Today, Bürkert is a worldwide leading manufacturer of components and system solutions for the measurement and control of liquids and gases. At the beginning of this success story there were only the ideas of the company founder Christian Bürkert. That has not changed to this day: Ideas come first. For more than 25,000 days Bürkert employees have been making these ideas flow with knowledge and creativity – for ever new solutions to the challenges of their customers.
After World War II, Christian Bürkert laid the foundation for the present-day technological enterprise Bürkert Fluid Control Systems on the basis of solid technical training, a feel for future market requirements and ideas for innovative technical solutions. At first, he worked on the development and construction of incubators for poultry farming as well as temperature controllers for ovens until his first encounter with solenoid valves in 1954, a field that is important for Bürkert to the present day: fluidics, or the measurement and control of liquids and gases. In response to declines in areas such as the production of washing machine valves he always found an answer: a completely new technological solution that opened up new potentials in another area. With the world’s first plastic encased solenoids, standardised cable heads or the fast internationalisation of business activities – long before globalisation – the company grew, as did the knowledge of fluidic systems, production technologies and industrial automation.
Designing the factory of the future
“At Bürkert it has always been important that we provide efficient and effective solutions to seemingly impossible technological challenges. The same holds true for Bürkert’s attitude toward both its customers and employees,” says Andreas Bürkert, spokesman for the Bürkert Group and one of the company owners. Firmly rooted in the Hohenlohe region, Bürkert now has production sites in Ingelfingen, Öhringen and Gerabronn, as well as in the Alsatian municipality of Triembach. With the official opening of the Campus Criesbach on 17 September 2016 Bürkert paved the way for the “factory of the future,” according to Heribert Rohrbeck, who has managed the affairs of the company as general manager since 2005. Campus Criesbach is not only the location of a pioneering production and logistics centre with modern and versatile production processes, but also of an educational centre where Bürkert invests in its most important resource: the employees of tomorrow. Many of them are from the surrounding region and their ideas and resourcefulness are used to develop solutions for industrial automation and thus for the factory of the future.
In addition to the company owners, representatives from the region and other invited guests, the opening ceremony was also attended by Minister President Winfried Kretschmann. “Bürkert is both a global player and a family-owned company with strong roots. The opening of the campus today expresses Bürkert’s commitment to Ingelfingen – and hence to the company’s roots, the Hohenlohe region and to Baden-Württemberg as an industrial location. The production facility will meet the demands of Industry 4.0, the production method of the future. Last but not least, the educational centre emphasises the traditionally high importance of ensuring the demand for skilled labour at Bürkert,” says Kretschmann.
Following the ceremonial act, about 5,000 employees and their families celebrated the company’s 70th anniversary with a family day true to the motto “We are Bürkert.”
From component to system solution
Since 2007 Criesbach has also been one of the four Systemhaus locations where Bürkert Fluid Control Systems develops tailored fluidic system solutions commissioned by customers. The development process is in the hands of the Bürkert engineers: from the idea and concept through prototyping, simulation and system development all the way to testing, system implementation and production planning. The result is the series production of a ready-to-install system solution that the customer only has to integrate in his product, for example an automatic unit for blood analysis. The system solutions are based on valves and components from the comprehensive product portfolio, which has grown from the ideas of Bürkert employees over the past 70 years. Bürkert will expand this system concept in the coming years to reinforce the company’s image as a manufacturer of industrial fluidic components – much in the spirit of Christian Bürkert, who always analysed the requirements of the present to develop ideas and concepts for the future.