EBNER.blog | Peter Gosch, EBNER, Austria
During hard times, a strong sense of solidarity was found at the center of the German wire industry.
The historic flooding that took place in July, 2021 caused damage to an extent never before seen in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Homes, streets, businesses, vehicles and critical infrastructure all fell victim to the storms. Particularly hard hit by the effects of the heavy rains was Altena, a small city in the Märkischer Kreis district of North Rhine-Westphalia that is widely regarded as the center of the German wire industry.
FLOODING SHUTS DOWN PLANTS
At several plants, production and manufacturing came to a complete stop. Many of the well-known manufacturers operating those plants have been EBNER customers for decades, and it was thus our highest priority and our duty to support the affected companies immediately, with every available resource.
Rapid on-site assistance was provided by the EBNER service team. Every available colleague from the Service, Installation and Electrical Engineering departments traveled to the flooded region, and assessment of the damage began immediately.
At several of our customers’ works, a continuation of normal production was unthinkable. The components affected most severely were, of course, those in the electrical systems – almost every power panel stood in waist-deep water. Just as critical was the need to contain the threat posed by escaping hydrogen.
The customers affected by flooding could use all the help they could get, and the EBNER team left its core competencies far behind as it made itself available to support both the cleaning and the drying of the facilities.
Thanks to the high level of personal commitment and everyone’s willingness to get their hands dirty, along with the feeling of solidarity that grew between our customers and the EBNER service team, emergency operation could be started at almost every plant – allowing critical production to be started up again, at least in part.
COMPETITORS BECOME PARTNERS
The powerful feeling of solidarity was also seen among the different companies in the region, most of which are family-owned. Particularly worth mentioning are those wire manufacturing plants that were not affected so dramatically by the catastrophe, but who provided rapid, unbureaucratic assistance to their competitors – e.g. by scheduling toll anneals to allow customer orders to be filled on time.
LOOKING POSITIVELY TOWARD THE FUTURE
Although it may still take some time, we are optimistic that production capacity can be fully restored at our customers’ works.
The EBNER service team will continue to provide rapid, professional assistance, so that “center of the German wire industry” will be as strong as as it was before and ready to deliver products at full capacity.