07/02/2012

Vauth-Sagel / Westo GmbH Kunststofftechnik KG

Vauth-Sagel Celebrates its 50th Anniversary

Today, 5 sons of the founder Heinrich Sagel manage the company as the second generation and Vauth-Sagel is a highly-respected system component partner in 5 important sec-tors. The development and manufacturing competencies comprise all 5 material groups – from steel, sheet metal, wire through to wood and plastic. And all the above are linked to the 5 visions of the family that mark the beginning of the next 5 successful decades.

5 decades

The 1960s: Vauth-Sagel makes a name for itself
It all started in early 1962: over New Year 1961/1962, Hermann Vauth and his son-in-law Heinrich Sagel founded a company for industrial goods called Vauth-Sagel KG in Beller, in the Höxter region. With its wire- and sheet metal-processing facilities, the small company quickly made a name for itself within the market. The first successful product was a so-called cheese storage trolley – wire frames used for maturing cheese. Placed together, the individual cheese storage racks made up a cheese storage trolley. Furthermore, Vauth-Sagel developed a transport trolley in the 1960s, which even today can be found in virtually every company throughout the world.

At the time, decorative wire articles in particular were in high demand in the furniture industry. Vauth-Sagel was increasingly receiving inquiries for development proposals for attractive interiors based on functioning wire articles for the kitchen furniture sector – the ‘birth hour’ of independently-designed “Made by Vauth-Sagel” products. And it also marked the premiere of both the company’s first trainee, Heinz Lauber, and the entire firm on the occasion of the interzum, where it was exhibiting for the very first time.

The 1970s: becoming a bed professional

In the 1970s, Vauth-Sagel started manufacturing hospital beds for the German military. The Germany Navy in particular be-came a major customer. Vauth-Sagel kitted out crew and officer accommodation as well as navy hospital ships. Just ten years after being founded, the company was already employing a staff of 110 with many immigrant workers joining the ranks of the experienced, skilled men and women. Furthermore, the ex-isting production facilities soon became too small to be able to cope with the sheer volume of orders. On the occasion of the company’s 10th anniversary, Vauth-Sagel unveiled its new pro-duction site in Brakel-Erkeln, which remains its headquarters to this very day. The business partners had purchased a plot in which they proceeded to erect three production halls with a total floor plan of 6,000 square metres. At the time, Vauth-Sagel was not only a supplier to the German furniture industry, it was also developing its export business, with its largest customers located in the Benelux countries.

Over the course of the 1970s, the Management commis-sioned the construction of a 1,000-square-metre office build-ing, which was expanded by a further 500 square metres in the same decade, while the production facilities were also extend-ed.
However, 1973 was a very sad year for the company: com-pany co-founder Hermann Vauth passed away on August 13, 1973 following a serious, short illness.

The 1980s: Vauth-Sagel enters the plastic production market

The 1980s were definitively defined by the furniture industry. This is the period in which the success story of the 80-centimetre-wide larder cabinet began, among other things: in the mid-1980s, Vauth-Sagel was hugely successful, above all with the “Porta 1” larder cabinet, with the development marking the birth of yet another Vauth-Sagel classic. In the early part of the decade, Vauth-Sagel founded MAWEG, a company for the machine, tool and equipment construction. In other words: Vauth-Sagel had embarked on the path to becoming a “Group”. However, this was not to remain the only strategic change. A further hugely-important step was the takeover of Westo-Kunststofftechnik headquartered in Bergheim in 1988, with which Vauth-Sagel was able to expand its expertise in plastic processing. The path was clear to expand the company’s com-prehensive range of products and services to include the ap-propriate plastic products. A fourth hall with 3,000 square me-tres of production space was built on the grounds in Brakel-Erkeln. At the end of 1989/beginning of 1990, Vauth-Sagel had a staff of around 160 men and women.

The 1990s: logistics as a huge challenge

The Group continued to grow: in the mid-1990s, Vauth-Sagel took over the production facilities at Berg in Altena near Hagen, a competitor focusing on the manufacture of hospital beds. In late-1994/early-1995, Vauth-Sagel set up its own ‘Spedition Claus’ haulage company along with its own logistics centre – as the increased market shares, rising business volumes and, above all, growing exports made this development absolutely essential. In parallel, the Management decided to once again expand the production site in Brakel-Erkeln: the result was a new hall complex totalling 5,600 square metres, into which Westo Kunststofftechnik moved following the complex’s completion, from Bergheim. Furthermore, the ‘Wood’ division also moved into the premises in 1994 with the founding of Westo-Holztechnik. Wood was now also being used - predominantly in the furniture manufacturing sector. One of the most pivotal products of the 1990s was the “Porta 2” larder cabinet. The mid-1990s saw chrome-plating become a veritable fashion revolution, while RAL 9006 powder coating emerged at the end of the decade.

The new millennium: all companies under a single umbrella

Numerous companies, numerous production sites – the birth of the Vauth-Sagel Group. At the end of the 1990s, all existing companies – in other words, Vauth-Sagel Systemtechnik, Wes-to Kunststofftechnik and Vauth-Sagel logistics – were brought together under the strategic umbrella of the Vauth-Sagel Group, which was then expanded to include the recently acquired Mauser Einrichtungssysteme in 2004. Shortly after, the company invested in a new production and logistics centre in Beverungen with a total floor plan of 20,000 square metres. In 2006, Vauth-Sagel acquired the, for the time being, last company – Müller Kunststofftechnik in Paderborn – later relocating the Group’s entire plastic division to this site. The years between 2000 and 2010 brought along many new innovative products. For example, the “Recorner-Maxx” corner cabinet solution along with the “Multi corner”, the “Slide corner” and the “Twin corner”.

5 brothers

Today, it is 5 brothers who are – following in the footsteps of Hermann Vauth and Heinrich Sagel – the second generation to run the operations of the Vauth-Sagel Group. All 5 of Heinrich Sagel’s sons have gained invaluable experience during their training, both abroad and, in part, in various jobs outside the family company – experience that they now deploy within the context of their day-to-day work. Heinz-Otto and Thomas were the first to join the family company’s ranks in 1987, followed by their brother Claus seven years later. Peter and Martin also found their way into the company in 2003.

5 sectors

The global markets in which Vauth-Sagel is today active are extensively split into five important sectors: the automotive sec-tor, the furniture industry, the caravanning and the medical/care sectors and the multi-market sector.
5 material groups

Although the individual material categories are very different, the Vauth-Sagel Group nevertheless proudly looks back on many decades of know-how – know-how that the company is more than willing to make available to its customers. The roots lie in sheet metal, wire and steel processing, but Vauth-Sagel has also mastered the processing of plastic and the natural material wood to an almost unparalleled extent.

5 visions

Heinz Otto Sagel
Our export business was, and remains, one of the cornerstones of the company and is something we intend to further expand with quality “Made in Germany” products over the coming decades.

Thomas Sagel
We will maintain our Group as an independent family company and guide it towards a sustainably successful future.

Claus Sagel
More than the currently 850 employees and in excess of 1,000 trainees over the past fifty years – our staff are the very founda-tion of our success and we will continue to show nothing but total commitment to their training and further training and to the demographic change within our company.

Peter Sagel
As an innovative system component partner to various sectors, we will distinguish ourselves from our competitors through our unique development and material competencies.

Dr Martin Sagel
It is all about strengthening our Group with regards to its com-petence and business field diversification and further develop-ing it with the aim of achieving clear market positioning and tangible customer orientation.