With a total workforce of 274 employees and annual turnover of around 30 million EUR, Globus Gummiwerke is one of the companies that make up Germany’s famed Mittelstand. These small and medium-sized enterprises often punch far above their weight in international markets thanks to their virtues of quality, reliability and efficiency.
“We are without a doubt a good supplier for our customers,” says Managing Director Klaus Lahmeyer. “We are quick and flexible and can deliver in high quantities in consistently high quality. As a supplier to the automotive industry we are certified in accordance with ISO TS 16949. These are the qualities that set us apart from our competitors.”
In addition to producing sealing rings for aerosol cans, Globus Gummiwerke also makes gaskets for automotive oil filters and tank caps. Here again it ranks amongst the world leaders.
“Our sealings are used in the electronic and sanitary sectors, in machine construction, commercial vehicles, trains as well as many others,” says Mr. Lahmeyer. “For each application the material used has to withstand different pressures and stresses or resist the effect of different liquids with which they come into contact.”
This is one of the key focuses of Globus Gummiwerke’s research and development activities. “One of the keys to our success is the way we are always looking to the future and trying to identify trends or new challenges that our seals will have to overcome,” adds Mr. Lahmeyer. “In this way we are already ahead of the market and the competition.”
Globus Gummiwerke has more than a century of experience upon which to draw. Founded in 1906 in Ahrensbök, which is situated close to the sea, it started out primarily as a manufacturer of seals for tinned fish. It also made seals for Kilner jars and doorstoppers. In 1994, the company was bought by Gruppe Veritas which, as part of a streamlining of its product portfolio, sold the company to the Munich-based private equity company Callista in May 2016.
“The sale necessitated a complete restructure in order to build up resources that had previously been accessed through the group,” says Mr. Lahmeyer who was appointed to his position as managing director at the beginning of 2017. “We have successfully negotiated a period of significant change and can now focus on our goal of building our international market position.”
The basis of the newly-named Globus Gummiwerke’s success thus far has been its highly efficient and cost-effective production methods. “Rubber rings can either be made by cutting the rings from an extruded rubber tube or through injection moulding using a die,” explains Mr. Lahmeyer. “We employ the former technique which is much cheaper and also generates far less waste material.”
The company currently has around 1,500 standard products in its portfolio but this is only the tip of the iceberg of what is possible. “We currently find ourselves in the middle of radical change within the company as a result of the new ownership structure,” says Mr. Lahmeyer.
One of the key axes of development Globus Gummiwerke is pursuing is improving the efficiency of the manufacturing process still further. Where previously, extruded rings underwent a final grinding stage to achieve the exact dimensions required, now the emphasis is on greater precision at the extrusion stage so that this final step is not needed. Globus Gummiwerke sees itself as a strategic development partner to its customers and works closely together with its customers’ research and development departments on new products and processes.
“We are a development supplier for the OEM market and continue to lead the market through innovation,” says Mr. Lahmeyer. “Having long marketed our products under the Poppe brand, we now want to strengthen our presence as Globus in all of our key markets as well as expand into new ones.”