With the exception of two projects which are to be completed in Königsee in December, Retrofit-Europa GmbH has meanwhile moved into the Gehrener Gewerbegebiet. The move was a challenge, as CEO Andreas Mathes admits.
Strength act was completed
Even at the factory gate in Gehrener Gewerbegebiet can be easily seen: Here is something has been done. At the former factory gate of an automotive supplier, a sign indicates who is now working here. Retrofit Europa GmbH has leased itself after missing perspectives and development possibilities at the old site Königsee in the area of the SZW Prophet.
Retrofit CEO Andreas Mathes is glad that the move is now completed, although he was a show of strength. Already in October, the administration moved to the Schobse, a few weeks later, the production “moved”. According to Andreas Mathes, around 1,800 square meters of work space in Königsee are now available for around 5,000 square meters. While the floor in the factory hall with blue stripes is already divided into different areas and projects at the same time, the paintbrushes are still in sight: The renovation, ie renovation of the rooms in which desks stand or recreation rooms are created, runs parallel to the daily business. The relocation of the company has also found a positive response among customers, adds Mathes. Because with the location Gehren one moved a little further into the center of Thuringia and closer to the highway.
The company, which was founded in Königsee in 2011 as a one-man business, uses a lot of know-how to make sure that old machines “wrap up” state-of-the-art technology. For this purpose, Retrofit has its own development department that breathes contemporary life into control technology, robotics and automation technology. Full order books beyond the year 2019 show that this special service is in demand, since acquiring new technology for companies is often not only more expensive and time-consuming, but also tedious.
Because of the considerable demand and the expansion of the company, Andreas Mathes had also started a major offensive in terms of recruiting staff. According to the managing director, the wishes for additional staff have not yet materialized. Despite numerous applications, but not always suitable candidates, there are now six new workers to the existing 30 employees, two of which now strengthen the administration. Four men working in the workshop area are also continuing their training in the new business unit Resistance Welding, where they work together with the industry leader Bosch-Rexroth. As of January 2019, the first projects at Retrofit will be on the premises in the Gehrener Werkhalle, as Mathes announces. In the future he would like to double the projects in this business field.
TU cooperation desired
But the company also has big plans in the area of automation technology: the latest, cost-intensive investment in Gehren is the purchase of a Fanuc industrial robot. In the future, it will be used to shorten routes during the machine conversion and renewal process and to automate the work steps. Here, Andreas Mathes could imagine for the future to work together with the Technical University of Ilmenau in order to exploit the full range of this industrial robot as part of a project.
Picture Description: In three months, among other things, Matthias Weiss ensures that a long-overhauled old machine is converted into a fully automatic profile grinding machine. Photo: b-fritz.de