With passion, inventiveness, and more than 115 years of experience, Schwarze-Robitec develops unique and innovative products for tube bending solutions. The company has been synonymous with technical progress and quality in every respect for decades. In a conversation with Tube & Pipe India, Ms. Heike Ahlers, Vice President – Sales & Marketing, Schwarze-Robitec GmbH, talks about the company’s manufacturing capabilities, product range, and market presence in India.
Tube & Pipe India: Please tell us about your company.
Heike Ahlers: Schwarze-Robitec is a tube bending machine manufacturer. Founded in 1903, we have been specializing in tube bending since the 1950s. We call ourselves specialists in tube bending, and we have been serving three main industries with our high-performance machines for decades now. In the automotive industry, all of our CNC machines can be expanded to a fullyautomated bending cell. The second industry is shipbuilding & offshore where we do efficient and precise processing of very large and thick-walled tubing with our heavy-duty machines. We have another industry where we are serving with our special booster bending machines, and that is the boiler and power industry.
TPI: Tell us a bit about the philosophy behind the company.
HA: The philosophy behind Schwarze-Robitec is that we listen to our customers and we’re constantly developing ourselves and our machines as a result of the communication with our customers. In comparison to other tube bending machine manufacturers, we are more customised with our machines. We tailor each machine according to the individual needs a customer may have, and that starts with the drawing length. Be it three metres or six metres, we cater to each need and have various options.
TPI: Tell us about your manufacturing capabilities.
HA: The machines are manufactured in-house in Cologne, Germany. So, when you see ‘Made in Germany’ on our machines; that really means that they are manufactured in Germany. We have our own technical department, and software department, and we create all the developments in-house, no matter if they revolve around the machinery itself, the electrical components or the control system. We do not have to rely on sub-suppliers. And, that is an added advantage.
TPI: Are there any new developments at your company?
HA: As the industries develop, we follow the trend. We listen to our customers so that we are always on point. The importance of automation has evolved from the mass production of products to automation in the production of smaller batches and we have a new line for that. So, there are continuously new developments in our company.
TPI: In the capital equipment industry, return on investment is very important. In addition to it, customers look for the overall cost of ownership of equipment. What are your views?
HA: There’s a saying that ‘when you buy cheap, you buy twice’. The lifetime of our heavy-duty machines is 30 years or even more than that. Moreover, we make sure that you have the access to spare parts for your machines for a very long time. With the quality equipment we sell and the after-sales service we provide, it’s an easy calculation. We are serving a lot of different industries and the return on investment is industry-specific. For example, in the automotive industry, material costs are big. We have special resource-saving features for our machines such as special cutting devices that will help you to save on material.
“We listen to our customers and we’re constantly developing ourselves and our machines as a result of the communication with our customers.”
TPI: Could you shed some light on your presence in India?
HA: We have been selling to the Indian market for more than fifty years now. The focus in India lies on machines for the boiler and power industry and machines for Indian shipyards. And we are very keen on expanding our business in India even more.
TPI: What are your future plans for the company?
HA: As I mentioned, automation is a big industry theme at the moment. Another important topic lies within the automotive industry. As you know, combustion engines are on the edge and may not be the future technology anymore; hence, we are concentrating on e-mobility as well. We are looking for new customers in that sector and have machines in our portfolio that provide solutions that will last and are worth the investment.