A SYMBIOSIS BETWEEN MAN AND MACHINE
IT ALL BEGAN HERE 100 YEARS AGO: AT THE ABUS HEADQUARTERS IN WETTER ON THE RIVER RUHR.
Even though everyday working life here has changed over the past century, one thing remains the same: every lock that leaves this production facility first passes through the careful hands of our employees. This is where modern technology and proven craftsmanship come together to combine the best of both worlds.
In a conversation with Christian Gluschak, Team Leader Toolmaking, and Heike Masuhr, a member of the tool design team, we find out how products "Made in Germany" are manufactured at our production facility in the Hegestraße.
Which ABUS products are still manufactured in the production facility in the Hegestraße like before?
Christian Gluschak: "These are mainly the traditional locks, the Diskus – our original – in different sizes and laminated padlocks, but also door hasps. The LoTo area is also located here, in other words ABUS products for occupational safety. The products that come from the Hegestraße plant have now been distributed worldwide for 100 years. That's really impressive."
Most of the machines and tools that are operated by human hands here were also manufactured in Hegestraße. Why does ABUS rely on in-house machine and tool construction?
Heike Masuhr: "First and foremost, so that we can produce independently and autonomously. Our machines, for example the Diskus welding machines or the shackle machines, contain decades of knowledge that we want to preserve. In-house toolmaking and machine construction ensure that manual work is not just used to correct errors. It enables us to have the production process in our own hands right from the start and gives us planning security – especially in uncertain times."
What role do humans play as specialists in the Hegestraße plant?
Christian Gluschak: "The expertise of our employees is indispensable. In some cases, people here can directly recognise where a possible fault could lie from a single noise during the final inspection of the locks. The value of manual craftsmanship is not so easy to quantify. We know and value the know-how of our employees, who often have strong ties to the company, and utilise it in a targeted manner.
Another aspect: we cater to individual customer requirements and even produce Diskus locks with own customer embossing. These are quantities in very different order sizes for which automation would only be conceivable in the future."
How is it ensured that not only production but also further steps in the value chain are "Made in Germany"?
Heike Masuhr: Here, locally sourced raw materials are punched, assembled, welded and inspected using tools built in-house - it's hard to get more "Made in Germany" than that. Another thing that should not be forgotten is the fact that products like the Diskus were created here in people's minds.