Exciting projects with a volume of over 50 million euros of orders on hand, new employees and sustainable investments with the right sense of proportion - a recipe for success that has also guided WEHRLE through the crisis-ridden period in 2020, its anniversary year.
A turbulent year is coming to an end. For the industry, 2020 was not an easy year. It is clear that the pandemic has not left the family-owned company from the South-West of Germany unscathed. Close contact with customers and business partners as well as between employees has been put to the test. Internal events that strengthen the cohesion of the WEHRLE family will have to find new ways this year, and the anniversary celebration of the stock corporation founded in 1860 will be postponed until 2021.
The traditional and popular Christmas party of the Emmendingen-based company will also have a different setting this year. WEHRLE is organizing a virtual Christmas party for all active employees in front of their computer workstations as well as monitors set up in the production hall. "This Christmas will be different for all of us - we will look back on the year that is coming to an end in a digital setting and honor our work anniversaries", says Heiner Steinberg, CEO of WEHRLE-WERK AG.
Communication is very valuable, especially in times like these – a fact that the technology provider from Emmendingen also supports. Webinars instead of conferences, online exhibitions instead of trade fairs, video conferencing instead of customer visits and virtual plant operation in addition to on-site service - measures which, even if virtual, maintain contact and, together with other adjustments, have a considerable effect.
Besides orders for leachate treatment plants, for example in Indonesia, Poland and England, the Environmental Technology business division won a contract for the groundwater remediation of a former pharmaceutical production facility in Ireland. With the assembly of the new steam pressure boiler, WEHRLE supported the modernization of the in-house combined heat and power plant of the Medical Center – University of Freiburg in summer, and in the field of large parts manufacturing, WEHRLE has already been taking over for several months the appraisal, revision and repair of large components for the pumped storage power plant operator Schluchseewerk AG.
In order to be able to successfully carry out these special large projects, WEHRLE has significantly invested in personnel in 2020. In addition to the growth in personnel from 210 to around 240 employees, the training ratio also increased considerably from 9.2 to 11.0 percent. Besides the investment in personnel, the training company renewed its in-house training workshop with an investment sum of around 150,000 euros.
The company's international orientation was also strengthened in the past calendar year. In 2020, the green tech company from the South-West of Germany opened a subsidiary in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) as well as a branch in St. Petersburg (Russia).
Despite the Corona crisis, WEHRLE looks back on a successful 2020 and enters the coming year with new goals and ideas. The focus remains on sustainability and resource recovery. For example, the recently won approval planning for the Staufener Bucht pilot plant for research in the field of phosphorus recovery from decentralized sewage sludge utilization and the elimination of medicinal substances from pharmaceutical wastewater will play central roles in the next calendar year.