Industry Innovators

Eisenmann

Eisenmann creates market-leading systems for surface finishing, air pollution control, process and high-temperature technologies, and anaerobic digestion. Headquartered in Germany, the company opened a branch in the United States in 1977 and has been active in America ever since.

Eisenmann USA delivers a full solution from its Chicago-area office including engineering, project management, procurement, project execution, and commissioning, in addition to aftersales support and comprehensive service packages. The team has installed over 1,000 industrial systems in America thus far – and they continue to innovate new solutions.

The company earned a place in the market by listening carefully to customers and giving them what they want. “Over the years we’ve developed products based on what our customers’ needs were,” says Sales Manager Richard Goelz. “We have evolved from a very simple company.”

The global powerhouse started small, manufacturing kilns in Germany to dry wood. Then the team expanded into a similar field by making ovens to cure paint. Soon, the company developed a complete solution that covered everything from the paint booths to the cure ovens. Next, the team jumped into the material handling side of the business. “We were transporting all the products,” Goelz says.

By this time, Eisenmann had a thriving business, but the company did not rest on its laurels. The team recognized another growth opportunity in the 1990s and took their paint system to the automotive industry, along with all the related equipment handling. The solution took off and Eisenmann’s complete paint shops became a fixture in automotive manufacturing.

Today, the team continues to build on their knowledge and success. Eisenmann offers a full solution across multiple industries, and Goelz focuses on warehouse automation solutions. His area of expertise includes the company’s electrified monorail conveyor, which is primarily used for transporting pallets through distribution centers.

“The technology evolved from an automotive application with transporting car bodies, but that same technology is able to be used in these logistics centers,” he explains. “And since it was developed for automotive, it is a very highly reliable and very low maintenance type of solution for facilities. It lends itself very well to an environment where you’re operating 24/7 and have to have a very highly reliable system.”

The ability to deliver dependable solutions is key to the company’s longevity and reach. “That’s how Eisenmann has been able to be successful,” says Goelz, “by developing these types of products that work very well in high-stress situations.”

To be sure, technology is at the forefront of every Eisenmann solution. Within the logistics industry, the company’s technology focuses on delivering forward-thinking, reliable, technical systems for high-throughput systems. Traditionally, the technology in these facilities was limited to a standard pallet conveyor. “That type of system works very well for relatively low-throughput systems,” Goelz explains. “But as soon as you start to get into rates up over about 180 pallets per hour, there’s a limitation on pallet conveyor for being able to transfer from one area to the next, whereas our technology is designed for these high-throughput systems. We’ll transport upwards of 400 pallets per hour.” Some Eisenmann systems can even handle a whopping 2,000 pallets per hour. “It’s an alternate technology that’s specifically geared toward these high throughput systems,” Goelz says.

There is “a huge amount of growth in automation within these large warehouses,” he says, which creates an ideal opportunity for Eisenmann to fill a gap in the market. The company has found great success with its front-end interface system, working with the automatic storage and retrieval systems within these massive logistic facilities. “You will have a very high volume both going into this storage area and coming out, and we are able to effectively transport that to either shipping areas, receiving areas, layer picking, or other production areas within the facility,” Goelz says. “The technology is a very high speed transport of pallets typically running at speeds up to 400 – even up to 600 – feet per minute, with the typical pallet load anywhere from 2,000 to 3,000 pounds. So for those applications, it’s really an ideal technical solution.”

In addition to its leading technology, Eisenmann is also committed to delivering green solutions. As a global environmental technology player, the team understands their responsibility in conserving energy and natural resources, and to this end the company engineers solutions that increase efficiency and minimize the impact on the environment. This commitment includes the use of eco-friendly manufacturing methods and the utilization of products that avoid or reduce emissions, waste, and wastewater.

Eisenmann also keeps a close eye on the industries it serves in order to stay ahead of the curve. “It’s really inherent in our company,” Goelz says. “We’re an engineering company. I think what drives a lot of our growth is we listen to our customers; we identify what types of issues they’re having and try to innovate solutions to solve those challenges. We’ve done that very successfully over the last sixty years and have seen tremendous growth within the organization because of that.”

As a result, the team is ready to lend a hand as soon as problems develop within a customer’s operations. “I would say the challenges in the industry are actually what are driving our products,” Goelz says. One of the greatest challenges today is that there simply are not enough workers to keep facilities running smoothly. “In these warehouses there’s an extreme shortage of manpower,” Goelz says. Eisenmann has had great success providing automation to markets that are short-staffed, particularly those that involve dangerous or uncomfortable work.

“One of the growth areas we’re seeing is in freezer warehouses where you’re handling frozen food,” Goelz says. “These facilities are operating in temperatures of minus ten degrees Fahrenheit, so there are not a lot of people who want to work in that environment. So by going to an automated solution like we provide, it eliminates the need for personnel to go into those areas – that’s a huge driver for the market.”

The company’s newest product is a next-generation, high-speed, electrified four-track system. The system can run at speeds of up to 600 feet per minute and includes a unique feature that is sure to increase production. “Typically an automated system like this operates kind of like cars on a highway,” Goelz explains. “So when the first car moves, once it’s moved forward a little bit, the next one will start moving; it’s kind of like a traffic jam situation, how things move through the system. This newest technology allows all vehicles to communicate with each other and thus they are able to all start simultaneously, which allows for a much higher throughput system.”

Automation solutions are already in high demand and this demand is only expected to increase in the future – which will create a need for Eisenmann products for a long time to come. “We really are seeing exponential growth within this market,” Goelz says. “The drivers for automation are just getting stronger and stronger every year. Automation was very prevalent in Europe and it’s finally moving over to the U.S. and North America because of labor costs and inability to find good labor for these facilities. So we foresee a long-term expansion of our products and our company.”