“Customers respect special quality”

The Stahl Company: Optimism after restructuring

(Rastatt) – Only one year ago, the Maquet subsidiary Medikomp in Kehler Street was facing closure. The production was supposed to be outsourced to Eastern Europe. More than 200 jobs were in danger.

Now the tide has turned and parts of the former Medikomp company trade under the name Stahl, Metall- und Medizintechnik GmbH. “We have only taken over this company because we could see the what the employees were capable of,” the two managing directors Christian Keller and Wolfgang Hohnhaus agree. The company was highly unprofitable, but Messrs. Hohnhaus and Keller were – and remain – convinced that considerably more could be made this company. Indeed, the company offers something which is very special and which can rarely be found in the industry, such as a combination of shaping, lathing and welding in small quantities. There are only competitors in some of these sections, but in Rastatt, everything comes from a single source. “There is no other production site in Germany that manufactures in small series.”

After one year, the important steps were taken and approximately 3m euros was invested in machines and IT to attract new customers. The biggest customer is currently the medical equipment producer Maquet which belongs to the Swedish Getinge concern.

So far, we have been 90 percent dependent on orders from Maquet and it is our target to reach less than 50 percent dependency and stand on our own feet.” Wolfgang Hohnhaus says, with an eye to the future.

Messrs. Hohnhaus and Keller are proud that despite the restructuring, nobody had to be given notice as the employees’ knowledge and skills are expensive, but on the other hand, they are especially competent people. Currently, 225 employees operate in Rastatt, plus another 20 in Ötigheim. This is where Stahl Hygienic Room Solutions specializes in modular rooms made of stainless steel. In Rastatt, the focus lies on development and production of stainless steel components for the medical technology, food and pharmaceutical industries.

The highest precision, a committed and experienced team and the production of smaller series form the platform Stahl can build its success on and “customers respect quality.” This is why the chances are quite high that next year the company will be able to get out of the red and commence its ascent to the medium-term goal of generating around 40 million euros from the Rastatt and Ötigheim locations. “We have found a diamond which just needed a little bit of time to be polished,” Wolfgang Hohnhaus believes. Clearly, both Hohnhaus and Keller are convinced that with the expertise of the staff; the quality of the locations, their production capacity and the development possibilities, the future for their company is going to be successful in Germany.

The current reconstruction and renovation works are slated for completion in summer 2017, but that does not mean that investment is going to be discontinued. The two managing directors have earmarked an additional ten million euros for the next ten years – as they bolster the potential of the group by purchasing “some more exciting firms.”