Bühler celebrate 50 years at the cutting edge of technology – whilst maintaining their traditional values
Jun 12 2019 Read 457 Times
1969 – ‘A giant step for mankind’ is taken as 3 people walk on the moon, 500,000 people turn on, tune in and drop out at Woodstock and Soviet nuclear weapons tests demonstrate how far the human race has progressed in terms of technology, free thinking and the potential to destroy itself. During this tumultuous time, electrician Herbert Bühler and electrical engineer Friedrich von Ameln are drawn to an entirely different event – their plan to start a unique company with great market potential.
Bühler and von Ameln have secure jobs and they are anything but dreamers but they are convinced that their idea will succeed.
To Bühler and Ameln it seems obvious that the industrial sector has a definite need for reliable, high quality industrial filters and coolers, as well as level switches and water alarms for hydraulic systems. There was also a demand for forward thinking consultation and service from competent engineers and technicians who are dedicated to helping with installation, monitoring and maintenance of the latest industrial technology. As far as Bühler and Ameln were concerned, combining these products and services seemed the logical thing to do.
Bühler and Ameln were very aware that the late 60’s was a far less prosperous time than the post- war economic miracle, but the partners were confident that there business plan would prosper, so they mustered the capital and courage needed to establish Bühler & Co. in Ratingen. It soon became clear that their confidence was justified as the new company performed impressively from the very start.
After only 1 year, in 1970, the company’s success was justification enough to establish Servomex Gasanalysentechnik. Less than two years later, the fledgling business is taking the industry by storm and needs to open a branch plant in Engen, on Lake Constance. Within a decade, the two successful founders combine the two divisions “Gas Analysis” and “Fluidcontrol” in 1976, now operating as Bühler Mess- und Regeltechnik GmbH & Co.KG. For Herbert Bühler this was reason enough to draw breathe and fully focus on further progress – little did he know, but he was heading rapidly towards a new era for Bühler Mess- und Regeltechnik.
In the early 80’s, despite the company’s great success and future outlook, Herbert Bühler suddenly saw himself put to the test when his partner decided to withdraw from the company. This brought drastic restructuring and even a change of location, as well as a wave of unease to the founder and company employees.
But wavering and giving up hope was never in Herbert Bühler’s nature. After carefully considering the business plan and after returning to the values from back when the company was founded, the entrepreneur took over all business shares. He then built a new 2,400 square metre head office on Harkortstraße in Ratingen and whilst closing the factory in Engen, which had undergone considerable expansion.
It is human nature to worry about change. There were many who expected Herbert Bühler’s new company to fail, there was even a danger that this pessimism would set in among the people working for the company and affect performance. These concerns were unfounded. Mr. Bühler’s foresight, tenacity, belief and integrity steered the company on the course for success and further growth. It has been said that ‘Sometimes, in order to make great strides, you have to take a small step back or even sideways.’
In the late 80s and early 90s the fallout from the departure of Mr. Ameln is already history. The business steadily continues to grow. In addition, simultaneously being active in two market segments which are so fundamentally different such as hydraulics & lubrication technology and gas analysis would prove to be a an inspirational idea that would guide the company through a variety of situations.
By 1989 Herbert Bühler had found a worthy successor for the task of managing director in Gerd Biller. The engineer, with prior experience within the company had long been playing a role in advancing the company’s products and services and was extremely familiar with the technology, company and market. Now rebranded as Bühler Mess- und Regeltechnik GmbH, Bühler and Biller were now working on new ideas and a long-term strategy for the future to make the company even more unique, independent and more profitable.
Ideas continued to be put into action: During the early nineties the company was restructured, from primarily retail to developing and producing proprietary product lines for gas analysis and fluid control. Turning the industry upside down.
Expectations were high, but the path had been laid perfectly. Herbert Bühler felt at ease, and confidently predicted Gerd Biller will handle this new chapter rather well and the partners and employees, as well as Bühler’s customers proceed with conviction and enthusiasm.
For Gerd Biller there was no question about his main priority: keeping up Bühler’s top level of quality whilst progressing at the same rate of growth was always going to be far more important than simply having a functional product and service model with good potential. Clearly, this is the philosophy that will ensure the company remains a success in the future and not just the present.
Bühler’s outstanding quality and the high standards can only be strengthened if the company can attract and train people who in addition to having the necessary professional skills also share the values that the successful Ratingers have stuck to since the company was founded.
With his death in 1995, Herbert Bühler never got to see the continued success of his efforts. However, Gerd Biller remains true to the standards set by the company’s founder, which will always be part of the future strategy. The same also goes – beyond renaming the company to Bühler Technologies GmbH in 2006 – for the current pair of managing directors, the engineers Frank Pospiech and Stefan Eschweiler. They have now also been steering the company by sticking with the original strategy with great success for over 10 years.
Biller, Pospiech and Eschweiler have been systematically passing on know-how and continuing with the policy of improvement through education for over two decades. They promote family-friendly standards and a parallel “study & training” programme. They strive to perfect the product range, comply with worldwide certification standards and create increasingly customised solutions for customers. Building on this foundation, the second and the third management generation is convinced their father of success would have had every reason to be proud of the continuing progress.
If Herbert Bühler could have seen Bühler Technologies GmbH he would have been proud; proud, that company is making industry history on a worldwide level and that 150 highly skilled employees now produce the highest possible degree of innovation with minimal turnover. Proud, that globalisation not only has not been a problem, but rather a stepping stone to becoming the worldwide market leader with branches on 3 continents. Proud, that Bühler Technologies GmbH grew its leading role worldwide and uses challenges such as digital transformation and Industry 4.0 as an opportunity to further secure the future just as solidly as globalisation before.
Thank you, Herbert Bühler!
Bühler & Co. Founded
Bühler & Co. was founded in Ratingen as a distributor for Purolator industrial filters, Behr industrial coolers, and Bell fittings and manufacturer as well as manufacturing level switches and water alarms for hydraulics
Elsewhere: Man walks on the moon for the first time. 500,000 watch the likes of The Who, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin perform at Woodstock Festival. Soviets continue with nuclear weapons testing program
Servomex Gasanalysentechnik founded
Servomex Gasanalysentechnik founded as a distributor and service agency for Servomex Ltd. as a subsidiary of Bühler & Co.
Elsewhere: Brazil win FIFA World Cup for record breaking 3rd time. The Beatles disband. Boeing 747 makes maiden flight
Branch plant opened
Branch plant opened in Engen near Lake Constance
Elsewhere: Summer Olympic games blighted by deaths of 11 Israeli coaches and athletes, as well as a policeman, in Munich. Compact disc, digital watches and electronic mail introduced and Shoichi Yokoi (a Japanese soldier recruited in World War 2) was discovered on the island of Guam after 28 years in the jungle.
Both operations were merged and renamed to Bühler Mess- und Regeltechnik GmbH & Co. KG. Expansion of the Engen plant
Elsewhere: Apple Computer Company is founded by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. Nadia Comaneci wins 3 gold medals at Olympics with seven perfect scores. The Ebola virus is named after the river Ebola, close to where the first victim was identified that year.
Herbert Bühler took over all business shares. Main office in Ratingen.
Elsewhere: First Mario Bros game released. Brink’s-Mat robbery in London, 6,800 gold bars worth nearly UK£26 million are stolen from the Brink’s-Mat vault at Heathrow Airport. Liechtenstein becomes the last country in Europe to grant women the right to vote
Opening new facilities in Ratingen-Tiefenbroich. Concentration of all activities in the new Headquarters with 2400 m² production facility; Engen plant closed.
Elsewhere: Nuclear power station in Chernobyl explodes. The Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrates 73 seconds after launching, killing all seven astronauts on board. Freddie Mercury performs live on stage with Queen for the last time.
The Company converted to Bühler Mess- und Regeltechnik GmbH and the company structure reorganised. Focus on new developments and production in two divisions: Gas Analysis and Fluidcontrol.
Elsewhere: Lech Walesa is elected President of Poland. Mikhail Gorbachev resigns as president of the Soviet Union which officially ceases to exist. 20 paintings stolen from Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum are recovered 35 minutes later because the robbers’ get-away car got a flat tyre.
End of an Era...
The Company’s founder Herbert Bühler passed away, leaving behind a well established Company.
DIN EN ISO 9001 certification by Lloyds Register Quality Assurance Ltd. and approved as supplier to KTA 1401
Elsewhere: Terrorists release Sarin nerve gas at Kasumigaseki station, in Tokyo, killing 12 and sending over 5,000 to hospital. While visiting Washington DC, Boris Yeltsin is found on Pennsylvania Avenue, drunk, in his underwear and trying to hail a taxi in order to find pizza. Referendum for Quebec independence defeated by less than 1 %
China Sales Office
Sales office opened in Beijing, China
Elsewhere: The Kyoto Protocol to cut global emissions of greenhouse gasses comes into effect, without support from the United States and Australia. Angela Merkel assumes office as the first female Chancellor of Germany. Bhutan becomes the first nation to ban all sale of nicotine products.
Change of Name
The Company’s name was changed to Bühler Technologies GmbH to underline the global activities
22 people die when several bombs explode at tourist sites on the Indonesian island of Bali. Four explosive devices set off in London leaving 50 people dead and about 700 injured. ‘Dime Bars’ change their name to ‘Daim Bars’.
US Subsidiary founded
Buhler Technologies LLC founded in Rochester Hills, Michigan
Elsewhere: The last in the Harry Potter series of books ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.’ Is released. Charles Tombe of Juba, South Sudan marries Rosie, a goat. Tragically he is widowed several months later when his wife chokes on a plastic bag. Colossal squid, weighing 450 kgs and 10 meters in length, is caught near New Zealand
The production plant 2 opened in Ratingen Tiefenbroich near Headquarters
Elsewhere: Cyclone Nargis leaves an estimated 138,000 dead in Myanmar. Fidel Castro steps down as president of Cuba after nearly 50 years in office. Kosovo becomes an independent nation.
Russia Sales Office
Sales office opened in Moscow
Elsewhere: The Treaty of Lisbon comes into effect in EU member states. Avatar is released and becomes the highest grossing film of all time. UN Food Agency states that a record one billion people around the world do not have enough to eat.
Certified as Authorised Economic Operator (AEO C)
Elsewhere: Costa Concordia cruise ship runs aground to become the world’s largest shipwreck. Xi Jinping named as China’s new president. PSY 6 releases Gangnam Style
Sales office opened in France
Opening of 3rd facility, concentration of sales and administration in Ratingen-Tiefenbroich
Approved as Known Consignor
Elsewhere: Deaths of Nelson Mandela, Hugo Chavez and Margaret Thatcher. 64 year old, Diana Nyad becomes the first person to swim from Cuba to the United States without a shark cage. Microsoft announce the release of Xbox One
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