Jürgen Hauger

Wood & Panel gets up and personal with Jürgen Hauger, Head of Sales of the VOLLMER Group, Read More.


How is the European market faring right now?

Jürgen Hauger : Europe always has been and always will be VOLLMER’s local market. Nine of our fifteen facilities around the world are in European countries and we recently opened a new European subsidiary in Russia. Over half our turnover is generated in Europe and our headquarters in Germany are in Biberach an der Riß, which is right in the middle of Europe. The Technology and Service Centre we have there is the beating heart of our dynamic corporation. We have been forging strong and stable relationships with our customers for over 100 years, and many of these partnerships – both within and outside Europe – have been going for many decades.


What makes you one of the market leaders in sharpening and erosion machines? What are your main strengths?

Jürgen Hauger : VOLLMER’s strength lies in the way it combines tradition and innovation. Heinrich Vollmer built the first saw setting machines and filing machines back in 1909. We still share his vision of making cutting tools and saw blades as sharp as possible to this day. Our abiding passion for what we do has led us to develop countless innovations for grinding and eroding circular saws, band saws and rotary tools. Nobody works quite as meticulously at sharpening tools or knows quite as much about saw blades, tooth shapes and tool geometries as VOLLMER. We are constantly striving to develop new technologies and services to make tool machining even more efficient and cost-effective. I think VOLLMER draws its strength and its character from our pioneering spirit, courage and conscientiousness, coupled with a certain sense of rootedness.


VOLLMER specialises in sharpening services. The Dutch company Kinkelder and the German company Neher have recently placed their trust in VOLLMER. How do they succeed in their business?

Jürgen Hauger :Both of them are classic examples of medium-sized companies that focus closely on precision on a daily basis in order to manufacture premium-quality tools. Kinkelder from the Netherlands is famous around the world for its carbide-tipped circular saw blades, which it uses over 20 VOLLMER sharpening machines to machine. The company is successful because it not only manufactures circular saws but also conducts research into sawing technology in order to perfect its tools – looking at the basic body, the tipping of the teeth and the rotation of the blade. Kinkelder really gets to the heart of what makes a circular saw blade work. Neher, a family-run company from Germany, is very similar in that it develops solid carbide and diamond tools and uses numerous VOLLMER eroding machines to do so. Since it was founded 25 years ago, Neher has turned from a one-man-operation into a market-driving PCD manufacturer with over 80 members of staff. The company not only understands its customers’ needs but also knows how to address them with specific tools.


Isn’t Neher using 13 VOLLMER tools? What feedback have you had about them?

Jürgen Hauger : Neher values the precision and reliability of our machines, which we guarantee for several years. VOLLMER and Neher entered into a working partnership a quarter of a century ago, and our happy, friendly relationship goes above and beyond that which normally exists between a customer and a supplier. We provide each other with the mutual support we need to develop innovations and plan a successful future together – it is precisely this that unites us.


What are the main features of CHF sharpening machines?

Jürgen Hauger : The CHF grinding machine uses five CNC-controlled axes to machine the tooth sides of carbide-tipped circular saw blades. All commonly used angles are ground in only one cycle, even on saws with group toothing. The CHF is optimally combined with a CHP sharpening machine in order to sharpen even the hook and clearance angles of carbide-tipped circular saw blades with precision. The CHP has four CNC-controlled axes, which enables it to fully machine all common tooth geometries.


What will be your marketing strategy for the upcoming months?

Jürgen Hauger : We believe that face-to-face meetings and discussions are hugely important in fostering strong and lasting relationships with our customers, which is why regional sales staff at VOLLMER spend the majority of their time on customer visits. Our marketing strategy also focuses on one-to-one dialogue, and so we always make sure that VOLLMER is represented at the industry’s most important trade fairs. We are even planning to unveil new machinery at our very own in-house fairs in China, Germany and the US. We also recognise the importance of communicating via online channels and social media networks such as Facebook, and we currently have plans to relaunch our website and revise our online strategy.


Do you have any plans for expansion – maybe some new subsidiaries in the Middle East and Asia?

Jürgen Hauger : In addition to our new facility in Russia, we have also recently founded a subsidiary in South Korea. VOLLMER now cultivates a presence in 15 countries – nine in Europe, four in Asia and two in America. Our headquarters remain in Biberach an der Riß, where we control and coordinate our international activities, in particular those for each one of our over 30 agencies. Asia is an extremely exciting market for us and it is constantly growing – it holds a lot of potential but it also presents us with a fair few challenges. VOLLMER has decided to firmly establish itself in Asia for precisely this reason. In addition to our subsidiary in South Korea, we have facilities in India, Japan and China too. We also operate our own production facilities for the Asian market in the Chinese city of Taicang.


Tell us about your presence in the US.

Jürgen Hauger : This year marks the 40th anniversary of our US subsidiary in Carnegie, near Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. VOLLMER of America acts as our headquarters for the entire North American market. Eighteen members of staff are currently employed there. The vast distances between places in the US poses particular challenges for our sales and service teams there, as our customers come from every single state in the US. The US also has various industrial centres, meaning that many of our sawmill clients are based in the north west and south east of the country, while companies working in production technology are primarily located in the north east, the mid west, and in the province of Ontario in Canada.


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