Issue Issue 2 2008
Seelen offers the total package
As the need to reduce carbon emissions becomes a global concern across all industrial areas, there is an increase in the amount of insulation being installed in factories and facilities all over the world.
Seelen A/S is at the forefront of producing machines that manufacture insulation solutions, meaning that the business is at the top of the chain in regards to reducing energy loss within industrial practices.
Managing director Axel Manøe Jepsen outlines his position at Seelen, and the scope of the organisation: “I began within the engineering department of the company; now I am managing director of Seelen, as well as leading our sales department. Since 2003, the business has grown almost three times in size – developing from 103 employees to 135. We also have a subsidiary in Poland that employs another 30 people. In addition, Seelen has contracts with subcontractors, with around 50 employees working for us. Overall, we have around 250 people working for the organisation, but not all of them are directly employed by us.”
With a history dating back to the end of the Second World War, the company is a renowned producer of insulation manufacturing equipment. Axel comments on the modern development of Seelen: “Since the late 1990s, and especially since the turn of the millennium, we have begun to focus on the engineering business sector. Seelen has developed a number of machines specifically for the insulation business, used to produce insulation material. Our customers are all insulation businesses,” Axel continues. “For instance, we have developed solutions for Saint-Gobain, which is a globally active French company, as well as other big producers of insulation. We have expanded from being a wide-based, conveyor equipment manufacturer, to a knowledge-based company, with a specialisation in producing machines that manufacture insulation materials, as well as solutions for transport and handling the insulation products.”
A combination of factors has contributed to the healthy atmosphere within the insulation market, as Axel outlines: “There are many new environmental regulations being applied within industry, meaning that the end customer in our sector needs more insulation to save energy. There is a large amount of legislation emanating from governments regarding reducing carbon emissions, because in Western Europe, 40 per cent of our energy is used in heating. Therefore, if more insulation is used, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere can be reduced, and this is a significant step on a global scale. Equally, high oil prices are another driving factor for insulation customers to spend more in this area, so there are more insulation manufacturers, and hence more business for us.”
To meet the demands of the market, Seelen has invested in its manufacturing facilities. Axel elaborates on the areas that have been developed: “We have expanded our operations, most notably the scale of our assembly halls. We also now have a small testing centre that houses fully constructed machines that our clients have requested, allowing a testing phase before it is shipped to the customer. The client runs the machine to see if it is applicable to the products they manufacture, and make any changes or modifications if necessary. Also, we are able to run optimisation teasts at the facility, so these can all be done before the machine is delivered to the customer’s site. Equally, having this aspect to our factory means we can offertraining to a client’s workforce in the features of the new technology they are about to acquire, which offers the advantage of saving time in getting the machine running to maximum capacity.”
Seelen prides itself on being very innovative, and was present at the 2007 Global Gypsum Conference in Shanghai. Axel explains the company’s approach to the market: “We often develop technology during the course of a project, and we specialise in inventing nwe machines and solutions during our work with clients. If a customer comes to us withrequirements that we cannot currently fulfil, we wlii strive to develop the necessary innovative technology. For example, we have spent eight hours today working with external clients that use our solutions, to get inspiration for new products, inventions, and possibilities to be used in serving our customers further. At the conference in Shanghai, Seelen delivered a speech on a unique new machine that we have developed, which is suitable for packing large panel boards while at the same time saving a lot of material.”
Axel concludes by outlining Seelen’s aims for the future: “I think we have to improve our ability to accumulate knowledge, especially through our work with clients and the feedback they give us after the installation process. This knowledge must be emanated throughout Seelen so that everyone can learn and grow from the information we accrue. Our aim is to become a knowledge-based company, which is the first place for people who want hi-tech solutions. I hope that Seelen will be able to maintain this period of growth it is experiencing, and we aim to find new business areas expand into that are not solely in the insulation industry, where our competencies are both applicable and beneficial, ” he states.
Products: Insulation machinery
Sites: Denmark and Poland