Metal construction firm Poggel, based in Lennestadt in the Sauerland region of Germany, is a prime example of how using an elumatec machine such as the SBZ 151 can have a transformative effect for smaller companies by allowing them to offer their customers an all-round service. For Manager Martin Poggel, elumatec is a reliable long-term partner – and the practical benefits of the relationship are mutual.
To hear Martin Poggel and Stefan Huster chatting is like listening to two old friends. Martin, the son of company founder Klaus-Peter Poggel, and Stefan, Head of Software Development at elusoft, have a close working relationship and treat each other as equals; after all, Martin is a boss who wants to help out wherever he can rather than simply sitting at his desk all day. The 33-year-old programmes and operates the machines, in particular the SBZ 151 profile machining centre equipped with eluCad software. “We’ve reached the stage where Martin is now explaining to us how best to operate the machines”, laughs Stefan.
The Albertus Magnus Outpatient Centre in Siegen, Germany
Image copyright: Metallbau Poggel GmbH, Lennestadt, Germany
At the Poggel site, elumatec’s popular SBZ 151 is set up so that all staff can change the profiles quickly and efficiently. This is crucial, as the company’s customers have challenging architectural projects and rely on Poggel to deliver high-quality products as quickly as possible or to install them on-site, whether it’s for the Icelandic embassy in Berlin or for the contemporary façade of the department store in Höxter in central Germany. Although Poggel generally focuses on windows, doors and post-and-beam façades, it also receives small-scale orders: a prototype or a sample blank for the automotive industry here, a beer crate opener for a large brewery chain there. “If a customer of ours is building student accommodation, we’ll supply more than just the windows – we’ll take care of the numbering for each apartment and the magnetic boards for the lobby as well”, says Martin.
Maternusplatz square in Cologne, where Poggel demonstrated its flexibility
to produce a unique design for JSWD Architekten.
The company’s strategy of delivering customised, high-quality products quickly and with full flexibility has helped Poggel make a name for itself over the 45 years since it was founded. Martin’s parents Klaus-Peter and Ingrid Poggel remain at the helm, and his two brothers play key roles too: while Martin is responsible for production and purchasing, 42-year-old Tobias focuses on the commercial and orders side of the business and 40-year-old Peter is the technical machining expert. “We were helping out at weekends back when we were 15, 16 years old”, remembers Martin, who experienced first-hand how what was once a small craftsman’s workshop grew into a business employing 18 people. Key milestones were the move to new premises in 1990/91, which was also when Poggel began processing sheet metal. “Then it was in 2003 that we launched the machine revolution”, he says. A laser cutting machine was acquired in order to keep pace with the ever-increasing demand – and as always when it comes to projects or investment, all company staff had a say in the decision. “We don’t just act as the Poggel family or the Poggel company, but as Team Poggel”, he explains.
It was the same in 2013 when the company took its next major step forward with the purchase of the SBZ 151 profile machining centre. Martin explains the three reasons why Poggel chose elumatec: “We wanted to invest in a machine that could cut to length. Ultimately, elumatec offered a machine with a larger machining range than anyone else, it had greater flexibility in operation, and it was better value.”
The impressive façade at Muhr und Bender KG in Attendorn, Germany.
The SBZ 151, equipped with time-saving eluCad programming software, allows Poggel to accept and deliver larger and more challenging projects than would otherwise be possible. And the 5-axis centre showed its worth immediately: four days of training, a week of monitored production, and the machine has worked faultlessly ever since. That does not mean there was no scope for optimisation, however, as the ever-practical Martin discovered. He got in touch with elusoft to suggest one area where the machine could be improved: “We felt that there was no good reason for the clamps to be moved this way and that way.”
The reaction to his feedback from elusoft was extremely positive, something he is keen to praise, and together they soon found a way to improve the machine’s clamp management. And as clamp management is one of eluCad’s key advantages and USPs, this customer-led optimisation also benefits other elumatec customers.
The sign of a good working relationship is being able to say when things are not running smoothly, and Poggel and elumatec have turned this potential sticking point into genuine added value. “It is a matter of course for us that we live for our customers’ feedback, no matter how big or small they are”, says Stefan. “Our aim is to consistently improve our products and help our customers maintain and extend their competitive advantage.” Little wonder, then, that elumatec and elusoft are already working on the next optimisations and improvements suggested by Poggel and other customers, laying even stronger foundations for successful long-term partnerships.
Martin Poggel, Manager Metallbau Poggel GmbH, Germany
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