Federal Research Minister Annette Schavan visits the RAMPF Group
Caption: A research minister is always looking for companies where innovation happens: In the charging plug for electric vehicles
"Companies, such as the RAMPF Group, have ensured that Germany has withstood the crisis well. Even in difficult times, RAMPF has shown its responsibility and invested in the future - this deserves the highest recognition", praised Federal Research Minister Annette Schavan during her visit to the headquarters of the company group in Grafenberg. Although the family-owned company reported declining sales in the past two business years, management acted prudently and in anticipation during the crisis. "Thanks to instruments such as short-time working, we have been able to keep our core workforce. The solidarity of our employees was also enormous. At the same time, we did not postpone needed investments in the future and opened the innovation centre in Grafenberg in the middle of the recession", emphasized Michael Rampf, Managing Partner of the RAMPF Group. In the past three years, RAMPF has invested a sum of 32 million Euros in buildings and machinery. For the current financial year, which ends in June, the company is aiming to achieve a sales turnover of 90 million Euros. Next year the 100 million Euro mark will be reached, said Rampf. Together with his younger brother Matthias, the 36-year old is responsible for guiding the fortunes of the RAMPF Group. Company founder and father, Rudolf Rampf, retired from operative business at the beginning of 2011.
PET flakes are processed in model-making materials
"We - the public sector and the economy - must continue working intensively on innovative solutions for the key challenges, such as climate protection, energy safety and resource savings. Medium-size companies such as RAMPF play a key role in this respect. Thanks to short decision-making paths, you are able to make an important contribution with your ability to rapidly transform the initial idea into high-performance products", said Schavan in dialogue with the General Managers Michael and Matthias Rampf. Matthias Rampf commented: "We have further increased our investments in research and development, in order to test the potential application of renewable raw materials, such as rapeseed, soy and castor oils in our plastics. We are already using recycled PET flakes in our block materials for model-making. Furthermore, we have started a broad-based innovation strategy. For this reason, we have identified innovation as a topic for interdisciplinary tasking in all departments. In parallel to this we have developed a network with the universities and institutes in the region." In the ensuing discussion with the CDU politician, company managers - including the Managing Directors of the RAMPF Company based in Grafenberg, Heinz Horbanski and Horst Bader, and the R&D Managers Yoshiaki Naganuma and Stefan Retig – expressly welcomed the commitment of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research of the close links between science and industry.
RAMPF secures Japnese help
During the tour of laboratory and production departments, the Federal Research Minister was able to see the entrepreneurial spirit for herself. The CDU politician not only learned how a reactive casting resin is made from two components, but also how plastics are used everywhere. For example, as sealant foam in car doors, as a casting compound in the charger plugs of electric cars, as an adhesive for window frames or even as a protective edge for the folding tables in the ICE express train. After the tour it quickly became evident that there is a lot more behind the name RAMPF. Senior manager Rudolf Rampf has created a successful manufacturer of reactive resins, machine bases, dosing systems and recycling solutions from a small family-owned business. Today, the company group covers altogether five independently operating subsidiaries in Germany, as well as three foreign subsidiaries in China, the USA and Japan. Because of the close business relations with Japan the terrible events in the island state were also discussed. "We are appalled by the disaster that has placed the country in ruins. Our employees at the RAMPF Group Japan in Osaka and their families, fortunately, are doing well so far. We empathize with the people in Japan. With partners and customers on site where possible we have got into contact and promised support”, said Matthias Rampf. The 33-year-old has established between 2005 and 2008 RAMPF Group Japan in Osaka. Annette Schavan, visibly moved by the disaster, confirmed that she has instructed the Academy Leopoldina, a group of scientists. "I will meet with the scientists later this month to get their expertise on the evaluation of the moving events in Japan and their possible consequences for Germany," she said. The entire German research will help Japan, added the Minister. To the R&D manager and Japan's managing director Yoshiaki Naganuma she taught in person a few words and expressed her sympathy.
Trainee quota is to be further increased
Approximately 430 employees from 24 nations work for RAMPF. The Grafenberg location employs approximately 170 people. Annette Schavan spoke directly to some of the employees. This pleased the trainees especially. A total of 22 young people are currently completing their training at RAMPF. "I would like to appeal to you, dear members of the Rampf Family, to keep investing in vocational training and qualification. Only by educating apprentices today will we have the urgently needed young specialists of tomorrow" said Schavan appealing for support. The answer came very promptly. "We will be further increasing our trainee quota in the financial year 2011/2012", confirmed the general managers and in conclusion requested Mrs. Schavan to urge political decision-makers to advance the long overdue streamlining activities and thus reduce bureaucracy.
During her visit to the RAMPF Group in Grafenberg, Federal Research Minister Annette Schavan was accompanied by MdL (Member of the State Parliament) Karl-Wilhelm Röhm, the CDU MP for the constituency Hechingen-Münsingen, as well as by the local CDU committee chairman for Grafenberg, Manfred Knöll.
The RAMPF Group is a leading company in the field of the reaction casting resins and machine systems with 410 employees and a consolidated turnover of about 85 million Euros for the financial year 2010/2011. RAMPF secures its operational presence in the market with five companies – RAMPF Giessharze (= casting resins), RAMPF Dosiertechnik (= dispensing technology), RAMPF Tooling (= tooling), EPUCRET Mineralgusstechnik (= mineral casting) and RAMPF Ecosystems (= recycling). They all are united under the roof of a holding. Important foreign markets besides Europe and Asia are also the NAFTA regions. RAMPF thus has its own subsidiaries in the USA, Japan and China.
RAMPF Holding GmbH & Co. KG
T + 49 (0) 7123 9342-0
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Your contact for further information:
RAMPF Holding GmbH & Co. KG
T + 49 (0) 7123 9342-1045
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