The magazine of AFG Arbonia-Forster-Holding AG Autumn/Winter 2007/2008
On the attack Page 4
Welcome to the
AFG Corporate Center!
■ Heating Technology and Sanitary Equipment Pages 14 – 19
■ Kitchens and Refrigeration Pages 20 – 27
■ Windows and Doors Pages 28 – 35
■ Steel Technology Pages 36 – 43
■ Surface Technology Pages 44 – 49
Customer-friendly Page 26
centres take over
Clever Page 45
Stories from the
world of hard
Editorial ............................................................................. 1
n In a nutshell
News ................................................................................. 2
Aqualux: Welcome to AFG! ................................................ 4
Steel – a material with a promising future ........................... 8
n AFG Arbonia-Forster-Holding AG
Already in full swing: the AFG Corporate Center ............... 10
New director for the Corporate Center .............................. 11
Learning from the best: AFG shares practical expertise ...... 11
New build: environmentally friendly coil transfer station .... 12
Inside the amazing new AFG ARENA ................................. 13
n Heating Technology and Sanitary Equipment
New underfloor convectors from Arbonia .......................... 15
Prolux premiere at the «BadeWelten» exhibition ................ 16
New training centre inaugurated in Stříbro ........................ 16
German Weather Service relies on Therm X2 ..................... 17
Bulgaria’s Ambassador visits Kermi in Plattling ................... 18
The Kermi training centre:
growing more and more popular! ..................................... 18
Bavarian Minister of State Huber visits Kermi ..................... 19
n Kitchens and Refrigeration
Miele Kitchens with Dross & Schaffer ................................ 21
Kitchen mile A30: top trend kitchen for living .................... 22
Selecting the most fascinating Miele kitchen ..................... 23
Bruno Piatti AG: a new managing director ......................... 24
Piatti focuses on energy efficiency ..................................... 24
Piatti: multi-media kitchen ................................................. 25
Successful dual distribution system .................................... 25
Forster kitchen centre Arbon: in a new and inviting design 26
New product – Forster wash terminal ................................ 26
n Windows and Doors
EgoKiefer plastic windows XL ® with top eco-efficiency ....... 29
Increased production capacity for EgoKiefer
plastic windows XL ® .......................................................... 30
EgoKiefer plastic window: «70% energy saving –
automatic ventilation!» ..................................................... 31
MINERGIE-P with EgoKiefer plastic window MPR3 ............. 32
Modern, integrated communication for EgoKiefer
sales outlets ...................................................................... 32
Product pass for external doors ......................................... 33
Highly polished chromium steel: the queen of steel frames 34
Cash Employer Award 2007: 2 nd place for RWD Schlatter 35
New product from Planet GDZ AG .................................... 35
n Steel Technology
Forster precision steel tubes in fine form ............................ 37
Forster tubes on the road .................................................. 38
Faster processing for enhanced customer service ............... 39
Successful metal construction planner seminar .................. 40
Security and personal protection with Forster unico ........... 41
«My job? To stand around and look good» ........................ 42
n Surface Technology
Selective influence on the surface structure ....................... 45
New premises: STI Westside Center in Steinach ................. 46
Highlight: 20 m long application roll .................................. 47
New CEO .......................................................................... 47
The latest process diagnostics in thermal spray technology 48
STI | Hartchrom provides surface treatment for Maybach ... 49
AFG WORLD, the magazine of AFG Arbonia-Forster-
Holding AG, appears three times a year in four
languages in Switzerland, Germany, the United
Kingdom and the Czech Republic, as well as in
other countries around the world.
AFG Arbonia-Forster-Holding AG
Editorial AFG WORLD
Dr. Christoph Schönenberger
P.O. Box 134
T +41 71 447 41 41
F +41 71 447 45 88
E,T&H Werbeagentur AG BSW, CH-9401 Rorschach
Printing: Druckerei Flawil AG, CH-9230 Flawil
Title image: The AFG Corporate Center
end of November 2007.
Paving the way to a successful
future with vision and foresight
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Growth and dynamism continue unabated at AFG. With the
acquisition of Aqualux Products Holding Ltd and the associated
strategic cooperation with Multiway Asia in Hong Kong and
China, the next step has been taken to strengthen the international
operations of AFG. As such, this represents an effective
implementation of the company’s corporate strategies. As the
leading supplier of a wide range of bathroom, shower and
«wellness» equipment to the UK market, Aqualux will not only
strengthen our Division Heating Technology and Sanitary Equipment,
but it will also provide a boost to the group as a whole.
This acquisition will unlock new markets and enhance our presence
in countries with very promising growth potential. Aqualux
has a strategic partnership with a company in the southern
Chinese province of Guangdong, which will enable us to further
boost our standing in Asia. This will generate interesting synergy
potential with the Division Kitchens and Refrigeration, which
aims to meet the rapidly growing demands of the Asian population
for improved quality of living with innovative concepts and
products. We are already present at a number of exhibitions in
the Far East. Extending «joie de vivre» to the bathroom as well
as the kitchen, our company is on course for growth which is set
to remain rapid in the future. We would like to extend a warm
welcome to the senior management and colleagues of Aqualux,
and we look forward to a partnership which will be characterised
by a drive towards innovation and high awareness of quality.
Focussing on life philosophies instead of products
We can learn a lot from our involvement in new markets. In these
markets, the technological advances which have developed more
gradually in our traditional markets are catching up at a phenomenal
rate. Thanks to the dynamism of this situation, it is much easier
for us to see the clear direction that the customer demands of tomorrow
will take: away from the product and towards a philosophy
of life. Modern consumers are no longer in awe of technically
sophisticated systems – instead, this is something they take for
granted. Comfort, warmth, freshness, wellness and cosiness are
what it is all about. Our products will only be successful if they are
developed, manufactured and marketed according to the needs
of our end customers. This approach is summarised by our motto
«AFG goes global, acts local». We have to adapt to the needs of
the customer in every market.
Bureaucracy slows things down
Today’s visions are tomorrow’s reality. Today, AFG is successful
because we were able to anticipate our customers’ requirements
and because we took these requirements seriously. However,
we now need to identify the developments which are set to take
place tomorrow, so that we can plan a suitable strategy to take
us into the future. The dynamism of the market strongly opposes
any form of bureaucracy. Companies who rely on slowmoving
decisionmaking processes and get caught up in a false interpretation
of «correctness» will face an increasing struggle to keep
pace with success in the future. Our rigorous approach favours
streamlined processes which are unobstructed by red tape and
ensure consistently high quality from the strategic planning
stage right through to operational implementation.
Among other things, this has made it possible for the Corporate
Center in Arbon to be built in record time. The new headquarters
will bring together the group management, the general secretariat,
the finance department, human resources, the information
technology department and the sales departments of Arbonia
and Forster Tubes and Profile Systems. The Corporate Center,
which provides a total of 250 stateoftheart and brightly lit
workplaces, was ready in time for a Christmas movein. As a
result, communication distances will be shorter and we will be
able to serve our customers even faster. With the Corporate
Center, we have given ourselves a new face at AFG – a new face
which reflects our belief in both Switzerland and Germany as
industrial sites. At the same time, this also shows that we are
purposefully continuing on our path of global expansion. For us,
the creation of modern jobs and workplaces is an expression of
how high we value our workforce.
A lot has been achieved, but one or two things
have had to wait
We set ourselves ambitious targets for the business year 2007.
Although we didn’t quite manage everything, we did achieve
a lot. We have continued our focussed drive to expand the
international presence of the group. According to our mediumterm
plans, we aim to market 50% of our products in the two
domestic markets of Switzerland and Germany, while the
remaining 50% are intended for global markets, and we have
taken great strides in this respect. We have seen sustained
growth in terms of our activities in the Middle East and the Far
East, as well as in the new EU member states in Eastern Europe.
Our strategy of structuring the business across five divisions in
a way which makes us less susceptible to fluctuations in the economic
situation has proved highly successful in the business year
which is coming to an end. We shall be controlling our investments
similarly in the years to come. I would like to thank all of
our employees all around the world for their continued friendly
and active involvement. Good cooperation with our suppliers and
with the authorities at all of our sites has been the foundation of
our successful business activities. Once again though, in 2007 it
was our customers who were at the heart of our commercial
operations, our innovations and our services. It is down to them –
and them alone – that we were able to sell around CHF 1.4 billion
worth of products from our 16 production sites in 2007.
I would like to hold on to these thoughts of gratitude and wish
you and your family a successful new year.
AFG ArboniaForsterHolding AG
Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO
Dr. Edgar Oehler
a handy new CD!
Forster Profi le Systems has put together a new CD for customers
containing planning documentation for all systems in
the form of PDF fi les. This handy tool will provide architects
and planning offi cers with a clear overview of the many potential
applications for Forster systems, and it also doubles up as
a quick reference tool which can be used to look up spe cifi c
information. The CD is available to order from www.forsterprofi
le.ch/news or from your adviser/consultant. «
It’s offi cial: AFG website
beats rivals in survey
Deciding that it was time to fi nd out just how good the websites of 480 large
Swiss companies are, students at the Zurich College of Business closely scruti-
nised their sites with the help of Zurich media publisher Edition Renteria in
May and June 2007. The outcome: with 67 marks awarded from a possible total
of 78, the website of AFG ArboniaForsterHolding AG (www.afg.ch) was second only
to Swisscom, taking 2 nd place in the overall ranking ahead of Georg Fischer, Atel,
Holcim and Sulzer. AFG is the unchallenged leader in the category «Listed construction
companies», followed by Holcim, Allreal and Geberit. «
Starting to make its mark in Germany:
EgoKiefer XL ® window technology.
RWD Schlatter AG came second at this year’s CASH Employer
Award. Even though this was the company’s fi rst attempt at
winning the prestigious CASH Employer Award, RWD Schlatter
immediately came away with the «silver medal» – an impressive
recognition of the solid, futureoriented corporate cultu re
of RWD Schlatter. CEO Roger Herzig was very pleased – although
he was quick to point out that «the term Employer
Award is slightly misleading, as this fantastic prize would not
have been possible without the
exceptional level of commitment
displayed by all of our
EgoKiefer: taking XL ® to Germany
EgoKiefer started exporting their
innovative XL ® plastic windows
to Germany in August 2007.
The 45 large XL ® windows were used
by the company HAGOS – the world’s
largest supplier of components for
chimneys and tiled stoves – at the company’s
headquarters in Ismaning near
Munich. The EgoKiefer XL ® windows
were installed onsite by an authorised
dealer. In order to ensure that the highquality
EgoKiefer windows could be
The website ratings in the
«Handelszeitung» trade periodical,
issue 43 dated 24 th – 30 th October.
installed to the required high EgoKiefer
standards, the fi tters were trained beforehand
onsite by an EgoKiefer installation
expert from Switzerland.
The excellent response to the project
in Ismaning has already opened up
opportunities for the company to bid
on further projects. With EgoKiefer XL ®
windows – of course! «
Focus In a nutshell
Moving into the new
In the period from mid-November to Christmas 2007
the employees of AFG Arbonia-Forster-Holding AG
moved from their previous location to the new
Corporate Center. The fi rst step was to install the IT
infrastructure, after which the building was
occupied on a fl oorbyfl oor basis. Every Friday
and Saturday, a single department was moved
in a concerted effort into its new offi ces in the
new building. It was like an early Christmas
present when the new face of AFG was fully
occupied and fi lled with life by the start of the
festive period. The date for the offi cial inauguration
of the elegant building has been set for
28 th and 29 th February 2008. «
1,600 AFG employees visit
the AFG ARENA
On the autumnal morning of Saturday 6 October,
around 1,600 employees of AFG Arbonia-Forster-
Holding AG attended the fi rst big event in the AFG
ARENA in Gründenmoos, the ground which will
become the home stadium of St.Gallen football club.
Building work in the AFG ARENA is in full swing; the largest
construction site in eastern Switzerland is increasingly turning
into an impressive stadium. «As the company which has given
the new stadium its name, we are proud that we are able to
contribute to the construction and operation of this sports
complex and meeting place for hundreds of thousands of
people», explained Dr. Edgar Oehler during his address to the
The employees from AFG take great interest in inspecting
«their» AFG ARENA.
Amila Kuc, the 6 ,000 th AFG employee.
AFG breaks through
the 6,000 barrier
In mid-December 2007, AFG had the honour of
welcoming its 6,000 th employee. Ms. Amila Kuc is an
administrative assistant at the drawing plant offi ce of the
Forster Precision Steel Tubes unit. The Group’s overall
workforce has since increased beyond this round number,
which proves not only that the company is doing well
commercially, but that it is also an excellent employer. «
Having a good time (left to right): Michael Götte, Tübach council leader;
Bill B. Mistura, CEO of Betriebs AG AFG ARENA and Dr. Edgar Oehler.
assembled colleagues. «The value of this type of sponsoring
has been underlined by the fact that the name AFG has already
been mentioned more than 100 million times in the
media in the fi rst half of 2007.» This was not only the fi rst
large event at the AFG ARENA at all, but also the biggest employee
event in the AFG Group to date. In conducted groups
of 30, the employees were given the chance to scrutinise the
gigantic construction project in detail. All of the visitors clearly
enjoyed the occasion and felt honoured to have been given
this opportunity to inspect the prestigious building. Many of
them will no doubt have shared their exciting impressions
and experiences with family and friends afterwards. «
Welcome to AFG!
In September 2007, AFG Arbonia-Forster-Holding AG added another
successful international company to the group with the acquisition
of Aqualux, one of the largest suppliers of bath screens and shower
enclosures in the United Kingdom. The new addition is to be integrated
in the Division Heating Technology and Sanitary Equipment.
AFG purchased British company Aqualux Products Holding
Limited, Wednesbury, for CHF 51.9 million. Based near
Birmingham, the company is one of the leading suppliers
of sanitary ware in the UK, offering a wide range of bath
screens, shower enclosures, shower trays and steam cabins.
Aqualux employs about 190 staff and generated sales of
approximately CHF 68 million in 2006.
Growth in the Division Heating Technology
and Sanitary Equipment
As a result of taking over Aqualux, the Division Heating
Technology and Sanitary Equipment is raising the proportion
of international sales generated outside its home markets
from 30% to 37%. For the Group as a whole, the increase
is from 27% to 30%. Ever since AFG was taken over by
Dr. Edgar Oehler, its current majority shareholder and
Chairman of the Board of Directors, one of the company’s
strategic goals has been to expand the company’s strong
position beyond the two home markets of Switzerland and
Germany. This objective applies especially to the Division
Heating Technology and Sanitary Equipment, which is not
only the Group’s largest division by far, contributing 46.6%
of total Group sales in 2006, but which also supplies innovative
products that enjoy strong international demand. By
purchasing Aqualux, AFG has taken a major step towards
implementing its international strategy. The acquisition also
marks a signifi cant move towards two of AFG’s other targets:
strengthening and widening its range of sanitary equipment
products, and improving its position in the wellness segment.
The management of Aqualux (left to right): Neil Gore, Finance Director; James Cadman,
Managing Director; Mike Heath, Operations Director; Mike Jones, Sales Director.
«As a result of taking over Aqualux,
the Division Heating Technology and
Sanitary Equipment is raising the
proportion of international sales
generated outside its home markets
from 30% to 37%.»
Aqualux bathroom products feature a strong emphasis on aesthetics and functionality.
The UK’s leading supplier
For AFG, the acquisition of Aqualux Products Holding Limited
also represents an important stage on the path to becoming
a leading European supplier in the sanitary ware sector.
In the UK, Aqualux is the market leader for the product segments
bath screens and shower enclosures. In recent years,
the company has also managed to build up its position in the
highend product segment. Aqualux is currently one of the
few suppliers in the UK to offer competitive product ranges
across a broad price spectrum.
Strategic partnership in China
Aqualux has a strategic partnership with a similarly focused
supplier in Huizhou, in the southern Chinese province of
Guangdong, which is a welcome addition to the presence
that AFG is currently building up in the Chinese market.
For the Division Heating Technology and Sanitary Equipment,
as well as for AFG as a Group, this successful alliance which
has been in place for several years creates new opportunities
to speed up the planned expansion of the sanitary equipment
business in Asia. There are also opportunities for similar growth
in the markets of Eastern and South Eastern Europe.
Aqualux will continue to operate on the market independently
and under its existing management. In overall management
terms, the company will be integrated into the Division
Heating Technology and Sanitary Equipment. Aqualux’s in
te gration into AFG and the access this provides to Group
resources will have positive effects on the British company’s
mar keting activities and will generate measurable synergy
po tential in purchasing, logistics, IT and research and
Pure «wellness» – with products from Aqualux.
Ready to deliver: Aqualux is the leading UK
supplier of bath accessories.
«With the acquisition of Aqualux,
AFG has taken a big step
towards implementing the
company’s international strategy.»
Exudes wellbeing: a shower installation from Aqualux.
With around 190 employees, Aqualux Products Holding Limited is
the leading UK supplier with a wide range of products in the field of
bathroom and «wellness» equipment: Shower enclosures and steam cabins,
bath screens and «wellness» accessories. This also gives the company a presence
in Ireland, Belgium, France, Portugal, the Netherlands and South Africa. Aqualux
is accredited to a number of European quality and environmental compliance
standards, including ISO 9001 – 2000 and ISO 14001 – 2004. Aqualux products
are characterised by superior quality and durability. Aqualux has been a company
within the AFG ArboniaForsterHolding AG group since September 2007, where
it is integrated in the Division Heating Technology and Sanitary Equipment. «
Combining thrills with a feast for the eyes:
Rigolo Nouveau Cirque.
After the opening address, Dr. Edgar Oehler
is quizzed by Kurt Aeschbacher about the
expansion strategy of AFG ArboniaForster
Steel – a material with
a promising future
The Forster Steel Forum took place on 7th September 2007
at Arbon, Thurgau. High-calibre speakers like Tilla Theus whisked
the audience off into the world of steel.
Architecture is one field in particular where the excellent material properties of steel
are in high demand. With more than 450 invited guests, the Forster Steel Forum
was very well attended. Forster AG was founded as a public limited company
85 years ago. This anniversary was the perfect opportunity to make steel the star
of a special event, where – in keeping with the majority of Forster’s products – the
focus was on construction and architecture.
Guided tour and welcome address
Soon after lunch, a large number of attendees took the opportunity to tour the
manufacturing facilities at Forster Kitchens, Forster Refrigeration and the Forster
Steel Tubes factory. The visitors were shown around in small groups and given the
chance to find out more about the stateoftheart production processes in order
to get them in the mood for the topic of the day. After returning to the Seeparksaal,
the guests were welcomed by Dr. Edgar Oehler, Chairman of the Board of
Directors and CEO of AFG ArboniaForsterHolding AG, who officially opened the
Steel Forum. In his speech, he gave an impressive account of the history of steel
manufacturing and underlined the importance of this material for the future as well.
Famous names, top quality entertainment
The event was hosted by presenter Kurt Aeschbacher. One of the high points of
the day was the talk given by Tilla Theus, who presented the recently inaugurated
FIFA headquarters in Zurich designed by her. Architect Beat Rothen’s comments
about the different aspects of residential building also generated avid interest.
The renowned architect Tilla Theus during her speech entitled
«The Home of FIFA – a floating object made of steel».
The conversation between Kurt Aeschbacher and artist and iron sculptor Peter
Federer from Widnau emphasised the importance of steel not only as a building
material, but also as a legitimate medium in art. During the podium discussion
which followed, the speakers were joined by architect Michele Arnaboldi from
Lugano to discuss the future of steel as a building material. In the meantime,
visitors were also given the opportunity to find out more about the latest
products both of the Forster companies and the other companies in the AFG
ArboniaForsterHolding AG group in the accompanying exhibition in the foyer.
This was followed by an aperitif which was appropriately accompanied by the
steel drum band Extempo from Winterthur, who added a Caribbean touch to
the proceedings. During the evening meal the guests then had the opportunity
to chat among colleagues and discuss the various ideas presented during the
speeches and discussions. Finally, the exciting interludes in which acrobats from
the Rigolo Nouveau Cirque presented excerpts from their latest show were met
with a warm welcome.
Steel as the «star»
The event itself focussed solely on the subject of steel. After all, this is a material
which plays a uniquely important role for AFG ArboniaForsterHolding AG.
Forster is the only manufacturer to manufacture kitchens from steel. This offers
a number of advantages, such as a uniquely hygienic surface which is not only very
easy to clean but is also extremely durable. The profile systems and precision steel
tubes from Forster are also made of steel. The profiles are used for windows, doors
and facades, specifically also for elements with special safety requirements such
as fire and smoke protection or for security against burglary. Famous objects like
the Statue of Liberty in New York have been kitted out with doors featuring Forster
systems. In addition, Forster also manufactures tubes for the furniture industry
and for the automotive industry, and exports its products worldwide. «
The podium discussion about the possibilities and the future of steel as a building
material was followed with great attention by the more than 450 invited guests.
A graceful dance performance by Lara
Jacobs from Rigolo and an outstanding
display of acrobatic feats during the show
by the Rigolo Nouveau Cirque.
A fascinating sight: the new Corporate Center of AFG ArboniaForsterHolding AG
was completed on schedule by the end of 2007 and is already in use.
Already in full swing:
the AFG Corporate Center
The AFG Corporate Center, the proud symbol of a growing international organisation,
has already been filled with new life. From mid-November onwards, a new department moved in every
week. The official inauguration ceremony will take place on 28 th and 29 th February 2008.
The groundbreaking ceremony took place on 11 th June 2006,
and by the end of 2007 it was already completed: the «Corporate
Center» project demonstrates that AFG is not only a
dynamic company, but that it is also very singleminded when
it comes to building projects. As a further bonus, this unique
landmark is packed with finest stateoftheart technology
«The face of our company»
«The new Corporate Center is sotospeak the new face of
our company», underlined Dr. Edgar Oehler, Chairman of the
Board of Directors and CEO of AFG ArboniaForsterHolding
AG. «It highlights and demonstrates the corporate philosophy
by which we live: Innovation, transparency, technology, quality,
ecology and an international outlook.» The successful company
from the eastern part of Switzerland sees the strongest
potential for growth in the markets of Eastern Europe and
Asia. As the host in this unique building, Dr. Edgar Oehler is
proud to be able to welcome business partners, customers
The AFG Corporate Center
Volume 62,000 m 3
Office space 4,600 m 2
Ground floor surface area 2,750 m 2
Max. building height 19 m
No. of floors above ground 4
No. of floors below ground 3
Parking spaces 290
and guests from all around the world. «But of course we aim
to maintain a predominantly personal presence in our future
markets», he underlined.
250 jobs relocated
During the period from midNovember to midDecember
2007, the central services of AFG – including areas such as
cor porate management, finance and accounting, central services,
sales management, marketing and IT – were relocated
from the city centre of Arbon to the Corporate Center in the
Winzelnwies industrial area (also in Arbon). In total, this entails
around 250 jobs. The old buildings on the Romanshornerstrasse
and Zelgstrasse are to be demolished in order to make
way for new residential buildings. During the next few years,
it is planned that all jobs shall move from their peripheral
locations in Arbon into the new Winzelnwies industrial area.
The architecture of the Corporate Center was drawn up by
local architects Gisel + Partner AG, who shared responsibility
for the new face of AFG with general contractor Karl Steiner
AG and other planning companies. «
AFG Arbonia-Forster-Holding AG 11
for the Corporate
Dr. Christoph Schönenberger took over from Dr. Stefan
Holenstein on 1 st September 2007 as the director of the
Corporate Center of the AFG Arbonia-Forster-Holding
As the «chief of staff», he is responsible for a number of
different areas at AFG: human resources, communications,
legal matters, estate, strategic purchasing, project management,
transport and logistics. In addition, as the point of call
for the Board of Directors and for the corporate management,
he also performs a number of additional roles at
group level. Before taking on this post at AFG, Dr. Christoph
Schönenberger worked as an attorneyatlaw for many years.
His desire to seek out a management role and to work in an
operational role in a firstrate corporation motivated him to
accept this new challenge. Together with his colleagues,
he will ensure that the general secretariat and all the departments
which report to him will meet the varied tasks both
professionally and on time. The new director of the Corporate
Center will continue to be able to make the most of his
considerable legal expertise as the head of the legal department
of the group. He is particularly enamoured with the
streamlined structures and short decision paths within AFG. «
Set to run again in 2008
In response to the enormous demand,
AFG ArboniaForsterHolding AG will
be running this event again in 2008.
For more information or to register
Tel. 071 282 21 68
Dr. Christoph Schönenberger
Director of the Corporate Center
AFG ArboniaForsterHolding AG.
Dr. Christoph Schönenberger
Training and education
■ Lic. iur., University of Freiburg
■ Attorneyatlaw, Canton of St.Gallen
■ Dr. iur., University of Zurich
■ Master of Laws (LL. M.), University of Florida,
■ Single judge and clerk, district court of
Ober und Neutoggenburg, Lichtensteig
■ Attorneyatlaw, Schönenberger Marty Kühne
law firm, Wil SG
■ Attorneyatlaw, UBS AG Legal Services, Zurich
■ Attorneyatlaw and partner, Probst attorneysatlaw,
■ Since September 2007 Director of the Corporate Center,
AFG ArboniaForsterHolding AG
■ Born in 1968; married; 2 children (aged 3/8)
■ Hobbies: Sport and politics
Learning from the best:
AFG shares practical expertise
On 21 st September, AFG opened its doors for around 25 owners, CEOs
and senior managers from a number of different small and medium-sized
enterprises (SMEs). These guests were given the opportunity to take a
direct look at the operational side of the company, where they were shown
how, as a manufacturing company, it is important to help shape the technology
in the market in order to remain competitive. In recent years, AFG
ArboniaForsterHolding AG has seen significant growth under the leadership of
Dr. Edgar Oehler – the industry already talks of the «AFG phenomenon». As a result,
the company has been made part of the «Learning from the best» programme
established by the KMU Campus group. The idea is for the most successful com panies
in an industry to demonstrate exactly what it is that they do best during a
1day event organised on their own premises. The aim is to share practical expertise
and knowledge with the participants. On the subject of «continuous innovation
as a strategic factor for success», line managers from different divisions showed
how AFG uses carefully targeted innovation management to continuously help to
shape the technology in the marketplace, and how this helps the company to always
remain one step ahead of the competition. «
New build: environmentally
friendly coil transfer station
AFG Arbonia-Forster-Holding AG recently opened its new coil transfer station
near the rail station in the port of Romanshorn in the canton of Thurgau.
Weighing around 20 tons, the steel coils are delivered by train.
SBB Cargo (the Swiss Rail freight division) delivers the coils
to the gate of the new transfer station. Using a capstan that
can move loads of up to 650 tons, the railcars are pulled into
the facility where their cargo is then removed using an indoor
crane. The coils are stored on one side of the station’s hall until
they are transported on specially constructed semitrailers
to the production facilities of AFG’s Division Steel Technology
(Forster Precision Steel Tubing and Forster Profile Systems)
in Arbon, Thurgau.
Material for steel tubes, profiles and radiators
Once they have arrived at the production facilities of Forster
Steel Technology, the steel coils are unwound from the
mighty spools, cut and then processed to supply three AFG
units and a number of external clients. The material goes into
the production of Arbonia and Prolux radiators as well as various
Forster Steel Technology products, including steel tubing
and profile systems for buildings, fireproof doors and window
facades. Beyond this, Forster Steel Technology also processes
steel tubing for the furniture industry and the automotive
industry. The close proximity of the various enterprises (all in
Arbon) assures short transport routes. «In terms of transport,
we have secured an ideal allocation of roles», explains Dr.
Edgar Oehler, Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO
of AFG ArboniaForsterHolding AG. «We use train and ship
for longer transport routes, with precision distribution to our
production facilities handled by trucks which meet the latest
Euro 5 environmental standards»
As a leading technology corporation and globally active supplier
to the construction industry, AFG is committed not only
to innovation, quality and environmental sustainability, but
Facts about the new coil transfer station
Basic dimensions (L/W/H) 36.5 m/14 m/11.5 m
Length of rail link 300 m
Indoor crane hoisting power 32 t
Transport volume 75,000 t/annum
Average coil weight 23 t
Using a special capstan, the train is pulled into the new coil transfer
faci lity of AFG ArboniaForsterHolding AG. The transfer station is loca ted
in Romanshorn, near to the RomanshornFriedrichshafen ferry landing.
also to excellent design – even when it comes to a pragmatic
construction like the new coil transfer station. The building’s
shell, which is 36.5 m long, 14 m wide and 11.5 m high, sets
new architectural standards. During the day, the shell allows
light to flood the building’s interior, thereby reducing the
need for electric lighting. At night, the elegant building cube
emits an elegant blue light that helps to create a compelling
visual accent. The new coil transfer station near the RomanshornFriedrichshafen
ferry landing became necessary because
the freight train line to Steinacher Schöntal (where Forster
Steel Technology has been operating a transfer station since
1995) is to be shut down. The steel coils were previously
delivered by train in precut form and unloaded at the Arbon
rail station. The decision made in favour of the new site was
based on a thorough costbenefit analysis. «
Project schedule and costs
Site investigations Mid 2005 to early 2006
Planning phase July to September 2006
Submission of building proposal September 2006
Construction start 26 th February 2007
Construction duration 6 months
Project completion End of July 2007
Construction costs CHF 2.6 million
AFG Arbonia-Forster-Holding AG 13
Inside the amazing
new AFG ARENA
The steel structures which will form part of the stands in the AFG ARENA
tower proudly above the site. Around 21,000 visitors will find space here.
The completion of the stands marks another important step forwards for the
supersized construction project in the western region of St.Gallen. The grand
opening is already set for the summer of 2008! As the company which is not
only a partner in this project but has also given the stadium its name,
AFG ArboniaForsterHolding AG is already right in the heart of the action. «
Marvellous: the tenstorey main stand includes comfortable seating and exclusive corporate boxes.
Ready: the third of a total of four pedestrian crossings has already been completed.
Brilliant: the glazed facade of the main stand
showing a reflection of the motorway.
Timeless: the careful combination
of concrete and steel gives the AFG ARENA
its special appearance.
The Division Heating Technology and Sanitary Equipment provides some stylish surprises with its comfortable showers, bathrooms and wellness rooms.
H e a t i n g Te c h n o l o g y a n d
New underfloor convectors
With the new Ascotherm series Arbonia extends its product portfolio
with underfloor convectors for private and commercial users. They have been
designed to be unobtrusive and blend in with the respective interior.
Convectors are a mandatory requirement for heating large
rooms in private and commercial premises fast and efficiently.
If placed correctly in front of large window areas, they will be
an effective device for counteracting the cold air drop with its
upwards flow of warm air. Apart from the familiar free standing
convectors, Arbonia now offers the Ascotherm series of
underfloor convectors that are nearly completely hidden from
view in the interior of the room. Not only does this keep the
interior design free from the clutter of radiators, it also allows
free access to the window areas. Only the elegant linear
cover grills are an indicator of the convectors that are hidden
in the floor.
Three operating options
Depending on the heat requirement and choice of heating
up time, the underfloor convectors provide three operating
options. With the Ascotherm KRN 11, heat distribution is
based solely on natural convection whereas the KRN 12 has
an additional air connection. This is used to channel fresh air
to the convector via a separate duct, thus ensuring the very
best in indoor climate. The air volume and hence the convection
output can be controlled via a slide register.
For fast heatingup times and an even heat distribution the
model KRN 21 is equipped with a crossflow fan system for
forced convection, featuring special energyefficient motors
with three different speed settings.
Model KRN 21 with crossflow fan system for forced convection.
Elegant: linear grating in anodised aluminium.
Ascotherm underfloor convectors are supplied in impact
soundinsulated floor pans that are ready to install either in
raised floors or within the thickness of the screed. There is
an additional height adjustment mechanism to compensate
for unevenness and tolerances. The heating elements consist
of copper pipes and aluminium fins with excellent heat conduction
properties. All Ascotherm underfloor convectors are
available in a comprehensive range of various sizes with
lengths up to 5,000 mm. Delivery includes an installation
cover to protect the convector during the construction phase
as well as a linear anodised aluminium grating. In spite of its
rugged construction, the grating has a large proportion of
apertures to allow free air circulation. «
at the «BadeWelten»
Since 1 st July 2007 Heizkörper Prolux AG is marketing
partner of «BadeWelten» and in that function has
exhibited for the first time at the «Bauen & Modernisieren»
trade fair in Zurich. The Swiss association «BadeWelten»
was formed in 1998 and provides advice and expertise from
A to Z regarding bathrooms and utility rooms. It has 54 members
in Germanspeaking Switzerland and a total workforce
of 985. One of its marketing partners for bathrooms is now
Heizkörper Prolux AG, which supplies beautifullydesigned
radiators. The purpose of this partnership is the sale of highquality
products which are used by «BadeWelten» in the design
of their bathrooms. The two partner organisations work
closely together in design, customer advice, products and
services for the perfect bathroom.
At five trade fairs all over Switzerland «BadeWelten» exhibits
and presents its competence in order to make new contacts
and cultivate existing ones. The first of these events was the
trade fair «Bauen und Modernisieren» in Zurich from 30 th
August to 3 rd September 2007. Stylish bathrooms were on
New training centre
inaugurated in Stříbro
On 5 th October 2007 the aim was achieved: the new
information and training centre of Kermi s.r.o was
officially inaugurated in the presence of the most
important partners and business associates from the
business and political community in the Czech town
of Stříbro. Dr. Edgar Oehler, Chairman of the Board of
Directors and CEO of AFG ArboniaForsterHolding AG,
Dr. Roger Schönborn, member of the management of
Heating Technology and Sanitary Equipment, as well as
Milan Stoll, Managing Director of Kermi s.r.o Stříbro,
The «Golden Eye» guest bathroom with the Prolux radiator «Galaline».
display to appeal to all lifestyle groups, showing customers
how to turn their dream bath into reality. Heizkörper
Prolux AG was represented in the three bathrooms «Cool
Day», «Golden Eye» and «Hot Chili». The stylish radiators
Lambada, Galaline and Mambo were the perfect match
for these modern bathroom designs. «
«BadeWelten» with Prolux
WOHGA Zug 13 th – 16 th March 2008
OFFA St.Gallen 2 nd – 6 th April 2008
gave short speeches to the audience of some 40 invited
guests. After an interesting ramble around the stateoftheart
production facility, a festive menu was served in the new
information centre by the spirited catering team. The new
information and training centre has created a platform for
interesting and convincing presentations and demonstrations
as well as practiceoriented training for our customers
and, above all, our members of staff – another investment
into the future of «Enterprise Europe». «
The new training centre in Stříbro.
H e a t i n g Te c h n o l o g y a n d
Kermi flat radiator Therm X2.
Services engineer Mr. Lembke (on the right)
and Kermi product consultant Carsten
Hänsel check: even though the Therm X2
flat radiator is still wrapped up during
the refurbishment phase and running
at minimum load, it radiates heat at
a comfortable and uniform level.
German Weather Service
relies on Therm X2
For about 4 million Euro the German Weather Service refurbished
a building complex from the 1970s with 4,000 m 2 net usable area
in Hamburg. The potential for saving energy was enormous.
With the help of comprehensive insulation and, above all, a complete new heating
installation with appropriate heat distribution, using over 300 Kermi flat radiators
of the type Therm X2 with optimised radiation features, the energy consumption
in the four buildings will be reduced by around 60% in the future.
Saving money with Therm X2
With just a few clicks on the homepage of Kermi you can calculate your personal
savings potential – in Euro and liters of heating oil – for using flat radiators with
X2 technology. You just need a few input data regarding your heating system and
type of dwelling and you can see directly the amount of energy and costs you can
save when you use Kermi flat radiators with X2 technology in your new building or
renovation project. You may well be surprised at the amount of saving because it
can be up to 11% that the X2 technology can save you compared to conventional
technology. The savings are achieved with the patented innovative function of the
multilayer flat radiators with valves.
Numbers speak volumes
In contrast to conventional multilayer radiators, these flat radiators heat up primarily
the front panel during normal operation – which has a positive effect on thermal
comfort and heatingup times. Another costsaving element are the valves,
which have been matched to the size of the radiator at the factory. There is also
an uptodate calculation of the personal contribution to climate protection, i.e. the
reduction of CO 2 emissions.
And in order to visualise the pure numeric values,
the energysaving calculator also shows the results
in the form of graphic illustrations of the
development over the next 10 years, which will
convince even the most entrenched sceptic. «
Bulgaria’s Ambassador visits
Kermi in Plattling
Upon invitation by Mr. Barthl Kalb (Member
of the Deutsche Bundestag) the Bulgarian
Ambassador, Dr. Meglena Plugtschieva,
travelled through Lower Bavaria and paid
a visit to the Kermi facility. From left to right:
District Councillor Christian Bernreiter, Knut
Bartsch (Management speaker), Dr. Meglena
Plugtschieva, Mayor Erich Schmid and
Upon invitation of Mr. Barthl Kalb, Member of the Bundestag, the Bulgarian
Ambassador, Dr. Meglena Plugtschieva, paid a visit to Lower Bavaria and
the Kermi facility in Plattling as one of the largest employers in the country
district of Deggendorf. After Knut Bartsch had introduced the structure and
products of the AFG group and the company Kermi in a brief presentation, all visitors
embarked on a lengthy inspection of the factory. Dr. Plugtschieva showed
a great deal of interest, judging by the many detailed questions she asked during
the walk through the works. In the subsequent meeting, Dr. Plugtschieva emphasised
that Bulgaria is one of the oldest states of Europe and since the beginning of
2007 a member of the EU. The excitement about her country’s integration into the
EU could be felt like a red thread in the Ambassador’s comments, who views
Germany as Bulgaria’s most important trading partner. She said, Bulgaria was
a country where everything was on the move. The development of the economy
was positive in all sectors. «
The Kermi training centre:
growing more and more popular!
In the summer of 2006, Kermi GmbH opened up a new training centre for heating technology
at Plattling (Germany). On the first floor of hall 28, an attractively designed and fully equipped
facility for customer training was created within the space of just under three months.
Sanitary facilities and a catering kitchen are included to ensure
that longer sessions over several hours can also be accommodated.
This fully equipped facility ensures that the usually
tight time schedules of customer visits can be complied with.
Timeconsuming walks through the factory are a thing of the
past. So that delegates can keep a cool head during the hot
summer months, a ceiling cooling system ensures comfortable
Getting to «grips» with products
The new area for theory and practical training creates a new
quality of information. With the standard furniture, the area
for theory training offers space for 24 people; with the additional
chairs for a lecture hall, more delegates can be accommodated.
With equipment such as a PC, an overhead projector
etc. it is possible to carry out all training events in one
room. Kermi product innovations have not only been exhibited
in hall 28 – they can actually be seen in operation. In this
way, the delegates can experience very directly the advantage
of an xnet wall heating system or the ’feelgood’ radiator
Therm X2. The design of the practical training facility was
guided by the idea of delegates being able to come to
«grips» with the products. Whether we are talking about
fitting a radiator or installing underfloor heating: all situations
that come up on a regular building site can be simulated and
recreated in the Kermi training centre. As the saying goes
«the proof of the pudding is in the eating» and so heating
installers, engineers and wholesale representatives can see in
practice how new or established products of heating techno logy
work, and members of Kermi staff can prepare themselves
handson for customer enquiries. «
Instructions in handling the rolloff device and tacker system:
the modern equipment of the Kermi training centre allows for
efficient training in any conceivable situation on the building site.
H e a t i n g Te c h n o l o g y a n d
Bavarian Minister of State
Huber visits Kermi
On the occasion of the first Bavarian lady researcher camp supported by Kermi in cooperation
with Fachhochschule Deggendorf, the then Bavarian Minister for Economic Affairs and now
Finance Minister, Erwin Huber, paid a visit to the company in Plattling.
Bavaria’s first lady researcher camp was held at the Kermi
premises from 20 th to 24 th August of this year. The event
is part of the educational project «Technology – a future in
Bavaria?!» and goes back to an initiative of the Bildungswerk
der Bayerischen Wirtschaft e.V. (bbw e.V.). Its aim is
to inspire young women from the age of 15 years to take
up one of the classic engineering courses, which up to now
have had only about 10% of female subscribers who are
therefore drastically underrepresented in these disciplines.
The project is supported by Kermi, the largest employer in
the district of Deggendorf in cooperation with Fachhochschule
Young people research
The ten participants, Alevel students aged between 15 and
18 years, were given five days to approach their task under
the heading «energyefficient heating» in a scientific way
and to work out a practical solution. They were helped by
students and lecturers from the Fachhochschule as well as
a dedicated project team under the leadership of a female
engineer from the Kermi product management. The young
researchers used stateoftheart aids such as computer simulation
and thermographic evaluation for solving their task.
It was therefore not surprising that the result of their research
was of an impressive quality.
«Research work of
Some pleased faces about the excellent result
and the successful completion of the first lady
researcher camp: Erwin Huber, Knut Bartsch
and the female participants.
This was reason enough for Finance Minister Erwin Huber
to inform himself personally about the implementation of the
heating technology project by visiting the final presentation
of the first ever female research camp in Bavaria. Accompanied
by Bertram Brossardt, Senior Managing Director of
BayME and the VBM, Michael Mötter, Deputy Managing
Director of the bbw e.V., as well as highranking representatives
from Plattling and Deggendorf, he paid a visit to the
Kermi factory in Plattling. After an inspection of the factory,
he listened to the young potential engineers who explained
the task and the stages of their research work.
A resounding success
Huber was full of praise for the enormous commitment of
the students who had sacrificed part of their holidays for the
project and judged the result a resounding success. Knut
Bartsch, Speaker for the Management of Kermi GmbH,
was also thrilled. In his final address he emphasised the
importance of the project to prepare the way for women’s
qualification in the engineering professions. At the same
time he pointed out the many ways in which Kermi tries to
help women to combine a job with a family. «
Highclass marsh oak in a contrasting design.
Kitchens and Refrigeration 21
White lacquered surface for the ultimate lifestyle choice.
Miele Kitchens with Dross & Schaffer
In an excellent position, in the heart of the inner city of Munich, lies the Almeida Palais which was
constructed by Jean-Baptiste Métivier in 1823. For the last 14 years, the company Dross & Schaffer has been
creating and designing exclusive interior living concepts here for customers throughout the world.
Interior designers and furnishing consultants create unique
and comprehensive design concepts for kitchens, bathrooms,
wellness and living areas as well as outside areas. In a combined
effort by architects and interior designers the company
realises individual furnishing designs using highquality products
and materials from wellknown manufacturers.
In accordance with the motto «everything from one supplier»
the firm not only exclusively uses its own designers for the
design, but it also directs and supervises all building and
fitting work with experienced tradesmen that are part of an
established network. The company aims to hand over the
completed work to its demanding customers.
240 international guests attended the reopening on
23 rd June 2007. Over 500 m 2 of exhibition area, the show
demonstrates competence and professionality. Miele Kitchens
is represented with three highvalue farmhouse kitchen designs.
An eyecatching position near the entrance is taken up
by the extravagant nearly black kitchen in a highgloss finish
in the nonstandard colour NCS 8500N. The unit doors have
no handles but feature grip recesses on the wall and island
units, adding to the farmhouse character of the kitchen.
The oak bar extension linking with the cooker island is an
invitation to take a rest and have a chat with the cook.
Fascinating light display
This kitchen with its highquality veneer finish derives its unusual
character from the contrasting combinations. The
smoked oak fronts are contrasted with an easycare stainless
steel worktop which is 10 cm thick and has the front upstand
in the same finish as the unit fronts. The design is rounded
off with special Miele Kitchens handles in a stainless steel
finish that add the final touch. The kitchen lighting can be
activated via remote control. LEDs with changing colours are
integrated in two recessed panel systems forming the back
of the units.
New sense of space
This kitchen with its white lacquer finish is the ultimate in
kitchens for living. An integrated coloured light strip makes
the worktop appear to be floating whilst the absence of any
handles creates a calm expression on the surface. This is
made possible through the use of electronically controlled
drawers. Contoured side panels on the main units and the
sideboard opposite underscore the living character of this
kitchen. The extrawide wall units and appliances and sink
flush with the worktop convey the feeling of exclusivity. «
American farmhouse effects combine with a uniform and modern design language without unnecessary embellishments.
The choice of materials and colours underlines the independent effect of this kitchen and the atmosphere of a kitchen for living.
Kitchen mile A30:
top trend kitchen for living
Miele Kitchens continues to set trends: the kitchen as a work space and a living
space does away with the classic boundaries; multi-functional uses take over.
Kitchens that combine functional activities with a feel for
living eliminate the classic boundaries in favour of multi
functionality. The trend goes towards furnishing with flow
ing transitions between cooking, eating and living areas.
The fully functional row of kitchen units hardly looks any
different now from the sideboard with its more living
oriented look. From the colours and materials through to
the pattern language and lighting, Miele Kitchens convey
a clear image of livingroom furniture.
Impressive new concepts
At the A30 trade fair that took place from 15 th to 21 st September
2007 in «Gut Böckel» near Rödinghausen, Miele Kitchens
presented inspiring kitchens for living as well as new deve lopments
for the future. The exhibition showed design possibilities
for kitchens and beyond. Both trading partners and
interested competitors gave a very positive assessment of
Ideal for the transition to the eating area:
the display cabinet from the kitchen style programme.
Kitchens and Refrigeration 23
The focal point of this kitchen is the expressive sweet gum tree veneer, the grain of which runs along the whole length of the kitchen furniture.
Successful presentation allround
The stand was considered successful allround and a comprehensive
presentation with the clear claim of a premium
brand. «The brand character can be clearly distinguished in
this exhibition», that was the confi rming view of the trade
Selecting the most
fascinating Miele kitchen
The competition for specialist trade partners of Miele Kitchens,
which had been organised as part of the trade fair A30 2006,
has come to a close.
The jury of experts, consisting of
designers as well as journalists of the
magazine «Architektur & Wohnen»
and Miele Kitchens, selected the
«most fascinating Miele kitchen»
from numerous entries. The kitchen
designs were judged in connection
with the space design of kitchens
already realised. The most attractive
kitchen, which formed an integrated
part of the whole house design, was
soon found and unequivocally accepted.
This kitchen had been designed and
implemented by specialist trade partners
of Miele Kitchens «Küchen und
Hausgeräte Panitz» in Nuremberg.
The jury was persuaded by the clear
and minimalist lines in the kitchen design
that, together with the openplan
living features, was a perfect match for
the house design. With its yellow colour
partners. More than 1,500 visitors were agreeably surprised
by the successful brand presentation. You can download the
concurrent news magazine from www.mielekuechen.de
where you can fi nd all new products as of October 2007
and pictures of the kitchens shown at the trade fair. «
Anne (centre) and Peter Panitz (right), the
management team of «Küchen und Hausgeräte
Panitz» are happy to have won the
prize. They have already had the opportunity
to relax at the wellness weekend.
scheme (programme L10, mat fi nish,
NCS paint) it also blended well with
the wall as the north side of the house
was intended to give a warm and sunny
expression. The food preparation
island was contrasted in stone grey
in order to provide a focus to the
space design. «
As of 1 st October 2007, Peter Holliger has succeeded
Bruno Bernhardsgrütter as managing director of
Bruno Piatti AG. During the last three years, Peter Holliger
was head of Piatti Sales in Switzerland. In that period he
and his team worked hard on the intensely contested
commercial market. He wants to achieve a win/win situa tion
by profiling the company with a unique selling proposition.
This involves a continuing focus on the improvements in
customer advice and quality that have already begun. «
Piatti focuses on
The current status report about energy efficiency at the largest kitchen manufacturer
in Switzerland was uplifting. The targets determined under the Energy Efficiency Act for the canton
of Zurich were exceeded by 16% by September 2007.
The success has been achieved through focused investments
in new, energyefficient lighting solutions and more uptodate
machinery. Shortly after receiving the ISO environmental
certificate in the spring, the environmentconscious company
in Dietlikon, Zurich again shows its commitment to environmental
issues. In acccordance with § 13a of the Energy Efficiency
Act of the canton of Zurich, Piatti intends to improve
its energy efficiency by 20% by the year 2016. With an improvement
of 16% for the period from January 2006 to September
2007 the company is doing well. It is predictable that
the 20% limit will be reached within the next few years –
much earlier than had been agreed in the targets.
«Lighting instead of heating»
The success is based on more energyefficient lighting sys tems
and more uptodate machinery. Production manager Toni
Zöchbauer laughs and explains: «Now we have lamps that
radiate light rather than heat, and machines that output pro ducts
rather than noise.» Investments in new technologies
make sense for several reasons: more output, less energy
costs and better energy efficiency. Apart from electrical
energy, the overall energy audit also investigates thermal
Bruno Piatti AG.
Bruno Piatti AG: a new
managing director Profile of Peter Holliger
■ Vocational training in business administration
■ Höhere Wirtschafts und Verwaltungsschule Zurich
HWV, graduation as Eidg. Betriebsökonom HWV
Most important assignments
■ HewlettPackard (Schweiz) AG:
various functions, e.g. Head of Administration BO Zurich
■ A.C. Nielsen SA: Key Account Director International
■ Lista AG: Managing Director of Lista Schweiz AG
■ Ensis GmbH: Managing Member
■ Bruno Piatti AG: since October 2007 Managing Director
■ Date of birth 1957, married
■ Hobbies: Family, sport, vintage cars
energy. To generate heat, Piatti uses the wood waste left over
after the production process. For this reason, our energy
efficiency for heat has been exemplary for some time and
can only be improved on insignificantly.
Leading by example
«Helping the environment helps us.» This motto is strongly
represented in the environmental policies of Piatti. Back in
spring, the company has achieved environmental certification
under ISO and thereby documented that its environmental
policy is not just a paper commitment. Piatti leads by example
and wants to be one of the outstanding companies not only
in its products but also its energy efficiency. However, the
good results are no reason for Toni Zöchbauer to rest on the
company’s laurels: «Now we really go for it. Our investments
for the environment carry on.» In the coming years, the company
is planning more purchases of more energyefficient
lighting systems and machinery. The marketleading company
is convinced that with its thorough, longterm environmental
policies it can make a significant contribution to an improvement
of the environment. «
Kitchens and Refrigeration
Piatti: multi-media kitchen
The multi-media kitchen «Leviato» from Piatti provides
surprises allround: state-of-the-art aids help to make
work more fun – and ensure optimum results for the
cook. The kitchen has been equipped with a flat screen,
surround system, media centre and Internet connection to
make it into a hightech communication and information
centre as well. This makes it possible to look up recipes at
any time while cooking and of course, online communication
and Internet radio are also possible. If you like good entertainment
in perfect sound quality, you can just press a button
to listen to your favourite music. The fully integrated surround
system covers the living room with invisible loudspeakers;
In 1963, Bruno Piatti AG started to produce kitchen
furniture industrially. In those days, all kitchens were
sold by Piatti directly. The only kitchen exhibition took
place in Zurich-Diet likon. One day, Gaston Etienne from
Porrentruy enquired whether he could purchase kitchen furniture
directly from Piatti. He would take care of customer
advice, design and sales himself. Bruno Piatti, managing
direc tor and owner, liked the idea very much. But he still
wanted to hold on to direct sales. Through additional trade
representations by joinery workshops he saw the chance of
selling Piatti kitchens throughout Switzerland. The advantage
was clear: Customers could find a Piatti exhibition with
a competent advisor near them. At the end of 1968, work
the multimedia kitchen from Piatti.
MP3 players and other peripherals can be connected without
problems. The media centre displays images and videos in
brilliant largescreen quality. Sceptics can rest assured: the
primary occupation in the multimedia kitchen from Piatti is
cooking. So that the cook can keep both hands free when
making a phone call, he or she will be connected directly and
without wire to Natel and the land line via Bluetooth. It goes
without saying that the multimedia kitchen also supports
stateoftheart equipment technology. Complicated online
recipes can be transferred directly to the oven or steamer,
making cooking also a multimedia experience. «
Successful dual distribution system
began on building up a network of regional representatives
all over Switzerland. In November 1968, the first contracts
were signed. These contained a clause stipulating that the
standard range should be bought from Bruno Piatti. To this
day, the first regional representatives Stössel & Co., Brunnen,
Kündig Holzbau AG, Rüti, and Dominik Meier, Schübelbach,
are successfully active in the kitchen market for Bruno Piatti,
by now in the second generation.
Today more than 70 regional partners are representing the
Bruno Piatti AG. The dual distribution system with direct
sales and via regional selling agents has had the effect that
Bruno Piatti AG has been able to remain the number 1 Swiss
kitchen supplier. «
Forster kitchen centre Arbon:
in a new and inviting design
As the first of the total of nine kitchen centres, the centre at Arbon,
which at SWISSBAU 07 had still been presented as a prototype,
was equipped with all new products.
The design reflects the most current trends in terms of materials and colour
schemes, turning the already appealing kitchen exhibition into the most attractive
kitchen centre of the whole region. The twelve kitchens on show display not only
the latest in functional technology but also the new design impulses that Forster
Steel Kitchens keep producing. Notable are the plain and straightlined CUBE,
a highgloss kitchen featuring offset cubes, as well as the imposing TWIN,
an extraclass dream of a kitchen in metal. In the coming weeks and months,
the other kitchen centres in Switzerland will also be redesigned and updated.
This means that soon the latest trends for kitchens and utility rooms will be
on view in all Forster exhibitions. «
New product – Forster wash terminal
Apart from the individual solutions for utility rooms, which have been on offer
from Forster Kitchens for some time, a new concept for laundry rooms has now
been launched, the «compact wash terminal».
The wash terminal: a successful ergonomic solution allround.
In contrast to the individual utility rooms, which are individu
ally designed to meet customers’ needs and for which the
design options with respect to choice of materials and layout
are nearly limitless, the concept of the «compact wash termi
nal» pursues a very different strategy. The programme of
the compact wash terminals comprises 4 sets that can be
equipped with washing machine and dryer by Electrolux
or VZug, depending on customers’ requirements. «
Kitchens and Refrigeration 27
Exhibition at Forster Kitchen Centre Arbon «by night».
Customer benefits at a glance
■ Saving time through thoughtout organisation
■ Making work easier with the help of ergonomically fitted equipment
New: CUBE kitchen – Gloss Line.
New: TWIN kitchen – Metallic Line.
■ Easy to keep tidy by providing optimum storage and containers (wash separation system)
■ Hygiene through closed elements and materials that are easy to care for
■ A beautiful solution that is a joy to look at
Offer 1 Offer 2 Offer 3
The EgoKiefer plastic window XL ® speaks for itself with its environmentfriendly design.
Windows and Doors
Economic value of a window plus
Effects on the environment during
production and use
The EgoKiefer plastic window XL ® Light
world of windows in terms of ecoefficiency and design.
EgoKiefer plastic windows XL ®
with top eco-efficiency
Compared to conventional windows, the EgoKiefer plastic window XL ® is highly eco-efficient,
providing twice the benefits, depending on the conventional windows’ construction.
The money saved in this way can be profitably invested in environment-friendly EgoKiefer
added-value modules so that both customers and the environment enjoy a double benefit.
Owing to a high degree of rationalisation in production and
low maintenance costs during their lifetime, plastic windows
are by far the most economic solution when considered from
purely financial aspects. The economic advantage of plastic
windows is therefore not in dispute. And with respect to eco logy
plastic windows are also above average. The EgoKiefer
plastic window XL ® in particular speaks for itself with its environmentfriendly
design. As an example, an ecoaudit carried
out by Empa recently confirmed better values for it than for a
conventional timber window. It follows that EgoKiefer plastic
windows are not only easy on the purse of customers, but
are also easy on the environment – in a sustainable fashion.
Decisive advantage: ecological efficiency
When combining economic with ecological evaluations we
obtain the criteria for ecological efficiency:
This calculation results in an ecoefficiency of the Ego Kiefer
plastic windows XL ® that cannot be matched by other materials
and constructions. It also means that EgoKiefer offers the
bestperforming energy saving window with the best price/
performance ratio. Likewise, the timber/aluminium window
XL ® is remarkable in its aboveaverage ecoefficiency. The
money saved when buying an EgoKiefer plastic window can
be invested in environmentfriendly EgoKiefer addedvalue
modules, such as the exclusive highperformance insulating
glass Ego Verre ® with triple glazing or in photovoltaic elements.
With these investments the customer benefits from the additional
advantages and does something for the environment
at the same time.
Recognising and using the potential for improvement
When replacing windows, the energysaving potential varies
in size depending on the number, age and type of windows
to be replaced. However, there is always a potential. For an
easy and quick calculation of the personal savings potential,
EgoKiefer has developed an energy saving calculator. This also
includes information about how to benefit from contributions
of the building programme of Stiftung Klimarappen when
using EgoKiefer window systems. For further information see:
The EgoKiefer factory in Villeneuve VD.
Increased production capacity
for EgoKiefer plastic windows XL ®
The EgoKiefer plastic window XL ® is probably the best-performing window system
on the Swiss and European window market: leading in design and eco-efficiency.
The ecoefficiency of the EgoKiefer plastic window XL ® is an
outstanding achievement and exceeds that of conventional
windows in some cases by 100%. In terms of design it also
sets new benchmarks: it was given the internationally renowned
iF product design award 2007 and has been nominated
for the Design Prize 2008 of the Federal Republic of
Expansion in the west of Switzerland
The rapidly increasing demand for EgoKiefer plastic windows
XL ® already makes it necessary to expand the EgoKiefer production
facilities. The expansion will take place in Villeneuve
VD in the EgoKiefer facility in the west of Switzerland, where
first steps have already been implemented in recent months.
The necessary conversions of the existing production systems
were carried out in Villeneuve during the summer holidays.
What is new is that all parts for the EgoKiefer plastic window
XL ® can be produced fully automatically in the machining
workshops, including all finishes, steel fastening and even
the fitting of the lock components. This means a significant
rationalisation and optimisation compared to the singlestep
production up to now.
To the future!
At the beginning of November the team in Villeneuve was
able to successfully commission the new efficient adhesive
plant that lies at the heart of the EgoKiefer window technology
XL ® . That meant that all prerequisites for a successful
production start in Villeneuve were in place. The first plastic
windows XL ® produced in the EgoKiefer facility in Villeneuve
were delivered as early as the end of November. With an
overall annual capacity of 210,000 m 2 of plastic windows
the factory at Villeneuve is now in a position to produce
90,000 m 2 EgoKiefer plastic windows XL ® .
Opening up new markets
In this way, EgoKiefer has created the conditions for continuing
the success story of EgoKiefer plastic windows XL ® .
The company has laid the foundations for expanding the
market in Switzerland as well as abroad. «
Increased capacity for a highly successful product: the most
uptodate production facility for plastic windows XL ® has been
created in Villeneuve.
Windows and Doors
EgoKiefer plastic window:
«70% energy saving –
Everybody talks about climate change and sustainable and efficient use of energy
and reducing CO 2 . As the number 1 in the Swiss window and door market,
EgoKiefer has been actively working for «environmental issues» for decades.
Never before were the will and readiness «to do something»
as prevalent as now. We can say with pride that we are offering
what is probably the bestperforming range of energysaving
windows on the market. In its ecoaudit 2007, Empa
presents the EgoKiefer window systems even as a source
of energy. The amount of energy saved by using our highperformance
windows throughout their service life is clearly
more than the energy consumed for production and disposal.
The EgoKiefer window systems used in renovation during
2006 reduced the annual consumption of heating oil in
Switzerland by 6,600 t and the CO 2 emissions by 20,500 t.
Top materials: Plastic and aluminium
The EgoKiefer window range in plastic and plastic/aluminium
with the EgoKiefer plastic window XL ® is unbeaten in terms
of ecology and economy. With the EgoKiefer plastic and plastic/aluminium
window range it is possible to reduce energy
consumption through the window by up to 70% – depending
on the type of window to be replaced. In combination
with the exclusive EgoKiefer highperformance insulating
glass EgoVerre ® we create an unbeatable and unique product
Special edition SECCO ventilation
Especially in the winter season, during the heating period,
the topic of saving energy is foremost in everybody’s mind
and people are particularly keen to save as much heating
energy as possible. However, at the same time, people need
a healthy and balanced room climate during the dry parts of
winter. But if you open the window in order to ventilate and
let in fresh air, some heating energy is lost. You could say
that your heat goes out of the window. So in that situation
it is nice to know that EgoKiefer can offer a suitable solution.
In time for the winter season, the market leader offers the
special edition SECCO ventilation for all its plastic and plastic/
aluminium windows. This system ensures a permanent fresh
air supply while the windows are closed. Without drafts,
without loss of heat and with consistently high values in
sound insulation and resistance to driving rain. The exclusive
EgoKiefer ventilation system uses the laws of physics.
In time for the winter season, the market leader
offers the special editions SECCO Ventilation and
MONO Security for all its plastic and plastic/aluminium
Fresh air enters through small slots in the window frames,
warms up as it rises through the hollow spaces in the plastic
profiles and finally emerges into the interior.
Special edition MONO to protect against burglars
With the special edition MONO, EgoKiefer offers effective
burglar protection. MONO features additional safety
locking points and a lockable handle. Building up from that,
EgoKiefer offers a multistage security system which provides
additional and extremely effective devices for burglar protection.
The special editions SECCO and MONO are available
for all EgoKiefer plastic and plastic/aluminium windows
as of now. www.egokiefer.ch. «
The MINERGIEP multifamily home in Chur.
Modern, integrated communication
for EgoKiefer sales outlets
From the beginning of 2007, the EgoKiefer sales outlets can use the new window
construction programme PrefSUITE. Already now it is being used by over 90 members
of staff in sales outlets in all regions of Switzerland.
PrefSUITE is a userfriendly tool for processing quotations and
orders and order windows online from EgoKiefer. With this
modern, integrated communication, EgoKiefer takes an important
step towards closer networking of its regional sites.
The solution is called EgoKieferASP for sales outlets.
The failureproof infrastructure with central servers and
firewall is available from Monday to Saturday from 05.00 to
22.00 hours and on Sundays from 07.00 to 20.00 hours.
Thanks to the encrypted communication between sales
outlet and EgoKiefer and internal screening with firewalls,
the ASP solution is perfectly protected against unwanted
Direct access, customer-friendly ordering
Users in the sales outlets work via Internet on the always uptodate
EgoKiefer application for sales outlets. Each outlet
receives its own individual database for its own quotations
and orders. These data can only be accessed by the respective
outlet. Customer documents are printed out locally at
the outlet. Window orders are placed online simply by converting
the quotation into an order by a click on the mouse
and then releasing the order for EgoKiefer. PrefSUITE checks
the order in detail for technical feasibility and then transfers
MINERGIE-P with EgoKiefer
plastic window MPR3
On 24 th October 2007, the certification celebration of the first certified
MINERGIE-P multi-family home took place in Chur in the canton
of Graubünden. The house features the MINERGIE-certified EgoKiefer
plastic window MPR3 with an unequalled window insulation value
of U w = 0.8 W/m 2 K.
MINERGIEP has the same meaning as the term «passive house» that is used in
Germany to describe the same performance level as the term MINERGIEP used
in Switzerland. The advantages of the MINERGIEP houses are:
■ massively reduced energy costs for interior space heating
■ no threat from the expected high CO 2 levies for oil and gas
■ simpler services installations with lower maintenance costs
■ high sustainability of the building envelope with higher resale value
■ significant contribution to environmental protection as no fossil fuels are used
■ protection against outside noise due to excellent insulation of walls,
roofs and windows
■ improved comfort levels due to continuous fresh air supply
and even heat distribution
it directly into the individual database as EgoKiefer order.
All the person in the sales outlet has to do now is checking
the delivery terms and initialling the procurement and
production process by pressing a button. «
PrefSUITE is clearly structured and easy to use.
Windows and Doors 33
EgoKiefer – pioneer of the industry
EgoKiefer window systems are highperformance products with respect to ecological
and economic considerations. The EgoKiefer plastic window systems in particular
stand out for their exceptional ecoefficiency. As the number 1 in the Swiss
window and door market, EgoKiefer offers MINERGIEcertified window systems in
all materials and is considered a pioneer in the industry. In addition, users of modern
EgoKiefer systems can benefit from significant grants from Stiftung Klimarappen.
The top product in the EgoKiefer range is the EgoKiefer plastic window XL ® .
Depending on the type and age of the window to be replaced it is possible
to reduce the energy consumption through the window by up to 70%.
After receiving the internationally renowned iF product design award and
having been nominated for the Design Prize 2008 of the Federal Republic
of Germany, it is clear that the EgoKiefer plastic window XL ® is setting new
design benchmarks on a European level. «
Product pass for external doors
Surprising: even though RWD Schlatter AG is a relatively small company in Switzerland,
the company was the first in Europe to receive the product pass of the well-known
independent institute ift Rosenheim (Germany) for its external doors.
«This shows that success is not a question of size but of
speed», comments managing director Roger Herzig.
The ift product pass indicates the general performance of
a designated product family in accordance with the provisions
of the product standard SN EN 143511. The values
and classes stated refer to the object described in the respective
individual tests and the application area defined in the
ift product pass.
Further step towards CE marking
The application of performance characteristics is governed
by national building legislation and contractual agreements.
This system pass serves as a basis for obtaining the ift
Conformity Certificate, which documents the conformity of
the finished products and the inhouse quality control through
regular external audits of the manufacturers by the ift Rosenheim.
In essence this is a further step for RWD Schlatter AG
towards obtaining the CE mark for its doors.
Top products for growing markets:
Window production at EgoKiefer.
The product pass for external doors provides information
about the following characteristics:
■ resistance to wind load
■ resistance to driving rain
■ impact resistance
■ sound insulation
■ heat transition coefficient
■ air permeability
■ burglar resistance
Quality and transparency
In the medium term the product pass will be of great benefit
for the customer. As all the technical characteristics of a
product are defined, this system will make it easy to produce
specifications or requirement profiles. At the same time,
it will become much easier to compare the technical
characteristics of a product with those of others. «
Highly polished chromium steel frames give the impression of value and resist soiling.
Highly polished chromium steel:
the queen of steel frames
Although it does not get used very often, a highly polished chromium steel frame is still
considered an absolute top product. So as to get the most out of it, some important points
should be observed at the design stage.
In recent years there have been repeated efforts at producing
frames from different metals, starting with normal steel
via aluminium through to ground chromium steel or even
variants in nonferrous heavy metal. Once in a while there
have also been experiments with surface finishes, such as
galvanising or even intentional surface corrosion.
Elegant and durable
Now and then, a highly polished chromium steel frame
is used, as for example at the Corporate Center of AFG
ArboniaForsterHolding AG. There is often a worry that
this type of frame is very delicate and requires a lot of cleaning.
Interestingly though, practical experience shows that
these frames tend to soil less than other products as people
are hesitant to touch a surface when they see themselves in
the mirror image. Apart from the frame’s elegant appearance
and impression of value, the product has other significant
advantages with respect to durability and, not least, hygiene.
and very versatile.»
Important for the designer
When using these frames, the designer should
observe the following:
■ Care must be taken when ordering that all metal sheets
come from the same delivery; otherwise it is possible
that there will be differences in the degree of lustre.
■ A reference sample should be requested at the outset
so that there is agreement on the required degree
of lustre because practical experience has shown:
highly polished finishes can vary considerably in the
appearance of the finish.
■ It is imperative to immediately protect the frames after
installation up to handover of the building to the client.
It is best to protect the frames by fitting a 4 mm thick
plywood sheet. «
Windows and Doors
From left to right: Ferruccio Vanin,
Head of Accounting; Georges Hutter,
Head of Planning and Production;
Monika Gerig, Head of HR;
Roger Herzig, Managing Director.
Cash Employer Award 2007:
2 nd place for RWD Schlatter
In this year’s Cash Employer Award, RWD Schlatter AG has reached
second place in a highly competitive field of entrants. In a turbulent year,
which was affected by the acquisition of RWD Schlatter AG by AFG Arbonia
ForsterHolding AG, RWD Schlatter took part in the competition for the Cash
Employer Award for the first time – and managed second place straight away.
The members of staff at RWD Schlatter have delivered proof that a wellfounded
company culture can also weather stormy times. Of course, to be selected as
the secondbest employer in Switzerland also
brings with it a responsibility for the future –
the commitment to become even better. «
New product from Planet GDZ AG
For years, the companies Planet GDZ AG and RWD
Schlatter AG have had a close relationship focusing on
advances in constructing high-specification doors. For
over 60 years, Planet GDZ in Nürensdorf, Zurich has been
developing and producing dropdown seals for single and
double doors in timber, glass and metal as well as for sliding
doors and gates. The company is known in the market for
dropdown seals which, owing to their higher lift, can be
recessed deeper. That means that the lip is protected and it
is easier to trim the doors to fit. The patented double door
solution for edge bolts was their latest innovation.
Perfect seal even on uneven floor
The company now presents a new dropdown seal that is
particularly suitable for uneven and wavey floors in new
buildings and renovations. These products provide a perfect
seal against draft, light, sound, odours, smoke and fire. This
has closed an important gap in the growing renovation market.
RWD Schlatter AG would like to take the opportunity to
congratulate Planet GDZ AG on its trendsetting innovation. «
The new dropdown seals from Planet GDZ are also effective
on wavey and uneven floors.
Fire prevention doors in the departure lounge of the Munich 2 airport with the newlyapproved door
panic bars which have been mandatory in public buildings since 2006.
Forster precision steel tubes
in fi ne form
Rotary kneading or swaging is a pressure forming method used since the beginning of the 19 th century
for the manufacture of rotationally symmetrical or asymmetrical workpieces. The high-precision safety
components made with this technology require correspondingly suitable semi-fi nished parts.
One possible option: Precision steel tubes from Forster.
Initially used as an auxiliary operation for manufacturing
tubes, the process experienced a renaissance during the
seven ties, when it was used in transfer systems for the
The rotary swaging process is a free forming method for
reducing the crosssection of metal bars and tubes using two
or more split dies which enclose the tube or bar either fully
or partially, and at the same time exert a radial force and
rotate in relation to the workpiece. The fi nal dimensions and
geometry are produced by the relative motion between the
die and the workpiece. There are two different methods of
rotary swaging; infeed and recess swaging. Radially positio ned
die segments exert pressure in quick succession on the workpiece
axis, the force of which is converted into high specifi c
forming forces. The oscillating motion of the dies is controlled
by a roller cage running around the swaging system. The
energy pulse is generated by the displacement of the rams
and is transferred through compensation plates or wedges to
the die and workpiece, which is deformed by this pulse. The
executed stroke is determined by the extra height of the rams
and is generally only 0.25 to 1.5 mm. The stroke frequencies
range between 1,500 and 6,000 rpm, depending on the
machine size and confi guration.
The swaging system with rotating roller cage.
Nice to know
The compensating plates serve for both fi ne alignment of
the die and adjustment of the stroke position. As the fi nal
shape of the workpiece is achieved by a number of individual
steps, swaging is referred to as an incremental forming
process (such as pressing).
Track-proven process for safety components
The advantages of rotary swaging are obvious: innovative
options for component design, optimum component weight
and material savings, a high degree of precision and excellent
surfaces, also enabling the production of components which
are ready for assembly and installation. In addition almost all
metals can be processed. These arguments, combined with
the benefi t of low cycle times, make rotary swaging a process
which is suitable for many automotive applications. One of
the suppliers for the tubes used for the manufacture of lowweight
safety components for automobile construction is the
Precision Steel Tubes Division of Forster Rohr & Profi ltechnik
AG. The end products manufactured by the company include
cardan and drive shafts, shock absorber components and also
clutch sleeves. The typical processrelated work hardening
of the material and the resulting positive changes in its
stability produce highlyresistant components in spite of
material savings. «
The result – highprecision parts.
Tolerance classes of IT8 to 9 and average roughness values of between 0.1 and
1.0 µm can be achieved with rotary swaging. Changes in form of up to more
than 90 percent are possible, depending on the material. In contrast to most
other pressure forming techniques, during which the strength is only increased
at the border areas, rotary swaging results in homogenous work hardening
throughout the material. If the A5 elongation at break is more than 5 to 10%,
almost all metals (even sintered parts) can be processed.
Examples of automobile parts
made of Forster precision steel
tubes for a van.
on the road
Since 3 rd July 1886, when Carl Benz set out on the road
with a petrol-driven vehicle for the first time, the industry
has experienced an unparalleled exponential
development. The AFG is also intricately interwoven
into this global automotive construction network, and
is a supplier of precision steel tubes as semi-finished
products for manufacturing components which set the
world in motion.
New applications are constantly being found for precision
steel tubes due to the ongoing innovations in the automobile
construction industry. For some time now lightweight construction
of dynamic automotive components has been a hotly
discussed topic, as the focus is concentrated on increasing fuel
efficiency due to the continuous increases in crude oil prices.
In Europe precision steel tubes to the value of more
than CHF 250 million are purchased for the drive train,
steering system and chassis product groups.
Active in automobile construction for many years
If we take a look at the number of automobiles produced
around the world each year – in 2006 this exceeded
67.6 million – and considering the fact that on average
such a vehicle contains 200 kilos of steel tubes, which totals
13.5 million tonnes last year, it would be negligent in economic
terms not to participate as a producer in this tremendous
market volume. For this reason the Precision Steel Tube
Division of Forster Rohr und Profil technik AG already joined
the ranks of suppliers of welded and drawn precision steel
tubes for automobile construction in 2004. These highquality
products are used in a value added chain to produce highly
resilient automobile components, including chassis stabilisers,
cardan shafts, drive shafts, steering shafts, piston rods and
safety retention systems, etc.
Substitution by innovation
In 2006 Forster Precision Steel Tubes experienced the highest
level of growth in the automotive sector. Due to the process
innovations in tube welding which make subsequent production
stages such as drawing unnecessary, Forster is able to replace
drawn products by those which have only been welded.
In this way it is also possible, for example, to produce semifinished
products for steering systems, drive trains or chassis
much more inexpensively than before. As these are vehicle
components which are subjected to high loads, and as the
semifinished product has normally undergone substantial
forming work, modification of the material properties by
means of heat treatment is essential. «
Due to the high quality and deadline compliance
requirements, neither Asian nor South East European
competitors currently constitute any threat.
Steel Technology 39
Faster processing for
enhanced customer service
The Cold Drawn Tubes/Cut to Lengths Production Shops will be restructured to create an independent
profit centre to enable competent and fast reactions to customer enquiries. This ensures that there is
no difference between the calculated and the actual manufacturing processes.
As a result all key functions such as product management
and development, drawing up of calculation and process
schedules as well as production from the first prototypes
through to the series are combined in one area of competence.
Several steps have already been undertaken to achieve
this aim: two years ago Ingo Merten, Production Manager
of Cold Drawn Tubes Production, also assumed responsibility
for drawn pipes and profiles. This means that proposals for
manufacturingrelated solutions for new products can be
discussed with customers more speedily, and these can be
immediately implemented. The dies are defined in direct
collaboration with the design department, the processes
stipulated within the profit centre and the optimum tubes
planned. At the same time the production plant capacity
potential can be fully utilised.
After the organisational merger of the Cut to Lengths
Production and Cold Drawn Tubes Production in January
this year, the responsible members of staff of the Production
Planning section will answer directly to Ingo Merten. The
team was reinforced in September by the new Cold Drawn
Tubes Production materials planner Walter Stirnimann.
In the next step, calculation for drawn products will be
performed directly in the department. In order to shorten
Production range for cold-drawn steel tubes
New, fully automatic separator for the tapering hammer AVS65:
the possible outer diameter of drawn round tubes is between
8 and 76 mm, with wall thicknesses of 0.8 to 5.8 mm. The focus
is on outer diameters ranging between 12 and 25 mm with wall
thicknesses of 1.5 to 5.5 mm.
distances even more effectively, a joint office was set up
for all six administrative members of staff by the inclusion
of a former conference room. «
6 – 7
1.0 1.2 1.5 1.8 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 3.9 4.5 5.0 5.5 5.8
Drawn without mandrel
Drawn with inner mandrel
14 – 16
19 – 20
21 – 25
26 – 50
51 – 76
The production of colddrawn
steel tubes opens
up a tremendous range
of possible options.
One speciality is drawn
profiles of all kinds with
the same or varying wall
Attentive listeners: the metal construction planner seminar was a resounding success.
Successful metal construction
The Forster metal construction planner seminar was held in Arbon, Thurgau on 6 th and 7 th September 2007.
The seminar was in great demand and every chair was occupied. As part of the seminar the attendees were
able to observe the assembly of a unico profi le in a «live show».
The specialist planners were also shown a number of innovations
such as the automatic sliding fi re protection door EI30
without fl oor rails, the multifunctional facade and the new
laserwelded Forster unico full steel, insulated profi le system.
Additional advantages were also demonstrated with the new
Forster planning CD and the specially developed «Forster
uvalue Calculator» software for uvalue calculations.
Theory and practice
The attendees were also able to observe the assembly of
a unico profi le in a «live show». With the new system technology
this world’s fi rst offers additional benefi ts regarding
dimensional accuracy and stability combined with low weight
in addition to the outstanding system features. The specialists
were extremely interested in the unique trelliswork design
and were quick to recognise the design and planning advantages
which the new Forster unico profi le system offers. «
HansUlrich Lindenmann (right) explaining
the technologically advanced production system.
Security and personal
protection with Forster unico
The new Forster unico window and door system has been successfully launched as a standard
version and will now be subject to continuing development in the security sector. Recent trials on windows
(in a wide range of versions) to test burglar-proofing and also window elements were run in recent
months with very successful results.
Burglardeterring elements are classified in various resistance
classes (RC) on the basis of their resistance time and the
breakin tools. A window or window element with the classification
RC2 must resist an attack for three minutes, during
which wedges and large screwdrivers are used in addition to
small tools. This corresponds to the attack of a casual burglar
with little knowledge of the area. An RC3 window withstands
a fiveminute attack with a large crowbar and a large screwdriver.
This test mimics the attack of a burglar with local
knowledge who is also familiar with the design and construction.
These properties are proven in individual tests on the
basis of the following three criteria:
1. Static test: Test with constant stress on the locking points,
the frame construction and the glass.
2. Dynamic test: Test with a 40 kg sand bag, dropped from a
height of 1.2 m onto the frame and glass corners; this corresponds
to a situation in which the attacker attempts to
crash the element open with the momentum of his body
3. Manual breakins: Attempts are made within a defined
time (in accordance with the classification) to break open
the element with defined tools and knock out an opening
large enough to enter.
In spite of strenuous attempts, the tester is unable to break into
the burglarresistant Forster unico within the set time.
These tools are used for the burglary attempts (yellow marking for RC1, red marking additionally for RC2 and all tools in the picture for RC3).
All tests passed
Forster unico passed all tests for singlewinged elements
of classes RC1, RC2 and RC3. For these security requirements
no additional components apart from the security fitting and
the special glazing are required. For processors this means
tremendous savings in production and assembly – an additional
advantage of the new system. «
«My job? To stand
around and look good»
A special exhibit was made for the Batimat in Paris – held from 5 th to
10 th November 2007 and the most important construction trade fair in
the francophone region – which demonstrates the possible applications
of the new Forster unico profile systems for renovating buildings. Here is
a report written from the viewpoint of this remarkable exhibition item.
«I was created at one of the meetings held to discuss the planned Forster show
stand. As in other countries, the emphasis of work in the construction sector in
France is shifting more towards renovating existing buildings and conservation
projects. These often focus on the development of old industrial buildings to create
new office property and conference centres. Apart from the ubiquitous topic of
security, the presentation at this show was focused on highlighting the new Forster
unico and door and window system and its applications.»
High standards met
With the extremely filigree profile of the new Forster unico system, planners are
able to replace old uninsulated windows and glazing with elements which meet
the latest standards with regard to thermal insulation. At the same time it also
meets all – often wideranging – requirements to be met with regard to conservation
and compliance with planning regulations. The show exhibit continues:
«The original sketch was then used to make a detailed drawing of me. Markus
Büchel, member of the Product Management department, drew up the final
drawings after various discussions with our test workshop and suppliers, and
placed the order for my construction. I was definitely not an everyday assignment,
even for the experienced metal engineers in our test workshop. The shaped sections
were carefully welded together and then lacquered. When I had been
mounted into the supporting construction, I was visited by a tiler who covered
the surrounding walls with bricking.»
Passed the test!
«I was hardly finished before I was packed up carefully and loaded onto a glass
transporter with the many other exhibits, and then sent off to Paris. I didn’t see
much of the city, as I was taken straight to the show. At the exhibition grounds
I had time to recover from the journey for two days at the site of the stand.
I will never forget the excited faces of the fitters when I was pushed to my final
position! They had to use a lot of muscle power to manoeuvre my 350 kg weight.
During the opening hours of the Batimat from 5 th to 10 th November 2007 I was
the main attraction of our stand, much to the delight of our sales team, who were
able to use me to show the many visitors all the advantages of the system. My exciting
debut was already one month ago. After the show I was transported back
home again and am now waiting for my next assignment in Belgium in January.» «
«Now I’m standing around – looking good –
and enjoying the admiration of the many
visitors to the stand.»
Steel Technology 43
There were also many other interesting exhibits at the show.
Six strong men set the element up in the right position.
Franck Roussel, technical consultant in France, explaining the many
advantages of the Forster unico system to a visitor.
An overdimensional Forster unico profile
shows the unique design.
Perfected technology: a hard chrome plated roll.
Surface Technology 45
on the surface structure
Technical hard chrome plating is a well-known and widespread process used
for countless different applications. Chrome is not, however, simply chrome.
It is a little known fact that during hard chrome plating it is
possible with selective optimisation to obtain contrasting
characteristics from the same chrome bath. It is, for example,
possible to create hygroscopic and also waterrepellent hard
chrome layers. The properties are optimised by selectively
influencing the structure of the hard chrome layer. Both the
topography of the surface as well as the microstructure of
the hard chrome layers are decisive for their properties.
Such reproducible, applicationrelated optimisation offers
customers outstanding economic and functional benefits.
Selective influence on the layer structure
The term «structure» is in itself slightly misleading. It covers
both the layer structure, i.e. the microstructure, and also the
surface topography of a layer. During technical hard chrome
plating it is technically almost impossible to use the standard
chemical additives common in other electroplating processes
to influence the structure and topography. In classic electroplating
processes – in contrast to hard chrome plating – it is
customary to specifically influence the layer structure by the
selective use of interlacing agents, inhibitors (brighteners
and levellers) as well as doping with other metals. These
influencing variables affect both the grain size and the
preferred orientation of growth. Copper and nickel layers
are such examples.
Functional hard chrome plating
Functional hard chrome plating is performed almost without
organic additives. By means of specific control of the electrolytic
composition and concentration, temperature, flows,
current density and catalyst system, it is possible to influence
the «active window», the crystalline structure (= microstructure),
the cohesion and the homogeneity of the layer, the
hardness and brittleness and also the crack characteristics.
The pretreatment and type of activation as well as the possible
scope of action, which also depends on the base material,
influences the layer adhesion, the preferred orientation of the
structure and the surface topography. Customised layers are
then «designed» on the basis of these influencing variables
for the various applications and then produced in series. «
STI ResistCoat ® : Ground (right) and nonground (left). STI AlpineCoat ® : Examples of various topographies.
The planned «STI Westside Center» in Steinach with a new production area of more than 10,000 m 2 :
the groundbreaking ceremony took place on 23 rd November 2007.
STI Westside Center in Steinach
The demand for continuity gains a new dimension in an environment of dynamic further
development. STI | Hartchrom regards continuity as an assignment for the continuous further
development of added value – innovative surface solutions, new technologies and modern
infrastructures characterise tomorrow’s successes.
STI | Hartchrom was marked by this continuity in 2007. On
1 st January 2007 the group was integrated into AFG Arbonia
ForsterHolding AG, a listed company, and on 1 st October
2007 operations management was handed over to the longterm
CFO Thomas Reifler. After the development of a new
generation of processing technologies in the STI Surface
Center in SternenfelsDiefenbach (Germany), STI | Hartchrom
The «STI Westside Center»
Length 172.10 m
Width 68.00 m
Height 14.65 m/12.00 m/8.40 m
Volume 120,000 m 3
■ Grinding shop,
large and medium components
■ Thermal spray technology
and sandblasting plant
■ Piston section
■ Electroplating mould construction
■ Logistics centre
Building services 470 m 2
Cloakrooms 290 m 2
Power supply 140 m 2
Parking (90 spaces) 2,540 m 2
Electroplating (production) 2,060 m 2
Total 5,500 m 2
Production 7,000 m 2
Logistics 3,000 m 2
Total 10,000 m 2
Warehouse 850 m 2
Building services 800 m 2
Total 1,650 m 2
set out on new technological paths this autumn in Steinach,
St.Gallen with thermal spray coating. The new extension of
headquarters in Steinach also started with the groundbreaking
ceremony on 23 rd November 2007. The new «STI Westside
Center» with an additional production area of around
10,000 m 2 almost doubles the capacity of the Steinach site. «
Highlight: 20 m long
STI | Hartchrom processes components with very complex
forms to a high degree of precision and quality.
One highlight this autumn was an application roll
with a length of 20 m – the longest of its kind since
the foundation of Hartchrom AG Steinach. This roll,
weighing 48 tonnes, is used for the production and coating
of a hightech fabric. The fabric serves as a filter medium in
the screen section of a paper machine, where it separates
solids and liquids. Decisive paper properties such as the formation
and filler distribution are fundamentally influenced
by this fabric. During paper manufacturing sheet formation
starts at a material density of approximately 1% – i.e. a
moisture content of 99%. The screen section passes the
Thomas Reifler – new CEO of
Hartchrom AG Steinach and head
of Division Surface Technology of
AFG ArboniaForsterHolding AG.
Thomas Reifler therefore also assumes responsibility for the
business operations of Dr. Edgar Oehler. As majority shareholder
of AFG, Edgar Oehler also headed STI | Hartchrom.
Dr. Oehler, who integrated the Surface Group into AFG as of
1 st January 2007, has therefore taken the first step in making
arrangements for his succession. He will remain Chairman
and Delegate of the Board of Directors of STI | Hartchrom
and will continue to act as CEO, Chairman and Delegate of
the Board of Directors of AFG. Thomas Reifler has been Chief
Financial Officer (CFO) and member of the Executive Board of
Hartchrom AG Steinach since 1999. In this capacity Mr Reifler
– a business administration graduate – was responsible for
major investment projects of the STI | Hartchrom Group.
A record in the STI | Hartchrom history: the application roll
with a length of 20 m.
paper on to the couch roll with a solid matter content of
20 to 22%. To ensure that the roll can perform its task,
it must meet high requirements, in this case a surface
roughness of < 0.4 µm and a concentricity of < 0.05 mm. «
On 1 st October 2007 Thomas Reifler was appointed as the new CEO
of Hartchrom AG and as head of the Division Surface Technology of AFG
by the Board of Directors of AFG Arbonia-Forster-Holding AG.
Successful pioneering projects
Under his leadership the company also reorganised the
German sites, extended its existing premises and built and
started operations of the new STI Surface Center in SternenfelsDiefenbach
(Germany). During Mr Reifler’s time as CFO,
STI | Hartchrom invested around CHF 85 million in the advancement
of the company to its current position as the
global forerunner in the surface finishing sector.
The company expanded its production capacity considerably,
founded six new companies and acquired six others.
Thomas Reifler has many years of management experience
as controller, CFO and member of the executive board of
various industrial companies. «
The latest process diagnostics
in thermal spray technology
With thermal spray technology STI | Hartchrom has extended its range of processes by
an innovative technology. Apart from the actual process technology, the quality and functionality
of the layers are also continuously enhanced with selective process control and diagnosis.
The online diagnostics system analyses the layer quality, stability
and fluctuations caused by the scatter range during the
entire spraying process. A simple, fast tool for the analysis of
the distribution and density of the particles is online analysis
of the particle velocity. STI | Hartchrom used the online diagnostics
for the development and qualification of their HVOF
(high velocity oxygen fuel) process, and adjusted its parameters
precisely on the basis of the results. The oxygen and fuel
quantity, powder type, the carrier gas and the spray distance
are the most important HVOF process parameters, which
require exact control. In addition, the layer quality is subject
to continuous further development by means of comprehensive
metallographic tests and hardness monitoring.
Diagnosis process for R&D
The Particle Velocity Imaging process (PVI) is a system for
measuring particle velocity. A CCD camera with a zoom lens
photographs the luminous stream of particles of the process.
As the camera works with a very short exposure time, the
individual particles appear as a thin, luminous stripe. The
advantages of this process are mainly the very high data
rate (number of particles/image and the high image rate of
15 images/second) as well as online evaluation. The measuring
process is suitable for all thermal spray processes characterised
by a luminous stream of particles (e.g. HVOF/HVAF,
plasma, wire and flame spraying). The results are velocities
for various process parameters, depending on the spraying
and measuring distance.
The PFIs is a diagnostics system which runs during the process.
Here: the burner and diagnosis device with the flame on the display.
Diagnosis process for production
A diagnosis process is used for production which can provide
information on the process quickly and simply. The device
registers changes in the spraying jet without measuring discrete
values. Socalled PFIs (Particle Flux Imaging) is a diagnostics
system which runs during the process. The system
optically records the stream of particles and the spraying
point, the point at which the melted, liquid particles make
contact with the substrate. This particle diagnostics method
can be used to determine properties of the spray particle
during the flight phase at a certain point of the spray jet.
At the same time the device measures the surface temperature,
the flow rate, the diameter and velocity of the particles.
A special process unit of the sensor also determines the
twodimensional distribution of the particle properties and
the characteristics of the spray jet. An optical change in the
jet indicates deviations in individual parameters (e.g. faulty
gas flow rate measurement) or is an indication of wear on
the burner components.
The HVOF process
The common feature of the various spraying processes is
a powerful heat source (flame) into which the spray feed
stock is introduced and accelerated onto the substrate
surface in the form of melted particles at high velocities
(approx. 500 m/s). During the highenergy HVOF process
the powder feed stock is sprayed onto the substrate
at supersonic speed. «
Surface Technology 49
STI | Hartchrom provides surface
treatment for Maybach
There is a good chance that your car attained its shapeliness with the aid of
a specially finished tool. Mercedes-Benz Cars also uses the surface treatment technology
of Hartchrom Teikuro Automotive GmbH for its luxury brand Maybach.
STI | Hartchrom offers unique chrome plating technology for
the deep drawing moulds and dies used in the automotive
industry. The so-called Teikuro Process is globally acknowledged
as the premier surface treatment for moulds and dies.
The technology has been developed by the Teikuro Corporation
in Japan and the USA over the past 30 years and has been
adapted to the specific needs of the automotive industry.
Internationally recognised plating method
The cooperation with Teikuro Corporation led to the foundation
of Hartchrom Teikuro Automotive GmbH, a subsidiary of
STI | Hartchrom. Since then, tools have been surface treated
at the new STI Surface Center in Sternenfels-Diefenbach
(Ger many) for almost all automotive manufacturers, including
the premium brands. Worldwide customers include BMW,
Daihatsu, Ford, General Motors, Nissan, Läpple and VW.
Mercedes-Benz Cars also uses the surface treatment techno logy
of Hartchrom Teikuro Automotive GmbH for its luxury
The Teikuro hard chrome plating process
In the Teikuro hard chrome plating process, the working
surface of the tool is plated with a thin and extremely
low-friction coating of hard chrome. This protects
the shape of the mould, and any friction effects
are absorbed by the layer of chrome. The fineness
of the surface guarantees that friction
is reduced to a minimum. Thanks to the
low chrome plating temperature of
less than 60 degrees, there is absolutely
no risk of thermal distortion.
Even with multiple chrome plat -
ing, the geometric shape of the
mould remains permanently
Surface treatment of automotive moulds and dies in the
STI Surface Center in Sternenfels-Diefenbach (Germany).
intact. Process reliability, availability and service life of the
tool are increased, while maintenance requirements
are kept low. The resulting commercial advantages
are significant and offer customers a key advantage
over competitors. If the tool is recoat ed,
then this process also emerges as
the most advantageous in the long
term. In order to minimise downtime
in the pressing plants to an abso-
lute minimum, Hartchrom
Teikuro Automotive GmbH
works seven days a week,
24 hours a day. «
Division Heating Technology
and Sanitary Equipment Heating Technology
Division Kitchens and Refrigeration
Division Windows and Doors
Division Steel Technology
Division Surface Technology
AFG Arbonia-Forster-Holding AG
P.O. Box 134
CH-9320 Arbon, Thurgau
T +41 71 447 41 41
F +41 71 447 45 88
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