Alexander Leutner

Wood & Panel gets up and personal with Mr. Alexander Leutner, Vice President of Berndorf Band GmbH.

woodandpaneleurope How was LIGNA? Did you meet your expectations through the show and how has been the feedback?

Alexander Leutner : Since LIGNA is the most important fair for the wood processing industry we have prepared ourselves well and presented a new layout of our booth. The new design should support two messages: First, Berndorf being the technology leader in our business providing the highest quality of steel belts combined with an excellent worldwide service. Second, Berndorf being a reputable supplier of double press machineries in low pressure applications (especially composites, technical textiles, flooring) with our newly designed modular double belt press, where Berndorf even facilitates customer tests in our own test center. The result of our efforts has been great: We got very good feedback on the new booth design, could sign new orders on site for our Berndorf steel belts and received several inquiries for the innovative Berndorf double belt press.

woodandpaneleurope What have been the challenges following the acquisition of Sandvik Surface Solution?

Alexander Leutner : Since the Surface Solution Divison could not be managed profitable by Sandvik, it was decided to stop its operation. In order to guarantee further supply of steel belts, Berndorf was ready to continue to invest and took over the assets. Of course, there have been a lot of challenges: Technologically to “translate” the old production method of SSS to Berndorf´s state-of-the-art processes; Business-wise to secure a timely and qualitative highest supply of steel belts. Although this process is not yet finished we have received a lot of very positive feedback from our customers how well Berndorf could handle the take-over. Especially, the customers are very happy that they receive such an excellent support from Berndorf and they see a further development and also invest in this business area. This is finally also important for our customers in their decision to invest even more in the continuous production.

woodandpaneleurope Berndorf Band, the successful producer of high quality steel belts, what makes your products so extraordinary?

Alexander Leutner : As a total solution provider we produce high-quality steel belts and offer different solutions for belt machines as well as service all over the word. Those different solutions are used in production processes of various industries. The close cooperation within the Berndorf Band Group members in Europe, Asia, North America and South America allows intense customer relationships as well as the production of complete and tailor-made process systems.

Our belts run in an endless condition even during production which guarantees perfect running characteristics and optimal flatness. They also withstand permanent dynamic stress caused by continuous bending and stretching, heating and cooling over a long period of time.

To keep our superior standards, our highly experienced experts work closely with customers to consistently build up optimal parameters for production processes and to meet their requirements. Due to this manufacturing process we are able to provide customized steel belt systems like modular double belt presses, casters, machine components and conventional machines to meet our customers’ requirements.

Moreover our worldwide operating service network, steady development of new maintenance and repair tools, as well as work techniques and broad training offer, proof of the outstanding care we give our customers.

This is why numerous manufacturers in various industries make use of Berndorf Band Group’s reliable steel belts, belt systems and service to ensure the highest level of product quality.

woodandpaneleurope Do you have any plan to execute any new products after the success of 3.5mm belt?

Alexander Leutner :Yes! In fact we are currently in the process of finalizing a number of new features, partly related to belts, but also to new service tools. Unfortunately, in the current stage of the innovation projects it is too early to provide more information. But we are looking forward to release this information very soon.

woodandpaneleurope What are the main features of Textured Steel Belts? If you can tell us about that.

Alexander Leutner : A major benefit of textured stainless steel belts is their long lifetime. We achieve this longevity with the use of specially engineered machines capable of reconditioning the belts and restoring their chrome plating. These highly specialized machines are able to gently rebuild the gloss of the belts, thereby restoring the belts to near original condition. To customers using their belts for continuous operation and, thus, requiring regular refurbishing, we offer machines for purchase and installation on the customer’s premises.

The application of state-of-the-art manufacturing processes has enabled us to advance the technical possibilities to the next level, ensuring the production of innovative textures with stunning visual and haptical properties at high resolution and perfect positioning accuracy.

woodandpaneleurope Does your double belt press get any recent innovation? How has been the market faring in Europe and America for this particular product?

Alexander Leutner : Indeed, we can announce the readiness of the Roller Carpet Module for our Modular Double Belt Press. This module is the last puzzle piece for our R&D unit. We are now in the position to run product tests from 0 to 15bar at temperatures up to 400°C. With the available up- and downstream equipment e.g. scattering device, product un- and upwinders we can fulfill most of our customer needs. Thus we are very close to their production processes with the trials. This finally gives confidence to both, the customer and our engineers to upscale the unit. The demand for the trials and the product MDBP itself, coming from all over the world, proves our investment.

woodandpaneleurope Fourth generation of Berndorf Band patching tool is the recent add-on to your revolutionary innovation. If you can share us something about that.

Alexander Leutner : The Berndorf Band Patching Tool was a success story from the beginning onwards. Over the years demands and quality aspects increased and this resulted in further developments. With our latest generation, the Patching Tool PT2015 it is possible to fix it at thickest steel belts up to 3,5mm, even when – due to the production process in double belt presses or due to damages – the belts are not perfectly flat anymore. Additionally we invested a lot into several innovative welding methods to assure that we will meet the demands of our customers. Since the market introduction of the Patching Tool in 1997 more than eighty (80) tools were sold to Berndorf customers and stationed at our service partners. Thousands of patches at highest quality were inserted into steel belts all over the world. 20 years after market introduction we are unrivalled in this area as no one ever reached the same quality level. Quickness alone is not everything!

woodandpaneleurope What are the plans going forward in 2017?

Alexander Leutner : Berndorf is the technology leader in steel belts and has many years of experience in engineering of machineries, especially caster and double belt presses. Whenever our customers face technical issues, Berndorf is the No. 1 address to receive the necessary support on the highest quality level. This competence we will further develop and are not stopping to bring more innovation to the market, supporting our customers.


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