30 Years of Expertise in Surface Technology

Interview with Dr. Alexander Nerowski, Technical Managing Director, and Mark Schreckenbach, Commercial Managing Director of Nehlsen-BWB Aircraft Galvanics Dresden GmbH & Co. KG

Nehlsen-BWB Aircraft Galvanics Team Picture
"We live by the expertise of our employees," says Mark Schreckenbach. The managing director wants to make the profession of surface technician attractive to the next generation

Since July 1, 2023, Dr. Alexander Nerowski and Mark Schreckenbach have formed the management duo of Nehlsen-BWB Aircraft Galvanics GmbH & Co. KG. In an interview with Wirtschaftsforum, they discussed this generational change and the associated changes and goals, the commitment to sustainability in the search for new solutions for and with the customer, and how they would like to inspire young people for the profession of surface technician.

Wirtschaftsforum: Mr. Dr. Nerowski, Mr. Schreckenbach, Nehlsen-BWB Flugzeug-Galvanik Dresden GmbH & Co. KG has been looking back on more than 30 years in the technical treatment of surfaces – especially in the aviation industry. However, the company has now also branched out into other areas - what does your current portfolio include?

Dr. Alexander Nerowski: The aviation industry has always been our main target group, with a 70% share of sales, stemming from our own history, as we started as the galvanizing department of what today is Elbe Flugzeugwerke. The primary task of galvanizing in aircraft construction is corrosion protection, i.e., making the installed parts resistant to environmental and other influences.

Nehlsen-BWB Aircraft Galvanic Production Area
Galvanic surface treatment is the core business of the Dresden-based company, in which it has acquired comprehensive expertise over the 30 years of its existence

We primarily treat metallic components by processing their surfaces through electroplating or chemical means. We also handle painting. As mentioned, we are now also serving customers from mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, the semiconductor industry, as well as vehicle and wagon construction sectors, and we possess all the necessary certifications.

Dr. Alexander Nerowski, Technical Managing Director and Mark Schreckenbach, Commercial Managing Director
Dr. Alexander Nerowski, Technical Managing Director and Mark Schreckenbach, Commercial Managing Director

Wirtschaftsforum: You both have only been in office as a managing director duo since last July. Are there any strategic initiatives you are setting, changes in the company you would like to initiate?

Mark Schreckenbach: With our entry, a generational change has taken place. Our predecessors were with the company for a very long time and have shaped it accordingly. In this respect, just this change alone is quite significant, because the company is very stable in terms of things like cohesion and identification with the company. That's why we also have very little fluctuation among employees. Nonetheless, we need to tackle the issue of personnel because we are labor-intensive – we live off the expertise of our employees. Our activities involve skills that cannot be learned quickly and easily, concerning the profession of galvanizer/surface technician, for which the number of trainees has drastically decreased. We need to find new ways to recruit employees, for example, by inspiring young people for our profession directly at schools. Even from technically skilled career changers or switchers from other technical professions, we can make experienced colleagues. Above all, it's about making the profession attractive to the next generation.

Wirtschaftsforum: What do you see as the strengths of your company?

Dr. Alexander Nerowski: What distinguishes us is our comprehensive competence and especially the quality of our work. Unlike many other market competitors, we offer a wide variety of galvanic processes that are approved for use in aviation. Regarding the compatibility of the substances we use, we work with our customers to support them on their journey to green products.

Wirtschaftsforum: What is your vision for the future of the company?

Mark Schreckenbach: To be a service provider that finds solutions together with customers, but also proactively promotes sustainability. And to continue being successful with the team.