magazineBILFINGERBETTERTOGETHER02.2013SHOWDOWN AT THE SHUTDOWN | 8Precision and timing: the turnaround is the pit stop of big industryINDUSTRY IN THE RAINFOREST | 22The agrarian economy and perfect division of labor among leafcutter antsTHE HOUSE BUILDER OF HAITI | 26Dieufort Wittmer worked at Bilfinger until he was needed elsewhere
2BILFINGERMAGAZINE02.2013WE MAKE IT WORK3Thorsten Wittmann, chef at Mannheim’s Michelinstarredrestaurant “Da Gianni,” is not the only oneto cook on gas. There are a lot of people who relyon the little blue flame, which makes it so easyto control the heat level. But natural gas is dangerous.If a leak goes unnoticed, any spark couldtrigger an explosion. That’s why Bilfinger EMSmakes sure that it’s safe. Hundreds of the company’splants add an odorous substance to the gasthat goes into the supply grids of municipal utilitycompanies – it’s a sulfur compound that makespeople screw up their noses when present in eventhe tiniest of concentrations. The plants are locatedin France, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland andAustria; in Germany, Bilfinger has a market shareof around 50 percent.THE SCENTOF SAFETYPhoto Thomas Kienzle
6BILFINGERMAGAZINE02.2013KALEIDOSCOPE IN UNISON7LOVE IN THE TIME OF TEXTINGOne in ten couples spends more time texting and writing Facebook messages to their significant otherthan they do talking face to face. A study by British insurance company esure found that the averagecouple spends just under four hours together (apart from when sleeping) – and that’s not per day, it’sthe whole of the working week from Monday through Friday. Couples send each other an average of1,000 texts and almost 400 e-mails a year.«ONE FOR ALL,GLOBAL VILLAGEIf the world were a village with a population of 100, it would be home to:60 AsiansThe village population would grow by one each year.In 2050 there would already be 137 people living in the village:2050+15FRÈRE JACQUES44ALL FOR ONE»The motto of Switzerland – and The Three Musketeers by Alexandre DumasSinging with others makes people happy, especially singing a round. The best known song sung in a round is about Frère Jacques, or BrotherJohn, who is sleeping and doesn’t hear the bells. A French nursery rhyme sung in four parts, the song has been translated into many languagesand adopted in almost every corner of the globe.1. 4. 3. 2.Frè - re Jac - ques, Frè - re Jac - ques, dor - mez - vous? Dor - mez - vous?Son - nez les ma - ti - nes, son - nez les ma - ti - nes, ding dang dong ding dang dongEnglishAre you sleeping? Are you sleeping? Brother John, Brother John!Morning bells are ringing, morning bells are ringing.Ding, dang, dong. Ding, dang, dong.GreenlandicPiitaq uumaa, Piitaq uumaa Makigit, makigit,Sianerpaluppoq, Sianerpaluppoq, arfineq, arfineq.ItalianFra Martino, campanaro, dormi tu? Dormi tu?Suona le campane! Suona le campane! Din don dan, din don dan.PolishPanie Janie! Panie Janie! Rano wstań! Rano wstań! Wszystkiedzwony biją, wszystkie dzwony biją. Bim, bam, bom, bim, bam, bom.SpanishMartinillo, martinillo ¿Dónde está, dónde está?Toca la campana, toca la campana. Din, don, dan, din, don, dan.SwahiliKaka Johni, kaka Johni, unalala, unalala?Husikii kengele, husikii kengele. Din, din, don, din, din, don.FijianKana mada, kana mada, tavioka, tavioka!Kena coi na bele, kena coi na bele, na ika, na ika.FRIGHTFUL!Human togetherness is not for the fearful among us: psychologistsdistinguish between dozens of social phobias. So the question reallyought to be: Is there anyone who’s not afraid?AnuptaphobiaCaligynephobiaCyberphobiaDecidophobiaDentophobiaErythrophobiaGelotophobiaHalitophobiaLogophobiaNeophobiaNomophobiaOchlophobiaObesophobiaParaskavedekatriaphobiaPhobophobiaFear …... of staying single... of beautiful women... of working on computers... of making decisions... of dentists... of blushing... of being laughed at... of having bad breath... of speaking... of new things... of being without a cell phone... of crowds... of putting on weight... of Friday the 13th... of fearPhotos Frank Schultze, Bart Rouwenhorst / Redhead DaysSource German Foundation for World PopulationSCHALKE FOREVER!Since late 2012, fans of German first-division football clubSchalke have been able to stay loyal to their team evenafter death. A cemetery for fans has been opened inGelsenkirchen, designed to look like a stadium. The cemeterycan accomodate a total of 1,904 graves – no coincidence,since that is the year of the club’s founding.“Solitude and company may be allowed to take their turns:the one creates in us the love of mankind, the other that of ourselves.”Lucius Annaeus Seneca201315 Africans11 Europeans9 Latin Americans5 North Americans-1+2+2Konfuzius+19HAIR RED –CLOTHES BLUEThey come from Denmark and Costa Rica,from the United Arab Emirates and Australia:redheads who gather by the thousands in theDutch city of Breda. “Redhead Day” has beentaking place there on the first weekend inSeptember for several years now. The dresscode for 2013 is blue.
8BILFINGERMAGAZINE02.20139Precision, speed, exact timing: the turnaroundis the pit stop of big industry. Entireplants are shut down, maintained, modernized– and brought back on stream. Bilfingeris managing a team of thousands as part ofa refinery shutdown in Rotterdam.Text MARKUS WANZECK | Photos ERIC VAZZOLERSHOWDOWNAT THESHUTDOWNThe elevated flare hisses in the misty gray sky to therhythm of a sedate pulse beat. A few seagulls circleabove the TA Gebouw 1, the turnaround container building1 – otherwise not a sound. Everything’s still quiet onthe site of the Kuwait Petroleum Europoort (KPE) refinery.The man who is about to change all that takes oneof the Dutch bicycles from the stand in front of the containerand gets on. Hard hat? Safety goggles? Yep. Gasdetector? Got it. Nobody’s allowed anywhere near therefinery without the yellow alarm beeper which detectsdangerous odorless gases.Jens Teichmann, Site Manager Turnaround & Revampat Bilfinger Industrial Services, pedals down the long,dead-straight road, which leads straight into the mazeof pipes and reactors, boilers and coolers in which fourmillion tons of crude oil are processed every year. Formonths Teichmann and his team have been preparingthe refinery for a gigantic pit stop: in the autumn theentire plant will be shut down, cleaned, maintained andstarted up again. “We’re turning everything inside outand back again,” says Teichmann. That is why he findsthe term “turnaround” much better than “shutdown” –the other commonly used term. “It Sounds as if nothinghappens, but it’s just the opposite in fact. You’ll neverfind so much going on in a refinery as during a shutdown.”TURNAROUND AS CHALLENGEBilfinger is coordinating the turnaround as general contractoron the western tip of the Rotterdam port wherethe Rhine and Meuse flow into the North Sea. Projectvolume is around €40 million, presumably with about450 Bilfinger specialists and five times as many externalstaff whose activities need to be coordinated precisely –a task that calls for perfect project management. It’s alreadythe fifth turnaround that Bilfinger is completingfor KPE. And the largest: previously 50 percent of the refinerywas shut down at two-year intervals. The 2013turnaround marks a turning point. From now on, a completeshutdown will be on the agenda every five years.“Getting all the individual processes from the subcontractorsto form a large single unit, ensuring that everythingintermeshes like gears in a transmission – that’sthe challenge,” explains Jens Teichmann. He parks hisbike in front of the reactor tower. 13 stories up by elevatorand another six on foot bring you to the 65-meter-
10BILFINGERMAGAZINE02.201311Özlem Güler coordinates the subcontractors.Her work starts months prior to the shutdown.Turnaroundsmade by BilfingerIN 2012 THE COMPANIESFROM BILFINGER INDUSTRIALSERVICES WERE ALREADYINVOLVED IN A TURN-AROUND RIGHT NEXT TOTHE KPE REFINERY: AT BP INROTTERDAM. IN ADDITION,THEY WERE OPERATING INNORDIC COUNTRIES IN PAR-TICULAR, FOR THE LIKES OFAKZONOBEL, FOR YARA ORSTATOIL. APART FROM THEMEGA-SHUTDOWN ATKUWAIT PETROLEUM EURO -POORT, 2013 WILL ALSO SEELARGE TURNAROUNDSUNDERTAKEN AT BASF INLUDWIGSHAFEN AND ATBOREALIS, THE PLASTICSAND CHEMICAL GROUP INLINZ, AUSTRIA.Rainer Gross (right) and Jens Teichmann (center)have been managing major turnarounds togetherfor KPE for the last six years.high platform from where you have a view of the entireplant and the oil tankers behind anchoring in theworld’s third-largest port.INTERNATIONAL COMPETENCETeichmann tracks his outstretched arm across the site:on the left the towering fractionating columns whichdistill the heated crude oil into various products. Nextto them the huge fans in the air coolers. There you havethe heat exchangers. One of the largest exchangers,slightly to one side, on its own, looks like new. And it istoo: “We completely modernized that one only lastyear.” It was number 6304C on the operation chart forthe 2012 turnaround. And the figure’s stuck in Teichmann’shead even to this day.From up here you only see a handful of people. Now,in early March, apart from the refinery staff, there areonly three dozen Bilfinger specialists in the plantpreparing everything for the large “showdown” at theshutdown. They come from four different Bilfingercompanies with different areas of expertise. Later in theyear they will be joined by colleagues from three otherinternational Bilfinger units – plus twenty to thirty externalcompanies which Jens Teichmann and his colleagueswill also coordinate.October 7. That’s the day towards which they are allworking here – day one of the shutdown. They will thenhave six weeks to get the plant into shape for the nextfive years. “That’s when it’ll be just teaming with specialistson the site,” says Rainer Gross, Head of Turnaroundsat Bilfinger, “a veritable army of metalworkers,electricians, material testers, insulators, scaffolders,bricklayers.” Huge tents are being set up on the edge ofthe plant to cope with this massive influx of people.Even now, with still months to go, the work is alreadygetting underway. Gross tries to come up with somethingcomparable that gives an idea of the size: “Try toimagine the Oktoberfest in Munich.” Some of the tentswill be used as gigantic changing rooms, with showercabins and two lockers per person, one for their personalclothes and another for their work gear. Others willaccommodate canteen facilities. “Naturally, we’ll haveto stagger the lunch breaks for the work groups, otherwiseit’d be total chaos.”A turnaround is an exceptional situation in many respects:a mass event and a high-speed event at one andthe same time. A turnaround, says Rainer Gross smiling,entails “the largest manageable form of chaos, whichrequires some sort of order. And it’s precisely that that Ilove about my job.” He and Jens Teichmann have beenmanaging the KPE turnarounds since 2006. This experiencegives them a sense of composure even if thepreparations for this year’s major shutdown are reallyextensive.DIGITAL BACKBONEIf Gross is the theater manager and Teichmann the directorof the turnaround, Özlem Güler, 33, Junior Consultantat Bilfinger Industrial Services, is the assistantdirector. The mechanical engineer coordinates the waythe subcontractors mesh together. Or, as she says withsomewhat of an understatement: “I ensure that thecleaners are in the right place at the right time.” Forthree weeks Özlem Güler has been in Rotterdam to getup to speed on the coordination software.The program is the digital backbone of the turnaround,linking the project managers with all the relevantinformation – and providing the Bilfinger coordinatorsand the customer with an insight into theproject progress in real time. That is an invaluable
12BILFINGERMAGAZINE02.201313advantage compared with the paper plans of yesteryear:there is a single overview list, always up-to-dateand binding for everyone.CHANGES ARE PART OF THE PLANThe schedule envisages the pre-turnaround phase formid to end September when the refinery is shut down.“Emptying the containers and the kilometer upon kilometerof pipework can take up to two weeks,” explainsJens Teichmann. Then the plant is “sweet” – with nopressure or product – and ready to be dismantled.The fact that the shutdowns may not run to plan,de spite the meticulous preparations lasting severalmonths, tends to be the rule rather than the exception.“New subprojects can emerge once the plant has beenshut down, which you simply couldn’t foresee beforehand,”says Teichmann. “Then you need 48 hours in aday.”Apart from testing, cleaning and maintenance work,the major shutdown in Rotterdam is also serving as arevamp – modernizing and upgrading the plant. Teichmannpoints to a large transverse cylinder: “That containerover there for instance, it’s due. We’re going toswap it out completely.” Measuring six meters long, almostthree meters in diameter and 5.7 tons deadweight,that is no easy task.“The container has to be properly removed from acircuit of intake and output pipes – and from a powergrid. All four meters up in the air.” Seven firms need tobe contracted and coordinated for this single projectalone: mechanics, scaffolders, insulators, electricians,instrumentation experts that dismantle and put thecontrol units back together again, as well as a cranecompany. “And Vrachtwagens,” says Teichmann. Vrachtwagens?Teichmann tries to find the German word.For six years he has spent most of his life in the Netherlands.A few moments and his mother tongue kicksback in again. Vrachtwagens – Lastwagen (trucks).Naturally, they also need a haulage company.Restarting the plant, like getting back onto the racetrackafter the pit stop, will be the most difficult phasein the entire process. You need to ensure, says Teichmann,“that nothing runs dry,” in other words, thatthere is the necessary pressure in all parts of the plant.And of course that there are no leaks and everything isabsolutely safe.SAFETY TRAINING MEDALSTo ensure the workers’ safety, each of them receivescomprehensive instructions tailored to the specific requirementsof the KPE refinery the first time they enterthe plant. It is no different in Rotterdam than with othermajor shutdowns elsewhere: before each turnaroundthere is a safety training; each time employees pass asafety examination they get a sticker on their hard hat.Hats are emblazoned with “Shell Turnaround 2009” or“Shutdown 2011 – TOTAL.” The stickers are the medals ofthe turnaround crews.Nonetheless, a hard hat with lots of stickers is a statussymbol with an expiration date. After four years ithas to be discarded for safety reasons. Hard hats madeout of fiber-reinforced phenol-formaldehyde resin aregranted another four years’ grace before employeeshave to say their goodbyes. But then there is nothingmore to be done. “At that point the men are quite sad,”says Rainer Gross. “For them it’s like they’ve given awaypart of themselves with the hard hat.” |“THIS YEAR’S LARGE-SCALEPROJECT IS ALREADY THE 5THTURNAROUND COLLABORA-TION BETWEEN KPE ANDBILFINGER SINCE 2006. WITHBILFINGER WE HAVE FOUNDA PROFESSIONAL PARTNERTHAT PROVIDES QUALITYAND SAFETY FOR A GOODPRICE AND ON SCHEDULE.”Richard Boogers, KPE, Section Head TurnaroundCalm before the storm:thousands of specialistswill begin taking the refineryapart in October.
14BILFINGERMAGAZINE02.201315WHO’S TAMING WHO?A BIRTHDAY ENCOUNTER BETWEEN BOYS AND BEASTSTURNS INTO SOMETHING UNEXPECTED.Text TILMAN WÖRTZ | Photos ANTONIA ZENNARO
16BILFINGERMAGAZINE02.201317“What are we doing for my birthday?”try to pet them. One of the boys says: “Ispits out his gum noisily. Donkey Pedrodonkey starts to bend his neck down, thenreach the ground. The fields left and rightasks my eight-year-old son, Ollin. It’s to-want to see them poop.”jerks his head with a start. “Sorry,” sayshe walks on without stopping.” Ollin leadsare wet with rain. The trek moves into rapmorrow. The bar is high – just yesterdayThe donkey tender, Harald, sports aOllin to Pedro (he actually says sorry!).Pedro with one hand, petting his manemode. It’s time to explain a few things toOllin was at his friend Tom’s birthday par-leather hat, large mustache and a deep, re-“Let’s have a donkey race!” says Michael.with the other.Harald: “Michael and Emilian are for-ty at “Football Olymp,” an indoor footballassuring voice. Harald explains a fewMichael is always the fastest on the foot-“How much do they eat?” asks Tom, aswards, Ollin’s in goal,” says Efekan. Tomcenter. “Donkey riding,” I reply. Ollin pullsthings about his donkeys: that they’re al-ball pitch, too. “Yeah!” says Emilian. ButBalthasar stops yet again to graze.adds: “We’re the best football team therea face: “That’s crap.”ways wanting to eat and will immediatelythe girl donkeys, Gina and Conchita, don’tBalthasar has a particularly fat stomach.is!”Actually, Ollin’s not allowed to say“crap” at home, but that doesn’t stop him.Ollin is at a difficult age. He doesn’t quiteveer off to the left or right if you’re notpaying attention. That you’ll only get themto budge by pulling the rope forward –feel like running, which immediately nixesthat idea.The trek takes a rest by a pond whereBasically, Balthasar looks a bit like a ship.“16 hours a day,” says Harald. “Their stomachis real small. The food goes in theTOO MUCH AFFECTIONAfter three hours the Zachersmühle farm-get it that he’s no longer in kindergarten,never backward. And that they react to thethe donkeys can eat in peace. It’s pouringfront and straight out the back.” Whichhouse comes back into view. Not once didbut acts all grown up at the same time. If Icommands “No” and “Stop” – sometimes.rain; the wild boys don’t care. They’re to-Balthasar actually proves right at that mo-the boys ask “how much longer?” and notsing when I’m playing the guitar, he says:“Dad, you’re getting on my nerves.” Girlsare stupid and we can’t get through thegrocery shopping without him smugglinga bag of tooth-rotting candy into the shoppingcart.OFF TO THE DONKEY FARMHis disobedience is driving me crazy. Andhis teachers aren’t crazy about it either.Ollin and his friends from the footballteam are always getting up to no good inclass. Back in preschool, we moms anddads found it hilarious that our kids hadso much nerve. “The wild boys” we nicknamedthem. But they’re still wild. Andthey’re in definite need of a behaviorchangingexperience with the animalkingdom.So it’s donkey trekking for them.“Like my cat,” announces Max. Harald presentsa young donkey called Pedro as “ourcuddly donkey.” “Cuddling” is usually thelast thing Ollin wants to do, at least in public.But now everyone wants to lead CuddlyPedro. The birthday boy is given the honor.Emilian leads Pedro’s mother, Conchita.Tom takes gluttonous Molly. Tall Efekanwalks with the equally large Balduin. Maxhas Balthasar, Michael takes Gina.Harald the donkey tender looks up atthe gray sky once more; it’s drizzling. “Agust of wind would push the rain cloudsinto the Remstal and Filstal valleys, awayfrom the Schurwald,” says Harald. But thewind doesn’t come. Drizzle turns to rainand the group moves off. Molly muncheson the contents of another flower tub beforeleaving the yard. Tom has his firstshowdown. “No,” he shouts and pulls andUNFORTUNATELY,OUR KIDS ARESTILL CHEEKYAND IN NEED OFA BEHAVIOR-CHANG ING EXPERI-ENCE WITH THEANIMAL KINGDOM.tally into it. My worry that the little rascalsmight not be captivated by the animalswas totally unfounded. Now theyfind an empty beer bottle and throw it inthe lake (they have just one free momentand I have to tell them off again!).NEW ROLE FOR THE BOYS“What do you like about the animals?” Iask Harald the donkey tender. “They’rereal characters. They don’t just do whatyou want them to,” is his reply. Whichsums up pretty accurately the wild boys’relationship with their teachers. Just thismorning, Ollin, Michael and Tom had tostay behind for twenty minutes for talkingin class about who had more power, MasterYoda or Darth Vader. But on the donkeytrek it’s not the wild boys who are breakingranks. Suddenly, they’re the ones whoment. “Ughhhh!” yell the wild boys. “It’sonly pressed grass,” comments Haraldwith his calm, deep voice. Pedro eats a lot,too. Ollin is still petting him and tells him:“You can go on eating, you’re still small!”If only he had as much understanding forhis little brother, six-year-old Gabriel. Mylife would be a lot more peaceful!No aspect of donkey knowledge is leftout. Harald has to tell the boys how talldonkeys grow (“between 90 and 115 centimeters”),how old they get (“fifty or sixty”),whether they eat meat and how fastthey can run. “Forty kilometers an hour,”answers Harald, “much slower than ahorse.” He also explains why: because donkeysare not flight animals. A horse runsaway as soon as it senses danger. A donkeydoesn’t – it first considers whether itshould defend itself or flee. “Donkeys canone of them complained about the rain.Only Pedro is getting fed up of Ollin stillwanting to pet his mane. At the edge ofthe forest behind the sheep pastureHarald lights a fire. Now the wild boys gettheir chance to eat. They carve themselvessticks and hold their sausages over theflames. Michael has an idea: he grills pretzelsticks. The others think it’s a great ideaand join in.Ollin falls into bed exhausted thatnight, without even asking if he can stayup for an extra minute. Max tells hismother before going to bed: “Donkeys arepretty stubborn, aren’t they mom?” Momnods. And Tom makes plans for his nextbirthday party. He doesn’t want to go toFootball Olymp again. For his next birthdayhe wants to go donkey trekking. |Though I’m a little worried that Ollin andshouts and pulls. The first few meters areare responsible for making sure someoneeven kick sideways,” says Harald. “Reeeeal-his friends will quickly lose interest inon an asphalt road. One or the other of theelse doesn’t do it. They’re taking thely?” gasp the wild boys in astonishment.leading the animals around and grumbledonkeys is constantly breaking ranks andteacher’s role! There’s probably no animal“And they’re curious,” says Harald. One ofat all the legwork involved. A friend toldgrazing by the side of the path. “Man, theirmore suited to challenging children thanhis twelve donkeys even likes fire. “Whenme about the Zachersmühle near Adels-necks are strong,” says Michael in ana donkey.there’s a campfire burning he runs overberg. It’s a pretty little farmhouse in theamazed tone. “No!” Tom shouts again. Mol-The gang follows the line of the Holz -and sniffs the smoke. He loves it!”Schurwald forest not far from Stuttgart, aly goes on grazing. “I’m starting to sweat,”bachtal valley and turns off onto a beatenHaving reached a hill, the wild boys aretimber-framed building with garden furnitureoutside. The donkeys are waiting bythe stable wall, packs on and ready to go.The wild boys press themselves up againstthe fence, stretch their hands through andpuffs Efekan.POURING RAIN IS NO OBSTACLEThe group walks on a few meters beforebeing forced to take another break. Ollintrack leading up the hill. The donkeys takea bold leap over a mud hole. The wild boysare thrilled. By now Max has discoveredthe secret of good donkey leading: “I haveto pull on the rope real fast as soon as thefinally allowed to ride the donkeys. Oneboy climbs into the saddle, another leads.“It’s like riding a camel,” says Max, who’snever ridden a camel. Michael smiles indelight; the legs of tall Efekan almostDonkey trekking in the Schurwald for two tosix children costs €90 for a half-day or €120for a whole day.Contact: Tel. +49 (0)7166-255
18BILFINGERMAGAZINE02.2013THE SCIENCE OFPURE SUBSTANCES19In the Bilfinger workshops on the Siegfried site,generators and pumps are constantly being takenapart, repaired and put back together. Every singlecog in the high-tech wheel must perform flawlessly.Serge Kieffer, the best welder at the site, seems tohave momentarily lost track of time and space. He’sputting the finishing touches on a pipe joint and examininghis work like a sculptor would survey asculpture. He pulls the mask down over his face andwelds a seam just a millimeter thick before pushingthe mask back up and checking the joint: perfect.“This is a routine job,” says the 52-year-old. “The reallytricky ones are the joints we have to weld lookingthrough a mirror – like a dentist working on someone’sback tooth.”Attention to detail is key at Siegfried AG. That appliesto both the workshop where Serge Kieffer weldshis joints and to the high-tech laboratories and productionhalls on the company’s vast site in Zofingen,situated between Basel and Lucerne. Siegfried, aSwiss company that also has sites in Malta, NewJersey and Shanghai, produces active pharmaceuticalingredients for international pharmaceutical companies.Just a few milligrams of these substances areenough to relieve pain or fight a pathogen.Regula Suter is Head of Production Support atSiegfried AG. The trained chemist is a picture of composure,even though she could spend an entire morninglisting the challenges she has to overcome on adaily basis. Her empire is the halls where the basesubstances and solvents are stored – materials thatentered the site in trucks and rail tankers. “We workwith large quantities of hazardous goods,” says Suter.“It’s all about protecting our people, the environmentand our substances.” The pressure and the temperaturein the tanks and pipes need to be adhered to exactly.The countless valves and seals need to functionproperly. If solvent were to leak out, a single sparkcould start a flash fire. Even using a phone is bannedhere,” explains Regula Suter. “That’s because if youdropped a cell phone and the battery came out, itcould produce a spark.”In addition, each piece of equipment and eachreaction vessel has to be reconfigured, checked andapproved prior to commissioning for production of anew active ingredient. “Because new medications areconstantly coming onto the market, the equipmenthas to be converted very often,” explains Plant ManagerRolf Aebi (48).FASTIDIOUS INSPECTORSAround 50 times a year, customers and regulatorssend inspectors to Zofingen to put the facilities, documentationand products under the microscope. Theparticularly fastidious Food and Drug Administration(FDA) also pays regular visits. “There’s never been aproblem of note,” says Rolf Aebi. But the stern looksof the FDA inspectors can make even the most relaxedof characters break out in a sweat. “If an inspectorfinds fault with anything, it can mean that we arenot permitted to ship that product to the client.” Adefective component in the pipeline, a minor leak ora grain of dust in the wrong place can be enough toget the company into trouble and even endanger itslicense.Meeting the highest quality standards, deliveringwith precision, avoiding outages at all costs: masteringthis threefold task is the job of Siegfried’s workforceof some 500 in Zofingen, supported by 60 specialistsfrom Bilfinger Industrial Services. Easily distinguishableby the different logos on their hard hatsand work coats, chemists, engineers, technicians andmechanics work together closely: Bilfinger is responsiblefor engineering, maintaining and updating the140 years ago, Swiss company Siegfried beganmanufacturing tinctures with sage and St. John’swort. They now produce complex active pharmaceuticalingredients from modified molecules.The production facilities are built and maintainedby Bilfinger Industrial Services.Text MATHIAS BECKER | Photos CHRISTOPH PÜSCHNERDress rehearsal in the clean room: Siegfriedemployees check that the facility is leakproof bytesting the air in the clean room. Only when they arecertain that not even the tiniest of particles canescape from the facility can drug production begin.
20BILFINGERMAGAZINE02.201321Technicians from Bilfinger Industrial Services regularly calibratethe pressure gauges for the plants. “It’s all about protecting ourpeople, the environment and our substances,” says Regula Suter,Head of Production Support at Siegfried.plant and machinery, Siegfried AG operates it. A divisionof labor that works because each partner hasbuilt up a thorough understanding of what the otherdoes, enabling trust to flourish.“We look after the facilities as if they were our own,”says Volker Osdoba (44). So it’s appropriate that theBilfinger manager, his engineers and his technicianshave moved into offices in what used to be SiegfriedAG’s main art nouveau style building, which seems toexude the history of the company. The walls in thestairwell are adorned with mosaics depicting poppiesand foxgloves – plants on which the company’s earlysuccess rested. Osdoba himself has a desk in thesumptuously decorated room where pharmacist andcompany founder Samuel Benoni Siegfried once sat.For the service provider to have been allocated thatspace is an honor and a duty at the same time. “Wehave a connection with Siegfried,” says Volker Osdoba.“What’s important is that we take the initiative.”For example, his people are currently working on reducingthe number of different types of seals in use,which will eventually make repairs easier and cutcosts. “We don’t wait to be asked, we come up withthis kind of project ourselves.”WASHING, FILTERING, DRYINGMuch has changed, or should we say almost everythinghas changed, since old Mr. Siegfried beganblending sage and St. John’s wort tinctures 140 yearsago. Today, medications are still based on plant substances.“But we are now able to precisely modify andsynthesize molecules until we get exactly the activepharmaceutical ingredient we want,” explains PlantManager Rolf Aebi. Various raw materials are bondedin a synthetic process and converted initially intocrystals – thus simplifying the removal of impurities.The crystals are purified by dissolving them in a hotsolution like sugar in tea. The crystals fall to the bottomof the container when cooled at precisely definedtemperatures. They are separated from the solutionusing ultra-fine filters and then dried in a vacuum.Up to 20 such processes are necessary before the desiredmolecule is formed: a pure active pharmaceuticalingredient. And almost zero molecules of a differentkind. Exactly which substances Siegfried producesand for which customers is something that Rolf Aebicares to divulge only in homeopathic doses: “They includepainkillers, antidepressants and the drugs thatgo into nicotine patches.” There are many others, buthe really cannot reveal any more. “Trade secrets,” hesays with a smile.A routine visit to multipurpose hall TCR4. TechniciansAntonio D’Ambrosio (27) and Daniel Bärtschi(43) stand before one of the reactors containing severalthousand liters being churned by powerful stirrers.A glance at the measuring instruments housed betweenpipes, cables and motors on the outside of thereactor reveals that everything is running as itshould. “And I’ve got my stethoscope, too,” saysD’Ambrosio. He regularly places it against the motors:“If something’s not right, I can hear it before we’veeven begun to take any real measurements.” |“We all pull together”Three questions for Dr. Rolf Aebi, Plant Manager atSiegfried AGMr. Aebi, what is the biggest challenge forSiegfried AG?Our day-to-day work is a bit like fitting a square peginto a round hole: we need to meet the highest safetystandards, react quickly to customer requests andproduce goods of the highest quality. Any deviationfrom the time schedule or quality would be disastrous.Why did you choose Bilfinger as your partner?The bigger the company, the more weight it has whenit comes to purchase prices when sourcing materials,or speed when delivering spare parts. Most importantly,Bilfinger also attracts highly qualified peopleand that shows in the quality of the work.How intensively do you work together?The goal for both of us is the same: smooth production.If you only have your own interests at heart, youmerely coexist – and problems are preprogrammed.But if you have an insight into the other party, trustcan grow and success ensues. We all pull togetherhere. It’s a good partnership.
22BILFINGERMAGAZINE02.2013Text ELMAR JUNG23UNDERGROUNDMEGACITYThey live with millions of their own kind in a tight space, practice agricultureand operate a biochemical industry with perfect division of labor: leafcutter ants.The path through the Brazilian rainforest is impeccablyclean. There’s not a branch or twig on it. Why isthat? Well, it gets cleaned every day. Hundreds ofthousands of leafcutter ants stream back to their nestover the mini-highway – just a hand’s breadth wide.They haul fragments of leaves with them – with tinypygmy ants from the same colony perched on top.These are the air defenses against scuttle flies swoopingdown onto the leafcutters in a bid to lay theireggs: they lay them near the back of the neck, wherethe larvae then penetrate into the ant’s body.The path leads the caravan more than 100 metersthrough the forest, ending abruptly at the gates of amegacity. Countless leafcutter ants of the genus Attaare bustling about in the shadow of a two-meter-highcolumn-shaped dome of loose earth. Worker antshand over the new crop of leaf fragments to smallernest dwellers at the entrance, who carry them to undergroundfarms where they are used as fertilizer forfungus cultures. Other ants are occupied with buildinga ventilation shaft while soldier ants – abouteight times larger than their colleagues in the workercaste – keep watch and protect the nest against intruders.Text ELMAR JUNGAn urban lifestyle, agriculture and perfect divisionof labor just like in a highly developed society: scientistsare only now beginning to uncover the fascinatingsocial structures of these tropical ants, known tothe scientific world as “superorganisms.” In a bid toreveal the architecture of the leafcutter ants’ megapolis,a team working with Brazilian scientist Luiz Fortideveloped a method that can take a cast of the insideof a nest. A mixture of eight cubic meters of waterand more than six tons of cement was poured in atthe entrance. The scientists were amazed at whatthey were then able to see. A nest branching out overmore than 67 square meters was laid bare to them,consisting of 1,920 chambers, 238 of which were occupiedby fungus farms. They found an enormous undergroundsystem of horizontal and vertical tunnelsand channels, reaching depths of up to eight meters.The loose earth the ants transported to the surfaceand deposited there while building their nestweighed about 40 tons. Up to eight million ants livein a nest like this.Crucial for the nourishment of the huge civilizationis a symbiosis with various fungi, which begansome 50 to 60 million years ago. In short, the animalsThe farmers of the rainforest:the leaves are food for the fungus onwhich the ants feed.Corridors link 1,900 chambers with more than200 fungus farms: this is the sight that greetedBrazilian scientists after they had made a cementcast of a leafcutter ants’ nest.
24BILFINGERMAGAZINE02.2013325nourish and cherish fungus cultures inside theirnests and feed on them. Other social insects besidesleafcutter ants, such as some species of termites, havealso made the transition from a hunter-gatherer existenceto a reliance on agriculture. But leafcutter antsof the genera Atta and Acromyrmex farm in such anadvanced manner as to achieve something entomologistBert Hölldobler calls “ecological dominance”: obviouscontrol over their environment.While most of the 230 fungus-farming species ofants native to South and Central America use rottenleaf matter and dead organic material as fertilizer, 45species, including Atta and Acromyrmex, went over tofeeding the fungus fresh leaves some ten millionyears ago. In doing so, both the fungus and the antstapped into an incomparably higher nutrient density,which saw their colonies grow to several million individualsin the course of an evolutionary leap. “Thisleap forward is definitely comparable with that of thehuman race when we learned to control fire and beganto cook our food, giving ourselves access to amuch wider range of vitamins and minerals,” says biologistMorten Schiøtt from the University of Copenhagen’sCenter for Social Evolution.Schiøtt and his fellow scientist, Henrik De FineLicht, have decoded some parts of the complex chemicalprocesses that take place when a fungus is fedwith fresh leaf matter: the fungus grows like blackbread mold on the substrate of leaf remnants, displayinga multitude of tube-like structures somewhatsimilar to a bath sponge. The leaf fragments broughtby the ants would actually be inedible to the fungus:particularly the phenols contained in the leaves andresponsible for defending them against natural enemieswould damage and ultimately spoil it. That’s if itweren’t for the enzymes that the fungus actually haswithin itself, just not in the right place. The enzymerichfungus cells are in fact found in the tips of thehypha, thread-like cells that grow within the substrate.The ants get inside the substrate through the tubelikecorridors, where they then eat these cells, takingthe enzymes inside them ready for depositing on thefreshly cut leaf matter back at the surface. This ishow the ants make the leaves edible to the fungi.PERFECT WASTE MANAGEMENTScientists compare this fascinating process withbioreactors, in which humans use enzymes to breakdown organic matter to produce ethanol and othersubstances. Incidentally, most Atta species even buildspecial waste chambers for the depleted substrate leftbehind by the fungus, though these take up an evergreatervolume of the nest as time goes on. Therefore,Atta colombica has made the transition to disposingof the material outside of the nest – indicating thatleafcutter ants would also seem to know a thing ortwo about sustainable waste management. |The fungus grows on the substrate of leaffragments like mold on a piece of bread.Photos 22-25 Wolfgang Thaler, Kevin Schafer/Corbis, Ralph Clevenger/Corbis, Okapia KG, GermanyThe ants deposit the enzymes on the leaf fragmentson the surface of the fungus farms with their excrement.The enzymes break down the toxins in the leaves and makethem edible to the fungus.2The ants eat enzyme-richfungus cells inside the spongelikestructure of the substrate.1The fungus cultures grow on a substrate ofleaf remnants inside chambers in the nest. Theants deposit fresh leaf fragments on the surfaceof the fungus farms.THE FUNGUS FARMS
IT DOESN’T TAKE MUCH TO BUILDAN EARTHQUAKE-PROOF HOUSE:28BILFINGERMAGAZINE02.2013 – Boulders for the foundations – Haiti29– (Lime) sand for concrete and plaster – Haiti– Cement for concrete and plaster – import– Building timber/squared timber – import– OSB board – import– Nails – import– Screws – import– Corrugated iron/metal sheet for the roof – import– Stretched wire/wire mesh as a plaster base – import– Paint – import15 craftsmen, 15 days.Costs, depending on size: €6,000– €9,000.Wife Martina and daughtersIdiani, 8, and Charline, 2, movedwith Dieufort Wittmer to hishomeland.Home construction for familieswhen he was nine. He found a new homein the children’s village of “Lebensmission,”the German-Swiss aid organization.His German foster family adopted him.They moved back to Germany with Dieufortin 1986. His biological siblings stayedin Haiti. He grew up in Landau, a town inthe Palatinate region, passed his Abitur atschool, completed a carpenter’s apprenticeshipand studied engineering in Karls -ruhe. Since 2007 he’s been working at Bilfinger,first in Germany, then in France.is financed by donations fromGermany – and profit fromcommercial orders like schoolconstruction.THE IDEA OF HIS LIFESeeing the devastation on TV inspiredDieufort Wittmer with the idea of his life:“Why not build quakeproof houses out ofwood?” The construction material is stableand flexible, relatively light and you don’tneed a lot of tools to work with it. “Woodframe construction is ideal for Haiti,” saysWittmer, who speaks with a touch of thedialect common in the Landau region.“The wooden panels nailed on to theframe absorb the horizontal shear forcesof an earthquake or storm. And the roofconstruction is light, even if it collapsesit doesn’t automatically crush the peopleinside.”He was eager to turn his idea into reality,but his German wife Martina was hesitantbecause of their two children, Charlineand Idiani, and Dieufort was in the middleof an ongoing contract. “I had a lot of talkswith my wife and my boss,” says Wittmer.Eventually he took a vacation in the summerof 2010 to go and see for himself howhe could help on the ground.Dieufort Wittmer’s starting point washis old children’s village in Gonaïves. Thetown was not directly hit by the earthquake,but many people fled there to escapethe chaos in the south. He finds aplace to stay in the “Lebensmission,”where he’s allowed to use the organization’sown wood workshop. And he hasfriends who help him. Mainly the brothersGuirlo and Frantz Pierre, who also grew upin the home. Guirlo (35) is a constructionengineer, Frantz (39) learned the joinerytrade in the children’s home and passedLike riding a bicycle:Dieufort Wittmer monitorswork on the rafters. Heworked as a carpenterbefore his studies.his apprenticeship exam in Germany.On the road with the two brothers, adozen other Haitian workers and threeGerman carpenters, Dieufort Wittmerputs up a model home in two weeks. Hedesigned three different models in total,varying only slightly in layout and size.The model home is financed by donationsfrom Germany. Bilfinger and some of hiscolleagues also provide financial support.“My drive must have impressed them,” figuresWittmer. All in all, he has completedhomes for eight families with his volunteerwork and donations from Europe.CAREFUL SELECTION“Our old house was the ugliest on thestreet, and now the neighbors want Dieufortto build them a wooden house, too,”says Marie Carmel. While 70 applicantsare on Wittmer’s list, the selection criteriaare strict. Single mothers or families with
30BILFINGERMAGAZINE02.201331In Grand Goave, a new home wasgiven to Noelcin Jean-Louis andGalliothe Marie Rosiette alongwith their children.Everything OK boss? A dozencraftsmen and helpers counton Dieufort Wittmer’s organizationfor work and bread.The Sagrage family from thecity of Gonaïves moved intothe first earthquake-proofhouse from Dieufort Wittmer.lots of children have the best chances. Theonly condition is that they have a plot ofland and inadequate shelter.SCHOOL FOR 1,000 CHILDRENIn October 2011 Dieufort Wittmer left Bilfingerand moved his family to Haiti. Hiswife Martina found work as a social educationworker in the “Lebensmission” andhe devoted all of his efforts to establishinghis aid organization, “Habitat HT.” The objectivesof the organization are clearly defined:to build simple and safe houses toprovide jobs for locals – and to wean theorganization off of donations. “A housecosts €6,000 to €9,000 to build, that’s notmuch, but it’s hard for a small organizationto get donations on a large scale.”That’s why Wittmer started his ownplanning office and construction companyat the beginning of this year. The profitsfrom the commercial contracts will go intoDieufort Wittmer’s aid organizationonline: www.habitat-ht.orghis aid project. The concept seems to beworking out. The first big contract recentlywent into the construction phase. InLéogâne, the town that suffered the mostdestruction from the earthquake, the companyis building a school for around 1,000children – earthquake-proof, of course. Hiscustomer is the Christian aid agency Nehemia,and the budget amounts to some€430,000. Dieufort Wittmer plans and supervisesthe projects, puts the teams togetherand organizes the materials. That’swhy he has to rush off now, from MarieCarmel’s wooden house to the big constructionsite.He drives his pick-up over a dirt trackto the highway that leads to the southwest.Sacks of cement are piled up there,head-high on the sidewalk. Wittmer pullsup, negotiates a price with the trader andpays for 100 sacks. Frantz Pierre will comeand pick up the cement in his truck tomorrow.Wittmer bought the clapped-out oldtruck with his savings, and the pick-up,too. “Helping people to help themselves isthe way I do things,” explains the constructionengineer. The medium-term aimis for Guirlo and Frantz Pierre to be able torun the business alone. “If it works out, I’lltake my family back to Europe in a year ortwo,” says Dieufort Wittmer, adding witha wink: “That’s what I promised my wife.” |
32BILFINGERMAGAZINE02.2013EUREKA! SOLUTIONS FROM BILFINGER33Dr. Karl Ludwig Kleyand Andreas Wigger,Managing Directors ofBilfinger Venture Capital.WIND BENEATH THEWINGS OF STARTUPSBilfinger Venture Capital invests in young,technology-oriented companies.SMARTGRIDSIntelligent local gridsmake it easier to feed ingreen electricity generateddecentrally. BilfingerMauell worked withpartners to develop anew technology to facilitatethis process.Bilfinger provides expertise and venture capital tosupport startups offering products and services thatfit the company’s profile: “We become involvedespecially if the new technologies optimize processesat Bilfinger, or extend our range of services,”explains Karl Ludwig Kley, one of the two ManagingDirectors of Bilfinger Venture Capital.Once a deal to cooperate with a startup has beensigned, Bilfinger makes a considerable contributionto the firm’s development – particularly financially,but also in other respects: “We provide advice onmanagement issues and support in gaining access tomarkets and seeking additional investors,” says KarlLudwig Kley. The founders of the new company alsobenefit from Bilfinger’s technological expertise andnetwork. Bilfinger’s investments are generally restrictedto five years, after which time the technologyshould be mature and the business concept enjoyingmarket success.Bilfinger is particularly interested in innovationsthat could be of significance for energy transfor -mation. For example, the Group is investing in Sun -fire, a company located in Dresden, which developstechnologies to produce synthetic fuel or methanegas out of electricity from renewable sources. Dubbed“power-to-liquid,” one method applies renew -able electric energy to carbon dioxide and water toproduce syngas, which can ultimately be turned intogasoline, diesel, kerosene and methanol. Anothermethod, “power-to-gas,” makes methane that can befed straight into the existing natural gas grid. Bothof these technologies enable the long-term storageof renewable energies. Bilfinger and Sunfire are currentlybuilding a joint demo plant for the power-toliquidtechnology, with Bilfinger contributing itsexperience in designing and constructing large-scaleindustrial facilities.One of the most recent investments is Corrmoran,a young Augsburg-based company which hasdevelop ed a measuring technique that can be usedto analyze the causes of corrosion inside boilers insettings such as coal-fired and biomass powerplants. As Corrmoran’s operational partner, BilfingerPower Systems will offer the new technology to itscustomers in the energy sector. The advantages ofthe arrangement are clear to all involved: the startupgets wind beneath its wings and Bilfinger adds theability to offer customers a package of services atthe cutting-edge of technology to its portfolio.www.vc.bilfinger.comFotos istockphoto.comAs the energy revolution continues,more and more consumers are becom -ing electricity producers, feedingpower into the grid from renewablesources such as their photovoltaicsystems, heat pumps and biogasplants. But the electricity grid is currentlydesigned to convey energy toconsumers from a small number oflarge-scale power plants. If they areto meet the new challenges, the gridswill require smarter regulation withnew sensors and control elements.MEASURE AND MONITORBilfinger Mauell has been workingwith utility company Mainova, gridspecialist SAG GmbH and the Universityof Wuppertal to come up with a systemthat can cope with the change inload flows and voltage ratios. In a researchproject, they converted twosections of Mainova’s low-voltage gridinto a smart grid with an automatedcontrol system known as “Smart RTU”(Remote Terminal Unit). This is thefirst project of its kind in Germany.The system revolves around the use ofnew software and new hardware componentsto measure how much electricityflows into the grid from decentralizedsources. The data gathered canthen be used to help regulate the grid.Legislation gives green power priorityover conventionally producedelectricity. For instance, on a windyday, power from wind farms is fed intothe grid first, with production fromgas-fired power plants being cut back.Yet feeding in green power producedon a decentralized basis within the locallow-voltage grids is still a chal -lenge given that it is virtually impossibleto calculate how much electricitythe various small-scale sources willbe supplying at what time of day. Thefluctuating supply makes designingthe grids a complex business.Smart regulation of a local gridmakes these requirements manageable:“Our technology enables us to conductmore power through the grid,” saysWolfgang Friedrich from BilfingerMauell. The smart grid also protectstransformers, cables, switches andfuses from overload.COST-EFFICIENT TECHNOLOGY“Smart RTU” is applied at the secondarysubstations, which regulate thepower supply to buildings in the locality.One in ten of Germany’s 40,000 secondarysubstations would need to befitted with the new technology to makethe entire low-voltage grid fit for thefuture. One of the advantages of thissystem over other concepts is thatthere is no need for additional installationsin households and companies. Inaddition, the technology is only abouthalf as expensive as the cost of ex -panding the grid to obtain the sameoutput. The Smart Grid project won theState of Hesse’s Smart Energy Awardin May 2013.www.mauell.bilfinger.com
34BILFINGERMAGAZINE02.2013EUREKA! SOLUTIONS FROM BILFINGER35INSULATING INDUSTRIAL INSTALLATIONSSAVING BILLIONS OF EUROSIn Europe€900 million one-off investment€3.5 billion annual savingsEvery year, some €3.5 billion could be saved throughout the EU if industrial installationswere insulated under economical considerations. The cost of doing so would come in ataround €900 million, with the investment generally achieving payback within the firstyear for the companies concerned. These are the findings of a study commissioned by theEuropean Industrial Insulation Foundation (EiiF) on energy-saving options in industrial installations.To help industrial companies maximize this potential, the EiiF developed Tipcheck, a Europeanstandard for thermal energy auditing of industrial installations. Consultants aretrain ed and certified by the EiiF, giving them the capacity to check the loss of heat fromexisting installations and present the improvement potential. For new installations, theycalculate the optimum insulation thickness from an economic perspective.Bilfinger has Tipcheck engineers who have been certified by the EiiF operating in numerouscountries across Europe.Download the study from www.eiif.orgHEILBRONN FUTURE PARKENERGY-SAVING BUILDINGThe “WTZ 1” office building in Heilbronn’sZukunftspark (Future Park) has a primaryenergy consumption almost 30 percentlower than legally required and boasts CO 2emissions that are 40 percent lower thanstatutory limits. The building was designedand built by Bilfinger Hochbau. Help in optimizingthe energy concept and achievingEU Green Building Partner status was providedby bauperformance, a Bilfinger Groupcompany specializing in consultancy andauditing services.The building is thermally insulated to ahigh degree and the windows are designedto enable people to work in daylight withoutthe sunlight heating the rooms up. Anair-to-water heat pump provides heating,with a wood pellet system kicking in tohandle peak load. Pipes run through theceilings and walls and store thermal energythere, which can be released as and whenneeded. A photovoltaic system has alsobeen installed on the office building. Excesselectricity is fed into the public grid.NEW TECHNOLOGY FOR COAL POWER42 PERCENTEFFICIENCYThe new Block R at Boxberg power plantin Lausitz near the German/Polish borderboasts an efficiency of 42 percent, whichqualifies the 675 megawatt plant as oneof the world’s most efficient lignite-firedpower plants. In addition to a range of oth -er components, Bilfinger Power Systemssupplied the entire high-pressure pipingsystem – the key element for the highefficiency of a power plant. The flue-gasdesulfurization system (FGD) comes fromBilfinger, too. It has a tray absorber, makingthe technology the first of its kind in Germany.The tray, a large perforated metalplate, distributes the flow of flue gas evenlyin the absorber and facilitates the intensiveexchange of substances. This meansthat pollutants in the flue gas can be separatedwith less energy input than before.What exactly is ...AN EEL LADDER?Eels have been a mystery to people since ancient times. eels use this ladder to wriggle up six meters from theSlippery as they are, they have left many a scientist riverbed to the surface of the water. Here they encounterthe “fish pass.” The 200-meter-long constructionfishing in the dark. Aristoteles believed that the fishwas formed in the mud. The truth is just as surprising as is a kind of bypass for fish: it bridges the six-and-a-halfmeterdifference between the upstream and down-some of the theories. Eels are hatched from larvae in theSaragossa Sea near the Bahamas before they travel stream waters of the barrage. The pass consists of athousands of kilometers to European rivers where they series of concrete basins, each of which has a 15-centimeterdifference in height. The fish climb higher andspend several years hunting crawfish, worms and larvaeon the riverbeds.higher until they reach the upstream waters.But what happens when the eel’s urge to travel up - At some point toward the end of their lives, the eelsriver is blocked by a barrage? On Germany’s Mosel River begin their journey back to the Caribbean to spawn –near Koblenz, engineers from Bilfinger Scheven are and die. They normally depart on stormy nights in thehelping the migrating fish get over the obstacle by fall – but nobody really knows why. Eels remain ameans of a ladder. They have installed a steel encasementwith rungs spaced five centimeters apart. The Text JAN RÜBEL | Illustrationmystery to us.SKIZZOMAT
36BILFINGERMAGAZINE02.201337AT WORK INPerhaps not as fast as others but always friendly: Max Grässlin serves guests at Hofgut Himmelreich.needs school and taking a job preparationIt’s no accident that the Hofgut Himmel -many online booking portals it has thePeople with and without disabilities work together attending to the many guests at a hoteland restaurant in the Black Forest.course for a year, he could have startedwork at a sheltered workshop. But Grässlinwanted a real job. At 19 he applied for ajob at the Hofgut Himmelreich, which isreich has a name that means kingdom ofheaven. The 700-year-old farm estatestands at the entrance to a small ravineknown as Höllental (Hell Valley) situatedbest ratings in the region.MORE THAN JUST A GOOD DEEDThis success story would have been un-what’s known as an integrative business:between Freiburg and lake Titisee. Bandsthinkable a few short years ago. FoundedText MATHIAS BECKER | Photos RAINER KWIOTEKable-bodied and disabled people work to-of robbers used to lie in wait on the steepas a stand-alone business in 2004 by thegether at the hotel/restaurant in the Blackslopes, and if you made it across Hell Val-director of the social welfare organizationForest town of Kirchzarten. “We prefer toley in one piece, you really did feel likein Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald, the “pro-Max Grässlin prefers to take the nightand brings people their bills. If you looktration. But what’s special about Maxcall them ‘people with a handicap,’” saysyou were in heaven when you reached theject” initially attracted guests who stoppedshift at the Himmelreich, which is Germancarefully you can see that the work doesGrässlin is not that he serves less brisklydirector Jochen Lauber. “Max may haveinviting farmstead.by to do “a good deed.” If you wanted tastyfor kingdom of heaven. “I’m not a morningnot exactly come easy for him. The effortthan others. It’s that he does it at all.motor deficiencies,” Lauber goes on. “ButNowadays, truck drivers and businessfood and proper service, you gave theperson,” says the 27-year-old with a cheekyof carrying a tray wipes the smile off hisMax Grässlin’s spatial awareness andhis communicative nature compensatestravelers stop here for lunch. Later it’s theplace a wide berth. Until Jochen Laubergrin. From 6 p.m. onward he carries coffee,face. Gingerly he puts one foot in front ofmotor skills are impaired. The doctors sayfor that.” Lauber says the same goes forday-trippers from lake Titisee and Feld-arrived. A graduate in hospitality manage-beer and schnitzel to the tables in the rus-the other as if walking on thin ice. Everyit’s because his brain was starved of oxy-the other employees: “They have a lot moreberg who pull in. On weekends the hotel isment, Lauber had worked in a Frankfurttic-style restaurant, chats with the guestsmovement of the hands demands concen-gen at birth. After attending a special-in them than you think.”full of groups attending seminars. Onoffice block until 2008 putting cateringTrains traveling between Freiburg and Donaueschingen stop atthe "Himmelreich" (kingdom of heaven) station. Here the HofgutHimmelreich operates a kiosk and a Deutsche Bahn (Germanrailroad) office.
38BILFINGERMAGAZINE02.201339Max Grässlin and kitchenHistorical scene on a postcard:helper Ronny Nack find the timethieves used to lay in wait in theto share some fun at work.neighboring Höllental.teams together for major events. Whethercompany,” he says. So he took his foot offequalization levy instead. The 600 or sothe primary labor market.fall over so easily,” explains Jochen Lauber.a volunteer helper practiced everythingthey took place in Berlin or in Shanghaithe gas, but stuck to his guiding principle:integrative businesses in Germany that ac-Oftentimes it’s just tiny changes thatIt took him a long time to find a good con-with him – from mental arithmetic towas immaterial, all he ever got to see were“We are a restaurant business and not atually do integrate people with a handicapdetermine whether someone with a hand-fectioner that would bake him squarenapkin folding. Day after day they’d spendcolumns of figures: “The human elementcommunity center.” Five years later rev-into day-to-day operations employ onlyicap can do a job or not, says Jochencakes.the afternoons trying out his hand gripswas missing from my job,” says the Himmelreich’sdirector, now 41 years of age.He has his wife partly to thank for daringto make the move to the Black Forest.enues have doubled.RIGHT TO WORK2008 was not only the year Jochen Lauberabout 8,000 severely disabled people.That’s contrasted by the some 280,000 individualswho work in sheltered workshops,who often do not benefit from asLauber, telling the story of the chambermaidwith Down’s syndrome. “She wasn’tvery good at remembering how to tidy aroom. So we took some index cards andTIME TO GET CLOSEMax Grässlin has an aid in the form of awooden board the size of a record sleeve.and making up memory aids. In the meantimeMax Grässlin has passed the examsfor three of the 13 work modules the companydeveloped in conjunction with theShe was feeling the pull of her childhoodarrived at the Hofgut Himmelreich. It wasmuch advancement and mostly stay indrew pictures of what she had to do.” TheWhen he sets a table, he places it in thechamber of commerce: looking afterhome in southern Germany, so Lauberalso the year the UN Convention on thetheir own little groups. The people andwoman memorized the pictures in next toposition where the plate will eventuallyguests, the counter and the cash desk.started scouring the employment market.Rights of Persons with Disabilities cametheir talents remain unseen.no time and since then she’s been workinggo. Like a template, it helps him place theOnce in a while one of director JochenIt didn’t take him long to find the Him-into force. Signed by 155 nations, the char-In a move to change that, the Hofgutindependently and reliably as a membersilverware at the right angle. “If I do itLauber’s former colleagues calls up to askmelreich, but it was in a bit of a mess fi-ter acknowledges the right of people withHimmelreich has run an academy sinceof the team. And then there’s the thingwithout the board, the knives and forkshow it’s going for him in his hotel in thenancially. “The company was in need of adisabilities to work. It demands an em-2007 that advises integrative companieswith the saucepans. “There are so many ofend up all over the place,” he says. But thecountry. “Good,” Lauber will say – realizingbusiness mind,” says Lauber.ployment market that is equally open toand, in conjunction with the Federal Em-them, even a person without a handicapboard alone is not enough. For Maxhow happy he is to have made the break.Sometimes the wind of change hepeople with and without disabilities –ployment Agency (FEA), offers a job prepa-would get them mixed up.” So the potsGrässlin, the path to becoming a waiterHis world moves more slowly now thanbrought with him felt to the staff like awhich is still a far cry from the reality inration program for young individuals withand pans at the Himmelreich are eachis a path of hard training. At the openingit used to. There’s time for people to getstorm breaking over their old habits andways. Not every one of Lauber’s ideas wasGermany. Though companies with morethan 20 employees must by law have ata handicap. The 18-month program, towhich people are referred by the FEA, is agiven a name: Wolfgang, Heidi or Trudeis scored into their side. And if you order aceremony eight years ago, the tray ofchampagne glasses wobbled precariouslycloser to one another. |www.hofgut-himmelreich.deput into practice straight away. “I had toleast five percent severely disabled peoplehighly coveted opportunity. To date, almostslice of cake, you might be surprised to seein his hands. There was no question oflearn that things don’t move so fast in thison the payroll, many of them pay anall graduates have found employment onthat they’re all square. “It’s so they don’thim serving food or pouring drinks. ThenEMBRACE-HOTELS1 2 3In 2007, eleven businesses employing able-bodied and disabled individualscame together to form EMBRACE-Hotels, one of which is theHofgut Himmelreich. Now numbering some 40 hotels, 38 of whichare in Germany, one in Italy and one in Greece. The Embrace-Hotelsemploy some 1,000 people, about half of whom have a handicap.www.embrace-hotels.de1 No mistaking whose pot it is with the name engraved. 2 A wooden board ensures the table is set right. 3 Square pieces of cake don't fall over easily.
40BILFINGERMAGAZINE02.2013COMPLEMENTARY41Simone SchönWhen an elderly gentleman went into cardiacarrest and collapsed at a street festivalrecently, a woman immediately rushed to hisaid. 30 compressions followed by two artificalrespirations, repeated constantly and in quicksuccession. The man survived. “I’m veryhappy and proud about that,” says SimoneSchön (44), a nurse. She had taught theresuscitation technique to the woman whosaved the man’s life.Working for Bilfinger HSG Facility Mana -gement, Simone Schön is in charge of thehealth center at Georg Fischer, an industrialcompany in the Swiss town of Schaffhausen.She sees almost a dozen patients a day inher exam room on the plant grounds, but firstand foremost she teaches first aiders and inhouseparamedics. These are the people wholook after the health of the company’semployees – or help complete strangers, inthe case of the life-saver at the festival.Photos Heinz Heiss, Paul NordmannHEALTH IS A MATTEROF THE HEARTFrank ChicoFor Frank Chico, the health of his employ eesis at the top of the agenda. He is Corpo rateSafety Director at Bilfinger IndustrialServices in the United States. 2,146 peoplework for his company across 14 states: in thepaper and chemicals industry, in food productionand in the energy sector. Last yearthere was not a single lost day caused by anaccident across his entire workforce. Thisperformance won the company’s US unit theBilfinger Safety Award for 2013. “When ourpeople know that their health is important tothe company, they also look after it them -selves,” says Frank Chico.
42BILFINGERMAGAZINE02.201343The Pestalozzi School building,built in 1929, was modernizedby Bilfinger.THE PERFECTMAN FOR THE JOBThe children and the teachers are fond of the caretaker – and the city likeshim, too: Lothar Gürtler, who works for Bilfinger, is the soul of the PestalozziSpecial School in Halle.A welcome change for the second graders:Lothar Gürtler fixes a broken faucet.Text JULIUS SCHOPHOFF | Photos KATHRIN HARMSThe faucet in class 2a’s room won’t stop running:Lothar Gürtler gets the emergency call during thefourth lesson of the day, from the teacher’s cell phone.The caretaker is a welcome diversion for the secondgraders. Three boys immediately jump up to give him ahand. Lothar Gürtler turns off the faucet under the sink.“Hold tight!” he says to one of the boys, who thenclutches the faucet, looking up at it with great concentration,believing he’s being a huge help.The school caretaker, Lothar Gürtler (56), is not themean spirit many will remember from their ownschooldays. “He’s fun, he’s always making jokes,” saysone of the second graders. “He fixed the gate,” says anotherin awe, “with a pair of pliers!” Ms. Makrinus, theteacher, comments: “Whenever you need him, he’sthere.”Lothar Gürtler unscrews a part of the faucet, theself-closing mechanism. It’s meant to make sure thatthe water doesn’t run for more than a few secondsafter you press it. But it’s not doing that. “It’s shot!”says Gürtler. He guessed what was wrong and broughta replacement with him. The school will never see a billfor his work – and that’s why caretaker Gürtler is likednot only by the children and teachers but by the City ofHalle, too.POOR CONDITIONS BEFORE MODERNIZATIONWhen the municipality had the building rehabilitatedfive years ago, they contracted Bilfinger to not onlymodernize the building, but also to handle future maintenanceand operations at the school as part of a publicprivatepartnership (PPP). For a 25-year period, the companyis now responsible for making sure things run asthey should at the Pestalozzi School – or stop running,as the case may be, if you’re talking about the faucet inclass 2a.Renate Makrinus (56) teaches math, German and biologyat the special school. Her students have learningdifficulties, which means they have special educationalneeds. “They need to touch everything, to feel it with
44BILFINGERMAGAZINE02.2013The drawer in the school’skitchen kept getting jammed,but caretaker Gürtler knowswhat to do.“Childrenneed tofeel thatthey’reworthsomething”45their hands,” she explains, “we call it learning by doing.”When the caretaker came in to fix the faucet, theywere in the middle of loading green cubes onto woodentrains, ten cubes per wagon, to get a feeling for tens andunits.Renate Makrinus is also in charge of equipment andfurnishings at the Pestalozzi School. She has seen manycaretakers come and go in her 30 years there. “It was ablessing when we decided to go for this public-privatepartnership,” she says. And not only because of LotharGürtler: most of all because the partnership with Bilfingeris what enabled the brick building, which was builtin 1929, to be modernized in the first place. As RenateMakrinus explains, the east wing had been renovatedback in 2001, in the conventional way. The west wingwas due to follow in 2005 – but the city ran out of money.There’s a file in Lothar Gürtler’s office with photos ofthe ruinous con dition the building was in prior to themodernization. The pictures of the old toilets say it all:enormous water stains on the ceiling and walls, moistureon the windows, chipped tiles, grimy doors. Theneed was great, which is why they opted to partnerwith Bilfinger: the west wing was ready for the2008/2009 school year after just a year’s constructionwork.corridors – the teachers had a say in everything. “It wasquite different with the east wing, much more bureaucratic.Nobody asked us what was important to us.”There were no special requests back then. But when thePPP modernization came to an end, Renate Makrinuswas delighted at some of the surprises that hadn’t evenbeen in the plans: the giant sandpit in the schoolyard,two new table tennis tables and the newly renovatedschool clock, which had stopped running decades ago.Interview with Tobias Kogge (57), Officer for Youth,Schools, Health, Social Affairs and Cultural Formation inthe city of HalleCARETAKER SETTLES ARGUMENTSThe bell sounds and the students from class 2a returnto the classroom. It’s the fifth lesson, German, andthey’re learning about the letter F today. Meanwhile,caretaker Lothar Gürtler is on his way to fix a brokenemergency light in one of the corridors. Sometimes he’snot only needed to fix things but to settle arguments aswell. “He’s in great demand with the older boys in particular,”says Ms. Makrinus, “we don’t have that manymen here.” On the Pestalozzi School’s teaching staffthere are 33 women and just one man.Interpersonal skills are a key qualification for anyBilfinger staff deployed in schools, says Oliver Gaber,Managing Director at Bilfinger HSG and thereforeLothar Gürtler’s ultimate boss. “There needs to be a fitbetween the children, the teachers and the caretaker.”There’s obviously a fit at the Pestalozzi Special School:when Lothar Gürtler asks a ninth grade class for volunteersto help him roll garbage cans out to the street, hegets four running up to him at once. When he’s rakingthe leaves in the schoolyard, the little ones clamorround him trying to “help”: “They practically jump onmy back.”But when he goes in to replace the fault-prone pushfaucets in the classrooms with controllable faucets atsome point in the near future, the students will not getto watch him. He does these things early in the morningwhen the children are still in their beds. That’s because,much as they like their Mr. Gürtler at thePestalozzi School, oftentimes what makes a good caretakergreat is that you don’t see him. Or his invoices. |Two-thirds of all schools in Halle have been renovatedor newly built in the past several years.Why?Our schools in the areas of the city with the industrializedapartment blocks were much too big because moreand more people chose to move in to the old apartmentsin the part of the city that had been built in the late 19thcentury. We had wonderful old school buildings there, butthey didn’t live up to modern-day technical standards.Why did you team up with Bilfinger?The company – unlike the city – had the necessary fundsto renovate the schools and the expertise to operatethem. Now Bilfinger is our partner on the ground. Bilfingerpeople are addressing educational issues and gettinga real understanding of the way things work in schools.TEACHER INPUT IN BUILDING WORKEven today, five years on, the building still looks in goodorder. The toilets and classrooms are spick and span.The equipment is cutting edge. The lights dim automaticallywhen the sun shines into the room; a motion sensorhangs from the ceiling. Only when someone entersthe room does it turn the heating up to 22 degrees.Empty classrooms with the radiators on underneathopen windows are only to be found in the conventionallyrenovated east wing. When it came to the west wing,Bilfinger involved the school management and teachersin the planning process. Renate Makrinus was presentat many of the meetings: “We discussed each of the constructionphases in great detail. What do we need? Andwhat don’t we need?” Equipment for the home economicskitchen, the design of the schoolyard, the color of theThe city opted for a public-private partnershipwith Bilfinger to modernize its schools. PPP is acontentious issue in Germany. Has the conceptproved a success in Halle?Absolutely. The construction work may cost three or fourpercent more, but we end up making substantial savingsover the whole lifecycle because the buildings are muchcheaper to operate. And we manage this even though thequality is higher than it is with conventional operatingmodels. We built eleven new schools with Bilfinger inHalle. How many times do you think we had to negotiateover changes and additions? Not once. And we openedthe schools on the planned date each time.11 o’clock: singing, 12 o’clock: writing, 1 o’clock: gym. Theold school clock shows diligent students and their dailyroutine. The clock hadn’t worked since the 1980s. Bilfingerrestored it in collaboration with a local clockmaker.And what do the children get out of it?We need school buildings that look like the future. Thechildren need to feel that they’re worth something to us.Bilfinger has set standards on this count, and not onlyfor Halle. The schools still look like new, even yearsafter modernization. When you take visitors from othercities around them, you don’t need to show them aschool prospectus any more.
46BILFINGERMAGAZINE02.201347Job well done? Apprenticesdiscuss the quality of a weldingjoint in the training workshop.new power plant blocks at two locations.double that number.”The blocks have a total output of 9,000Because other companies are only toomegawatts and Bilfinger is manufacturinghappy to recruit the highly qualified peo-the components. The company depends onple coming out of the program, they havegood skilled workers to get the job done.to commit to remain with Bilfinger for aUnlike in Germany, for example, there isperiod of at least two years after they haveno tradition in South Africa for companiespassed their exam. Which is of course farto qualify young talent on their own.from the worst option. The company sup-Many companies leave training to state in-ports the health insurance of its employeesstitutions and private schools. Bilfingerand, parallel to the regular working day,has taken a different path: the companythere are scholarships and intern shipshas established a total of three trainingwhich make it possible to move up in theacademies at its locations.company.FULL CURRICULUM“No company in South Africa does a more“The sky’s the limit,” promises SonetJordaan and points to Sam Mabotja as anexample. The son of a laborer came to Bil-comprehensive job of training welders,finger when he was 19 years old and tookboiler technicians and pipe fitters,” saysadvantage of every opportunity – from in-Sonet Jordaan, the company’s Trainingternal company scholarships to manage-Manager in South Africa. The apprentice-ment training programs. Today, at just 34Apprentices at Bilfinger in South Africaship takes 18 months with alternatingyears of age, he is a director. “If you wantcan look to the future with confidence.practical and theoretical teaching units.to have shade one day, you have to plant“Until now, there was no official curricu-a tree,” says Mabota: “Companies in Southlum for pipe setters,” says Sonet JordaanAfrica have to invest in young people inwith a sense of pride: “On behalf of theorder to remain competitive. And, by thegovernment, we developed a suitable pro-same token, young people have to use theTHE SKY’STHE LIMITBrazil, Russia, India, China – and nowSouth Africa, too: the BRIC countries havebecome the BRICS countries. For the pasttwo years, South Africa has officially beenone of the world’s five largest, fast-growingemerging markets. A development thatalso benefits Bilfinger Power Systems. Thegram which is now valid nationwide.” Upto 100 young people will be taking thewelder and other specialist training programsin 2013. “And we could easily useopportunities that are presented to them.”Mabotja smiles: “I am living proof thatthis philosophy is true.” |company has more than 2,000 employeesin South Africa specialized in services forThere are two things South Africa needs to drive itsdevelopment forward: electricity and skilled workers.power plants.South Africa’s growth is gobbling upenergy at a rapid pace, and the country’sappetite for electricity generated fromText EVA WOLFANGEL | Photos FRANK SCHULTZEcoal is enormous. Since 2008 Eskom,Africa’s largest producer of electricity, hastherefore been building a total of twelveTraining Manager Jordaan: "Promoting talent inter-Moving up at a steep angle: training is shaped byDirector Sam Mabotja: “If you want shade, you havenally makes it possible to climb up the ladder."equal parts practice and theory.to plant trees.”
48BILFINGERMAGAZINE02.2013BILFINGER NEWS49Top employerGetting in positionfor grid expansionConservation despitemotorwayControl systems forenergy technologyLargest provider ofconstruction logisticsGrowth in watertechnologyBilfinger is among the most popularBilfinger is getting itself in position forAfter a construction period of just threeGreyLogix, a company specialized in au-In construction logistics, Bilfinger seesThe acquisition of US water technologyemployers in Germany. The companythe expansion of the electricity grid inyears, the 27-kilometer-long Peninsulatomation technology with its headquar-opportunities for growth and develop-specialist Johnson Screens makes Bilfin-was ranked an outstanding 9th in a listGermany, and has acquired the FRBLink Highway in the Australian state ofters in Flensburg, has been part of thement in European markets outside Ger-ger Water Technologies into one of theof the 100 most popular employers forGroup, specialists for overhead powerVictoria has now been officially openedBilfinger Group since February 2013.many. The company has therefore ac-world’s leading providers of compo-engineers. This is the result of the cur-lines. The company, which is located infor traffic. A project company led by Bil-Bilfinger thus complements its range ofquired CCL Consulting & Constructionnents and services in nearly all areas ofrent study from Berlin’s Trendence In-Dinslaken, Germany, plans, maps outfinger designed and financed the proj-industrial services and expands its posi-Logistics GmbH which is headquarteredwater and wastewater technology.stitute in cooperation with Managerand assembles high and ultra-high volt-ect and will operate it over a period oftion as one of the leading manufactu-in Berlin. Together with the activitiesJohnson Screens produces mechani-Magazin.age overhead power lines. The acquisi-25 years.rer-independent service providers forthat are already present in the Groupcal components for the separation ofAs part of the study, about 35,000tion forms the starting point for aThe four-lane motorway will improveelectrical, instrumentation and controland planned sales of €40 million, thesolids from liquids and gases and pro-business, engineer ing and IT studentsgrowth strategy that Bilfinger is pursu-the traffic situation on the Morningtontechnology.acquisition creates the largest providervides associated services. The productswere asked about their preferred em-ing in connection with the expansion ofPeninsula southwest of Melbourne. TheGreyLogix designs and delivers auto-of logistical engineering and servicesare used for drinking water extraction,ployers, with about half of those sur-high and ultra-high voltage grids. In fu-project traverses an ecologically sensi-mation solutions, primarily control sys-for construction projects in German-in the oil and gas industry and in otherveyed from engineering programs.ture, the Group will deliver an extensivetive area and includes a total of 28tems for facilities in the energy and uti-speaking markets.industrial sectors for wastewater treat-Bilfinger offers a diverse range ofrange of solutions including the layingbridge structures. More than 1.7 millionlity sectors as well as in the process in-CCL’s range of services includes plan-ments and resource reclamation. Theentry-level positions and developmentof underground cables and the construc-new trees and shrubs have been planteddustry. A special focus is in the field ofning services for construction logisticscompany’s most important markets areprospects in a growing internationaltion of underground cable tubes.along the route and a large number ofgas technology. Here the company isas well as coordination and manage-North America, Europe and the Asia-environment.In April 2013, Germany’s Federal Par-both wildlife under passes and noiseactive in the area of systems controlment of all on-site processes. This isPacific region.www.career.bilfinger.comliament passed a law on the acceleratedexpansion of the electricity grid. Thelaw calls for the construction of 36 ultrahighvoltage power lines to transportthe energy generated by wind turbinesand conventional power plants in thenorth of the country to areas of heavyconsumption in the south and west.protection walls have been erected. Aspart of the project, Bilfinger also completeda 25-kilometer-long bicycle andfootpath that connects bush areas, wetlands,parks and conservation areas.Photos Helgi und Susann Städter/photocase.comtechnology for the transport and storageof natural gas.complemented by supplementary servicesrelated to construction works suchas occupational safety and waste management.The company’s most importantmarkets currently include Germany,Switzerland and the Netherlands.With the acquisition, Bilfinger gainsaccess to new markets and manufacturingcapacities in important growthregions. Output volume in water andwastewater technology doubles to over€300 million.
50BILFINGERMAGAZINE02.2013INSIDE STORY51SOME 70,000 PEOPLE WORK FOR BILFINGER.EACH OF THEM HAS THEIR OWN STORY.CARLOS OLIVOEngineer Carlos Olivo (38) commutes betweenGermany and Mexico as Sales Director for BilfingerWater Technologies. His company is involved in therenovation of Mexico City’s sewer network.What do you consider your best quality?I try to stay positive. That way you feel betterregardless of what happens.Can you give us an example?Well, I studied in Germany and planned to workthere, too, but I couldn’t find a job. That was disappointing,but at the same time I told myselfthat I hadn’t lost anything. Everything I’d learnedI could take back to Mexico with me. But then, afew days before I was due to leave, I got an offer– for the job I’m in now.What was your happiest moment as a child?I spent eleven years as an only child before mylittle brother was born. At first I was really angry!But then I noticed how nice it is to havehim around.Do you have a favorite memory?In my youth I used to go to the beach a lot withmy parents and brother. That’s when the four ofus were still together.Do you miss your family?Sometimes. But it’s not like a pain, it’s more afeeling of being connected to one another evenover a great distance. My mother died four yearsago. She got sick just when I’d been given myscholarship to study in Germany. I didn’t knowwhether to go or not, but she said: “I’m going tomiss you, but this is your future. Go!”What is the best thing about your job?That I can do something good for the people inLatin America, for whole cities even: we’re makingtheir water clean!What are you afraid of?I suffer from a fear of heights. As an engineer Ihave to inspect our facilities and sometimes Ineed to go down very deep into the sewers. I justhold on tight and try not to notice anything onthe way.What qualities do you admire in a man?Ambition and curiosity. Putting your full commitmentinto something, whether it’s personalor professional. Young men, in particular, dothat. I try to live up to this quality myself.What qualities do you admire in a woman?When intelligence, humor, beauty and elegancecome together. We call it “tierna” in Spanish.What do your friends like about you?They say I’m always in a good mood. Even as achild I had a sort of a role: if my cousin fell downand started crying, I’d be the one to make herlaugh again.And is there anything you can only bear witha healthy dose of humor?People often say: “Ah, you’re Latin American, youmust be able to samba!” I find all those kinds ofclichés pretty stupid.What do you think is overrated?Big cars. And in Germany, precise answers.People there always want to make extremelyprecise statements, then they’re happy. In LatinAmerica, a conversation is not so much aboutexchanging facts, it’s more about keeping upcontact, about empathy. In German they callthat “quatschen” – and it’s like a dirty word.What have you abandoned all hope of?Becoming a good musician. I can play a total oftwo songs on the guitar.Do you have a role model?Tennis player Roger Federer: he’s been successfulfor so long, yet he’s still got his feet on theground.What’s your favorite activity?Playing tennis. And kissing my girlfriend.Interview EVA WOLFANGELPhoto MATTHIAS HANGST
BILFINGER MAGAZINE 02.2013www.magazine.bilfinger.comPublished by:Bilfinger SECarl-Reiss-Platz 1–568165 MannheimGermanyTel. + 49 (0) 621 email@example.comEditorial director:Michael Weber, Bilfinger SEProject management:Dr. Daniela Simpson, Bilfinger SE,Bernd Hauser, agentur.zsDesign and Layout:Steven Dohn, Rebecca Drew,Bohm und Nonnen, Büro für GestaltungPhoto editing: Barbara Bylek, agentur.zsCover photo: ts-grafik.de/photocase.comLitho: Katja Leppin, Thomas NikolaiPrinting: ColorDruck LeimenTranslation: Baker & Harrison,Bruce MacPhersonCirculation coordination:Business Service WeberPaper: 100% recyclingBilfinger Magazine is published twicea year in German and English. Allrights are reserved. Items by namedcontributors do not necessarily reflectthe opinions of the publisher. Thereprinting or electronic distributionof articles or excerpts of articles isprohibited without the express permissionof the publisher.