PARAT covers two business units at five locations altogether in Germany, Austria, Hungary and Russia. At 80%, the lion’s share of the company’s production falls to plastics.
“Not only is this the largest field of work; it is also the biggest area of growth,” says CFO Thomas Kritzenberger. “There is a lot of innovative strength in this field, as well.”
The remaining 20% is composed of tool bags and boxes, cases, and explosion-proof lights. PARAT is an expert in a variety of plastics processing techniques, including thermoforming and the use of long fibers.
A primary focus of the portfolio is on outer cladding and interior lining for agricultural and construction equipment, utility vehicles, and special vehicles.
“For instance, we produce engine components and hoods for tractors, including the lights, covers and lining,” CEO Frank Peters explains. “We also offer complete back panels for caravans, radiators grilles, bumpers, complete roofs for convertibles and countless other parts for the exterior in a number of colours.”
Thanks to the company’s expertise in thermoforming, no subsequent painting is necessary, and PARAT has extensive knowhow in processing long glass fiber reinforced plastics.
In interiors, the company’s spectrum encompasses the driver’s cabs of tractors and linings where fabrics or leather are used. The plastics division serves large, global OEMs, such as Daimler, the entire AGO Group, MAN in utility vehicles, Caterpillar and Liebherr for construction equipment, Knaus and the Hymer Group in caravans, and Claas and Deutz for tractors.
“Our customers make up a ‘Who’s who?’ list in their respective fields,” Mr. Peters highlights. “We are leaders in innovation and among the trendsetters in our field. We offer our customers real added value.”
PARAT’s second business unit offers standard items of premium quality, like tool bags, textile cases and high-quality cases for professional tradesmen. “We also provide goods tailored to our customers’ needs,” Mr. Kritzenberger points out. “For instance, a company that has 300 people in its field staff might come to us for laptop cases. We can create a laptop case specially designed for that company.”
In this area, PARAT cooperates with organizations, EDI Fürth and sales agents, as well as selling online via Konrad Elektronik, Amazon and Pro Cato. SMEs and professional tradesmen are also among the company’s target groups.
PARAT was founded in 1945 in Remscheid, the stronghold of the tool industry at that time. The company initially focused on leather bags.
After opening a plant in Neureichenau in 1961, PARAT began the search for alternative materials – and found plastics. It started producing suitcases, and the innovations piled up from there: roofs for convertibles, foam insulation, fiber-reinforced plastics and more.
PARAT gradually made its way onto the supplier lists of major manufacturers of utility vehicles, agricultural machines, caravans and recreational vehicles.
“We are one of the most innovative manufacturers of fiberreinforced plastic cladding,” Mr. Peters notes. “It makes for a great surface. It is very versatile.”
The concept of ‘you have to spend money to make money’ is not lost on PARAT. The company is investing eight million EUR in its plant in Hungary, and it has invested five million EUR in the Neureichenau location. “We are extremely grateful to the government of Lower Bavaria and our owners for making it possible,” the CEO says.
The strongest branches are in Austria and Germany, but these are balanced with the plants in low-cost countries. “Without low-cost countries, we would have no chance against the competition,” Mr. Peters points out. “This combination keeps our innovation high without inflating our costs.”
PARAT has big plans in store for its future to increase its 75 million EUR turnover: It strives to be the most innovative company in the world concerning plastics, lightweight construction and materials.
The path to reaching that milestone lies in continuing to offer innovative solutions. “We also want to focus on the global aspect of our goal,” the CEO adds. “We’re already at the top in the EU. The next logical step is the world. Serving OEMs outside the European Union is our big chance.”
The company’s expertise in plastics is in demand worldwide, and there is huge growth potential in China, Brazil and North America. Lightweight construction and the extensive integration of plastic parts, especially regarding emissions and weight reduction, are hot topics.
“The realm of plastics is growing,” Mr. Peters continues. “There are more and more possible applications.” Thanks to synergies within the company, the cases division profits from the developments in plastics.
“We can offer new materials and solutions for lower weight with increased robustness,” Mr. Kritzenberger underlines. “Ergonomics can also be improved. With our thermoforming technology and other processing techniques, we can provide even better customized products.”