Metal in Shape: Efficient Solutions for the Future

Interview with Andreas Hellmann, Head of STÜKEN MEDICAL Hubert Stüken GmbH & Co. KG

Andreas Hellmann, Head of STÜKEN MEDICAL Hubert Stüken GmbH & Co. KG
Andreas Hellmann, Head of STÜKEN MEDICAL Hubert Stüken GmbH & Co. KG

Without much ado, Hubert Stüken GmbH & Co. KG, with its headquarters in Rinteln, has advanced to become the world's leading solution provider for high-precision metal components. But it's not just the leadership position that distinguishes the company, but also its clear focus on sustainability and the use of state-of-the-art technologies. Andreas Hellmann, head of STÜKEN MEDICAL, highlights the advantages of the deep drawing process, innovative procedures, and environmentally friendly practices.

Wirtschaftsforum: Mr. Hellmann, Hubert Stüken GmbH & Co. KG operates as a contract manufacturer and has a low public profile. Why this approach?

Andreas Hellmann: Our focus is on precision parts, and our process is not widely known. We are a contract manufacturer, but beyond that, we offer our clients comprehensive solutions and consulting. Indeed, external visibility is an aspect we need to work on. Our range of services extends from optimal material use through efficient manufacturing processes to a variety of finishing and further processing procedures. We are development partners for new products and support our clients from conception to mass production.

Hubert Stüken Application Areas
Some product examples from the application area of Titanium, specifically manufactured for the case of high precision by STÜKEN MEDICAL

Wirtschaftsforum: That sounds very versatile. Can you tell us something about the history of the company?

Andreas Hellmann: Hubert Stüken GmbH & Co. KG was founded in 1931 and has continuously evolved since then. We have international subsidiaries in China, the USA, and the Czech Republic, while our main plant is located in Germany. We employ around 850 staff at the Rinteln site and approximately 1,200 worldwide.

Hubert Stüken Application Areas
Certified according to DIN EN ISO 13485, STÜKEN MEDICAL ensures absolute cleanliness regarding germ contamination and particle concentrations

Wirtschaftsforum: In which areas are Stüken's products used?

Andreas Hellmann: Our focus is on deep drawing of metal, especially steel, stainless steel, nickel, copper, brass, bronze, aluminum, and special metals like titanium. We manufacture 50 million parts daily, which are used in various industries, including the automotive sector including electromobility, in electronics and electrical engineering, industrial applications, household appliances, and building services engineering. The areas of application for our parts in my area of responsibility, medical technology, include medical pumps, diabetes care, fever thermometers, medical tools, medication application, primary packaging, and medical casings.

Wirtschaftsforum: How has the market developed in recent years?

Andreas Hellmann: The market is dynamic. There are alternative technologies like turning, but depending on the situation, deep drawing is often the most efficient process, especially for large quantities and small, precise parts. Today, we are the largest provider of this process and produce the most parts. Market shifts due to events like the coronavirus pandemic can be internally compensated for thanks to our broad positioning. In volatile times, it's important to be agile. That's why we invest in innovations to optimize our processes. In addition, during the energy crisis, we invested in PV plants and optimized our processes to reduce CO2 emissions.

Wirtschaftsforum: Let's talk about digital transformation. How has it affected your company?

Andreas Hellmann: We have been actively shaping the digital transformation for years. We are increasingly using robots and networking through data, especially for quality assurance. Simulation allows us to produce faster and test tools in advance. We are also breaking new ground in teamwork.

Hubert Stüken Deep Drawing Process
Many advantages: For small, precise parts, deep drawing is often the most efficient process, as costs, energy consumption, and CO2 emissions are lower

Wirtschaftsforum: What success factors do you see for Stüken?

Andreas Hellmann: Our broad positioning, international business, pronounced know-how, and the use of all available data are decisive factors. We rely on IT technologies, have our own tool-making facility with over 100,000 tools created, and master various processes such as laser technology, stamping, and welding. The 100% inspection and refinement with heat treatment are further elements that distinguish us.

Wirtschaftsforum: Looking into the future, what are your philosophy and your goals?

Andreas Hellmann: We focus on skilled workers, train our own apprentices, and use the dual system also in our foreign branches. Our employees should enjoy their work and be proud of what they do. Sustainability is particularly important to us. Metal can be recycled, but the energy required is high. Therefore, we aim for optimum and long-term use. Climate change is a major problem, and we want to contribute by reducing CO2 emissions. With foresight, we invest in our buildings, production facilities, storage technology, and transport systems. In the process, we utilize the opportunities and possibilities of digitalization and automation. With innovations and the creation of ever-new added value, we aim to continue growing together with our customers.