diameter of up to 42 mm. It was built according to the same functional principle as the small machine. A real hit – even to this day: copied a few times, but never as good as the original. What worked so excellently back then is still part of our production processes today. Our design principle is to design advanced machines as a solution for tubes. Subcomponents are provided efficiently and in high quality by established suppliers. The complex assembly and start-up is then carried out at our facilities.
Technical development drives progress
In 1989, the first mandrel bending machine up to 60 mm was designed and produced. And a new name was created: OHG became transfluid® Maschinenbau GmbH. Then things started moving quickly. In 1990, the first mandrel bending machine for tube sizes of up to 115 mm was sold to Finland – the first machine on the market that could bend tubes of 115 x 15 mm.
Even back then we were already clearing all the obstacles out of the way for our innovation. In this case, it was the door to the leased premises, which was far too small. It was simply enlarged with a “big” hammer and the machine was sent on its way to Scandinavia. Now it was clear: we needed a new office and a production hall. These were built in 1991 at the present location in Schmallenberg.
- Remarkable: Even today, the ten transfluid® employees from this period are still with the company.
With the positive development of our business relationships in Asia, our subsidiary transfluid® Asia-Pacific was launched in Bangkok in 2007.
More space for ideas
Since the successful beginnings, the rapid development has gone on continuously. Eight expansions have been carried out until now to provide plenty of room for the great ideas that are continuously further advancing the standard of tube processing. This of course has also expanded our portfolio. It was manual bending machines and deburring machines in 1988, followed in 1993 by the first axial forming machine and in 1994, the first CNC bending machine. In 1995, we developed the roll forming technology and in 2000, the first automatic production cells were supplied. The first washing system was added in 2005. In 2006 the chipless high speed cutting line supplemented portfolio, and in 2010 we developed our own isometric software.
Strong team and new makers
Today there more than 5,000 machines in the market bringing tubes worldwide up to their best form. These are successes that can only be implemented with a dedicated and talented team of employees and a strong strategy. For the further improvement of internal and external structures and for future-oriented corporate development, the transfluid® leadership team was expanded in 2008. In addition to the two company founders and managing directors Ludger Bludau and Gerd Nöker, managing directors Stefanie Flaeper, Benedict Hümmler and Burkhard Tigges have since further strengthened the management team.
Leading global technologies
The fact that we are international market leaders with our technologies and technical innovations has been confirmed once again in the anniversary year. With our newly developed procedure for CNC-controlled rolling tube forming, we have been mentioned in the “List of world market leaders” of the South Westphalian Chambers of Industry and Commerce since 2013. A notable recognition, which we were very pleased about. After over 25 years, transfluid® is today a world-renowned brand, because our highly committed people with their inimitable enthusiasm for machine construction and tube processing are constantly searching for a solution for tubes that push boundaries.
Here´s to the next 25 years!