SMM 2014: SCHOTTEL still on course for success
SCHOTTEL continued on its successful course again in 2013. The Group, with its headquarters in Germany and a workforce of over 1,000 employees worldwide, achieved sales of EUR 309 million. Sales in the core business of propulsion systems rose again, this time to EUR 281 million. This represents growth of around 2 percent on 2012 and underscores the leading position that the company has occupied for decades in the marine propulsion system market. In an environment characterized by increasing competition and concentration, the strategy of the German propulsion specialists has paid off once again: SCHOTTEL’s activities are particularly oriented towards customer requirements, which the company anticipates and implements decisively and successfully. Professor Gerhard Jensen, SCHOTTEL CEO, states the reasons for this success: “SCHOTTEL is an independent, family-owned company. The family is highly committed to the company and places top priority on the well-being of the Group. This enables continuity and allows repeated investment of large sums into the company”.
Investment in the present and the future
In addition to on-going product modernization, current investment is focusing on adding new products to existing ranges, particularly for the offshore sector. SCHOTTEL also develops innovative solutions, such as hybrid propulsion systems. The guiding principle of the company here is to offer customers environmentally-friendly solutions that are also characterized by simple installation and maintenance.
Sales and Service have also been restructured to become more efficient. New, upgraded and modernized locations, e.g. in USA, Australia and Norway, ensure greater customer proximity and help to meet the requirements of the increased number of propulsion systems in the market. A major service centre has been established at the Wismar plant. A modern simulator at the headquarters in Spay/Rhine enables better training for customers and employees as well as for sales and service partners. Just like on the bridge of a real vessel, it is now possible to learn and practise how to handle SCHOTTEL propulsion systems safely and efficiently.
SCHOTTEL has had a reputation for many years of keeping a large part of its manufacturing in-house. Further steps have also been taken in this direction: the takeover of HW Elektrotechnik, already a system supplier to SCHOTTEL for many years in the field of electrical engineering, is one further measure increasing the vertical range of manufacture. This not only saves time and simplifies our business processes, but also safeguards our know-how and ensures consistently high quality.
Construction of a state-of-the-art Rudderpropeller factory
SCHOTTEL is currently busy building at the new location in Dörth, near company headquarters. Here the company is expanding its production capacity.
Four production shops, up to 270 m long and 18 m high, are currently being built on the nine-hectare site. A total of 23,000 m² of production and office space will be available from summer 2015. The design of the new factory is so versatile that it can be adapted to changing requirements over the long term.
The new production site is only twelve km as the crow flies from the company’s headquarters in Spay. With ideal connections to the main regional traffic arteries, the plant offers the optimum conditions for smooth logistics. In addition to the production shops, there will also be a three-storey administration building and a social and technical building with a training workshop. Once completed, the new site will accommodate a total of about 260 jobs in production and administration, including 20 apprentice positions.
SCHOTTEL is investing around 38 million euro in the new building in Dörth – a production site with the latest machinery, efficient logistics and sustainable energy management.
The flow of materials at the new production site has been optimized – from incoming goods to the shipping of finished Rudderpropellers. New machine tools have increased the in-house production capacity. This will reduce production times, while at the same time maintaining consistently good quality and shortening supply routes. SCHOTTEL expects the new site to increase its production capacity by approximately 30 %.
Energy-conscious and sustainable
The production shops in Dörth will include a combination system for heating and ventilation that will also filter exhaust air. The process heat generated in production will be used to heat the shops and offices. For example, the redirected exhaust heat from the test basin will be used for underfloor heating in the offices. The lighting will also be controlled efficiently: large glass windows will allow for optimum use of daylight, and the lighting in the rooms will be automatically regulated accordingly.
Service capacity expanded at headquarters in Spay
The Spay location will continue to serve as the headquarters of the SCHOTTEL Group. The company’s service division will obtain new capacity here: the former production site will be used to house the service warehouse, which was previously split across different sites. There will be a larger repair area and a separate mechanical production facility. A joinery, paint shop and test and development shop will also be available. With short lines of communication and efficient logistics, SCHOTTEL will thus be able to respond to customers’ wishes even more quickly in the future.
Successful projects in tidal energy
With the STG tidal turbine SCHOTTEL has a product on the market for harvesting energy from currents that can flexibly be adapted to different sites. Test projects have been successfully initiated with various partners and are scheduled to be commissioned in the near future or in the coming years. Current projects are focused primarily on the British Isle of Wight and the Bay of Fundy in Canada.