50 years of Wieland heat exchangers
01. September 2009 GEA Happel Wieland celebrates its company anniversary
For generations now, heat exchangers have been indispensable in industry, energy technology, and building services – for transporting process heat and for creating comfortable room climate. For exactly a half century, GEA Happel Wieland GmbH, in Sprockhövel, Germany, has served this market. With founding of the company on 1 September 1959, Frank Wieland provided the basis for corporate success by supplying his customers with products, for example, in the form of liquid coolers, condensers, air pre-heaters, and heat-recuperation systems.
Heat exchangers for standard and special applications
The areas of applications of these products are many and various – as are their possible dimensions. One impressive example was delivery in the 1980s by Wieland of heat exchangers for the manufacture of Ceran kitchen stoves. The 13 Wieland units, which served for cooling of the production process, were each 5 x 3 x 2 m in size, and each weighed as much as 10 small cars.
Traditional and yet committed to innovations
Starting decades ago, production at Wieland also included heat exchangers in various models and materials. Despite the continuity in its product portfolio, the company has continuously drawn attention by its innovations. Its products have become well known for their long life cycles, their effective heat transfer, and their practically oriented design. They quickly and consistently found a solid position on the market. One example is the Wieland steel battery. This heat exchanger was developed in the 1980s and features 2 or 3 elliptical finned pipes, mounted next to each other and connected by fins. Since the mid-1990s, the company has also produced stainless-steel heat exchangers. They are primarily used where requirements for hygiene are particularly strict, or when the ambient air contains aggressive substances.
Ups and downs in the company history
Despite its solid product portfolio, the history of the company was not always entirely easy. Owners and names changed over the course of the years. In 1968 Wieland was acquired by Paul Pollrich GmbH & Comp., located in Mönchengladbach, Germany, producers of fans and air-handling units. GEA acquired Pollrich 21 years later, which also accounted for heat-exchanger activities in Sprockhövel. Although Pollrich was sold again 4 years later, GEA Happel Wieland GmbH has remained an essential part of GEA.
Staff and management set their sails on a successful course
The company has also experienced economics ups and downs. The employees mastered a crisis in 2003, for example, and now look confidently into the future. One sign of confidence is their factory complex, which has recently been modernized and expanded. The company has also strengthened activities in Sprockhövel by adapting its product portfolio, and by introducing a modern, competitive form of wages and salaries. Since the summer of 2009, the order situation in Sprockhövel has also improved as a result of organizational measures: as part of production concentration, manufacture of steel heat exchangers was relocated from an affiliated company in Austria to Sprockhövel. Management expects this step to achieve synergistic effects in more effective production, enhanced logistics, and concentration of competence.
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