DECISION FOR THE FUTURE
The groundbreaking for a new production plant for the Gustav Wolf Group was held in late October 2017 in the Polish village of Zimna Wódka. In attendance were local representatives from the Opole economic zone, important customers and Gustav Wolf employees as Managing Director Dr. Ernst Wolf stressed the importance of the new plant for the Group. The site positions the Gütersloh-based company closer to key customers from the automotive industry and ensures better coverage of the European economic area.
At the event, Dr. Ernst Wolf took the opportunity to highlight the key role played by the new plant: “Many people do not recognize that technological development is progressing at an exponential rate. They try to look to the past and project into the future. If this thing has happened in the past ten years, then that Thing will likely happen in the next ten years. This is a massive error to make, and it causes many industries to sleep through what is actually happening.” With the technical design of the new production facility, the Gustav Wolf Group has no doubt made a forward-looking decision. Production overall is facing major upheaval, whether it is production of wire, cars or PCs. The extensive spread of information and communications technology and its link to an Internet of Things under the striking name of “Industry 4.0” is generating services and data that allow for real-time production capabilities. The result is new opportunities to design processes on an ad hoc basis, to respond to customer demands more quickly and flexibly and to economically produce high numbers of variants for small order quantities. It makes new forms of customer-integrated Business processes possible. The term used here is “customer to factory.” “In future, the Gustav Wolf Group will not be able to do anything other than to stay one step ahead of the game in terms of innovation,” said Dr. Ernst Wolf in explaining the significance of Industry 4.0. The focus remains on People However, working people will continue to remain the focus, even in an integrated virtual factory. “Our qualified employees close the sensory gaps that will always be present. They have many years of experience in assessing and finding solutions for exceptional situations. And, as a labor force, they add their creativity and flexibility to our processes,” says Dr. Ernst Wolf. Introducing new key technologies at Gustav Wolf is not meant to place any jobs in jeopardy. Instead, new technology offers opportunities for support and development that until now have been unimaginable. In future, office and production staff will find Support in applying their skills more expediently, and will find themselves freed up from undertaking monotonous or physically strenuous tasks. Added value for customers the development of the Wolf Group is being followed attentively by customers as well. The transformation from a traditional family company from Gütersloh to a global service provider for wire and cable products was one that was highly valued. However, customers’ current estimation of the company shows that the focus is now more on significantly shorter response times and adaptability. This is true both of the organization as well as production side of things. In terms of production, the gradual development of information and communications technology has ensured that high-performance yet affordable sensors are now available today, even in the wire roduction industry. The next stage of development for Gustav Wolf at its Polish location now lies in putting production data for autonomously controlled processes to work. “In the long term we want to offer our customers quality control in real time.”
Opportunities from Industry 4.0
There was much discussion of the new vision for Gustav Wolf at the ceremony in Poland. Given the shortage of skilled workers, especially in Poland, however, the discussions always stressed that 4.0 will put the problem into perspective. The two project managers, Daniel Wolf and Hugo van den Broecke, made clear that production under the 4.0 principle lays the foundations for dismantling traditional structures. These are then replaced by flexible, configurable products and services and interactive, cooperative decision-making mechanisms. “A distinct approach to learning lies at the heart of the new organization. We are looking for talented people who find the potential offered by Industry 4.0 as thrilling as we do.”
ROPES FOR SCHINDLER
The Berlin Palace embodies the varied cultural and political history of the German capital like few other buildings. The reconstructed building, which should be completed in 2019, will also use Gustav Wolf products.
The Berlin Palace was the dominating structure in the historic center of Berlin and was considered a magnum opus of the baroque style. Build in 1442 as the residential Palace of the House of Hollenzollern, it was later enlarged and served as the imperial residence for the German Empire from 1871. During the Second World War, the Palace suffered fire damage down to the northwest wing in February 1945. In the former GDR, this unique cultural landmark ultimately underwent controlled explosions in sections starting in September 1950. The Palace of the Republic took its place in 1976. But history famously made its own way: It was decided to rebuild the former palace with the aim of restoring the historic Berlin skyline. The groundbreaking ceremony for the Humboldt Forum was held on June 12, 2013. The took the former European frontrunner, the Federation Tower in Moscow (374 meters) in October. The tower has already been breaking records before its completion, which is scheduled for 2018 – specifically when concrete was poured for the Tower foundation in early 2015. It set a new world record for the largest uninterrupted concrete structure, even making its way into the Guinness Book of World Records. The sheer number of the prestigious building’s total 102 elevators to built is also impressive. Gustav Wolf has already successfully completed an initial order for PAWO F10 wire rope (19 mm) for its customer Schindler. The roofing ceremony for the completed Shell construction of the palace, complete with the roof framework, was held on June 12, 2015. Gustav Wolf has contributed to the successful “total package” with a number of different products: Some 6,200 meters of PAWO F7S (8 mm) were delivered for 21 units, as well as more than 240 rope suspensions. All of the elevators are slated for completion by summer 2018.
AT THE TOP IN EUROPE
Tall, taller, tallest: That is the name of the game in high-rise construction today, and the new Lakhta (Lachta) Center in Saint Petersburg is no different. The Headquarters of Gazprom is already Europe’s tallest building.
The multi-purpose premises with 400,000 square meters of usable space under construction since October 2012 will be at the heart of the Gazprom Group headquarters. A significant amount of space is reserved for public and recreational infrastructure. The Lakhta Center high-rise will become the new landmark of Saint Petersburg and, standing at 462 meters, will become the tallest building in Europe. The tallest of the total of 87 floors will sit at 372 meters up. The scenic terrace will provide an impressive panoramic view of the city of Saint Petersburg and the Baltic Sea, as will the views from the panoramic restaurant at 315 meters. The tower overtook the former European frontrunner, the Federation Tower in Moscow (374 meters) in October. The tower has already been breaking records before its completion, which is scheduled for 2018 – specifically when concrete was poured for the Tower foundation in early 2015. It set a new world record for the largest uninterrupted concrete structure, even making its way into the Guinness Book of old Records. The sheer number of the prestigious building’s total 102 elevators to built is also impressive. Gustav Wolf has already successfully completed an initial order for PAWO F10 wire rope (19 mm) for its customer Schindler.
HUGE ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
This is what a success story looks like: What began on November 28, 2007 with just two employees and a handful of customers has developed into a successful business over the last ten years – one that is now continuing on this path of growth. Together with numerous customers and employees, those in charge took the tenth birthday of Gustav Wolf Suzhou as an opportunity to say thank you, to reminisce, but also to look to the future with optimism.
It all started ten years ago. In 2007, Gustav Wolf Suzhou’s wire rope plant got its start at the industrial park founded in 1994. In the “Venice of the East,” a beloved and easily accessible tourist destination located just 80 kilometers from Shanghai, the young Company made a successful entrance onto the market: the company debuted on the Chinese market – by far the largest elevator market in the world – with just two employees, a handful of customers and a great deal of commitment and an unconditional will, quality and service they had come to know from German companies. The figures are proof that the plan worked. Today Gustav Wolf Suzhou serves the Elevator industry around the globe, delivering products to be used worldwide in the tallest of buildings. After just one year the company grew to over 30 employees, after five years to 80. Today more than 100 people work at the plant in Suzhou, which, at 10,000 m2, has nearly doubled in size.
Big party, exciting show
This success story was acknowledged on September 27, 2017: Hundreds of guests from around the world turned up to celebrate with employees at a party that will not soon be forgotten. Even Managing Director Dr. Ernst Wolf made his way to Suzhou to open the festivities. “If you take a normal cable with an 11-millimeter diameter, Gustav Wolf Suzhou could cross the globe four times with the cable they have delivered up to this point,” highlighted Dr. Wolf in his speech. “As ever, Gustav Wolf is what holds the world together.” As with any birthday celebration, the birthday cake was a main attraction – this time shaped like a wire rope. The celebrations were accompanied by a guided plant tour and a technical seminar to provide guests with a better understanding of the company and processes. Managing Director Thomas Scholz took the opportunity to honor some well-deserving employees, but the highlight of the evening’s events was surely the imaginative Performance by the employees. An open house day for families and relatives rounded off the happy celebration.