Competence, Reliability and Quality as Strengths

Interview with Carsten Eichardt, Production Manager of ASW GmbH

ASW Company Headquarters

Demanding tasks in sheet metal processing and welding technology are in the best of hands with ASW GmbH, located in Middle Franconia. The company from Windsbach boasts a state-of-the-art and very well-equipped machinery park, as well as highly trained employees. Customers from various industries therefore rely on the competence and experience of the family business.

"Competence, reliability, and quality are our great strengths," emphasizes Carsten Eichardt, production manager at ASW GmbH. "In addition, we feel very connected to the Middle Franconia region." There are many metalworking companies in Germany, but ASW stands out due to its special qualities. "We specialize in single-part production including small batches," explains Carsten Eichardt, who has been responsible as a production manager at ASW for a good two and a half years after various positions. "Every month, we produce between 3,000 and 3,800 items. About 60% of these are new parts, all of which are individually manufactured."

Carsten Eichardt, Production Manager of ASW GmbH
Carsten Eichardt, Production Manager of ASW GmbH

Technology Partner of Trumpf

With state-of-the-art machines - many from the globally renowned manufacturer Trumpf, whose technology partner is ASW - the company focuses on laser cutting, bending, milling, and welding of sheet metal. In addition, the company also offers complete assembly of individual components to its customers. The portfolio also includes surface treatment and powder coating in cooperation with external service providers.

In principle, brass and copper can be processed up to a thickness of 10 mm. For steel, it is 30 mm and for stainless steel 40 mm. Sheet sizes of up to 4 x 2 m are possible for laser cutting and bending. Modern solid-state cutting systems ensure highly precise work. "As a rule, we receive a draft drawing from our customers," describes the production manager the procedure of an order. "We sketch a feasibility study and then make an offer. If necessary, our own design department supports the process."

ASW Press Brake
Allows lengths up to 4,000 mm: Press Brake TrueBend 5320 by Trumpf
ASW Welding Work
Highly trained: Welders at work

Even more important than the state-of-the-art and efficient machines, in the opinion of Carsten Eichardt, however, are the employees at ASW: "We place a lot of emphasis on manpower and well-trained staff. We do not have any jobs that only require on-the-job training. Our people work at excellently equipped system workplaces." In order to have highly qualified employees in the company in the future, ASW trains various professional groups itself. This includes welders as well as machine and plant operators, and also construction mechanics, specialists in metal technology, and office management clerks. "Anyone trained by us is sought after everywhere in the industry," Carsten Eichardt emphasizes.

Part of a strong group

In 1978, Hartmut Schneider founded the company as a welding specialist firm. Later, laser cutting and bending were added as further competencies. Since 1995, ASW has been at its current location in Windsbach, where the company has a production area of 6,500 m2. ASW belongs to the Schneider group, which is 100% family-owned and based in Neu-Isenburg, led by Britta Schneider and Andreas Mägerlein.

Also part of the holding is Hornung GmbH, which specializes in pressure gas technology, CNC turning and milling, and oxyfuel technology, the welding supply store Schweiss-Schneider, Ciani with competencies in store furnishing and display construction, and the personnel service provider Luculentus. Of the total 200 employees of the Schneider group, 125 work at ASW, which generates a revenue of 14 million EUR.

Multiply certified

ASW's customers mainly come from the machinery and vehicle construction sectors, as well as medical technology. Another customer group consists of manufacturers of rail vehicles, since the company, certified according to ISO 9001 and 14001, also meets the requirements of DIN 15085 for the production of rail vehicles and parts. Most customers are from Germany, but delivery is also made to other European countries such as Spain and the Czech Republic.

ASW - Production Area
Own operating system: All important data can be accessed at the terminals

To provide customers with the best possible support, each client is assigned a dedicated employee from the order service center. The partnership relationship with customers is always the focal point. Many new orders come through recommendations from satisfied regular customers. In addition, sales staff proactively approach potential new clients.

Course for Growth

"We control all orders through our own operating system," explains Carsten Eichardt. "All machines are connected to it, and employees can access relevant data at terminals." Significant investments have been made in environmental protection in recent years. While the annual electricity consumption was still at two million kilowatts in 2017, it has been reduced to 750,000 KW by 2023.

Heat recovery, an environmental management system, and a new paint shop with air extraction instead of a water wall, as well as a photovoltaic system, avoiding CO2 lasers, and the use of LED lights, all contribute to sustainability. "Our team spirit is very strong," says the production manager happily. "We help each other and maintain a familial relationship with one another." In the coming years, the machinery park is to be further renewed, including the addition of a laser system for cutting copper over 10 mm.