TRIPS group is going to start the fifth business year with its office in Wülfrath, Rhineland, Germany. And the short history of this service base seems to become a success story. The initial reason for the start-up was to support local customers more prompt and directly. At that time the main customer was Europe’s largest lime works in Flandersbach, Rheinkalk GmbH. The company is working together with TRIPS already since 2005 and in the beginning it was served by the headquarters in Lower Franconia.

Since then TRIPS has executed far more than 30 main projects dealing with process automation on behalf of the largest works of the Belgian l’Hoist Group. A central order was to develop an efficient system for automated route control. Trips had the task to optimize the capacity of the conveyer belts which transfer the lime. The TRIPS technology could increase the efficiency of the conveyer by about 30 % (compare article in Process Worldwide 2-2009).

Industry know-how cement and lime

Within the scope of another project TRIPS modernized the electrical engineering of the shaft kiln plant, consisting of six kilns. The plant has been commissioned within an extremely short business interruption of six weeks in two sections. Furthermore, after a fire accident in a lignite hopper, TRIPS reconstructed completely the electrical facilities within the ex-zone. TRIPS could apply its various competences in these major project, beginning with the hard- and software engineering over mounting, assembly and wiring of the swithgears up to commissioning at customers site.

This know-how has permanently grown and is actively been enhanced in more than 30 years of company history. TRIPS has delivered industry solutions for lime and cement already for plants in Iran, Lebanon, Vietnam, Russia and Saudi-Arabia as well as for the local markets. TRIPS could especially convince with engineering competences in the field of the PCS 7 based process control system CEMAT. This industry expertise is last not least proven by being awarded as Siemens Solution Partner in the highest degree „Industry“.

Broad customer base

Meanwhile TRIPS could win new customers and projects at Wüfrath site besides Rheinkalk. „It has been obvious for us from the very beginning that the local presence is an ideal starting point to develop new markets in Northern Germany”, comments Christian Trips, Managing Director of the TRIPS group looking back. For all strong focus on export – TRIPS exports internationally about 60 % of its goods and services – right at front door chances lie idle. Trips is willing to bring out this potential by and by.

So the local engineers and technicians for example are working for a cement plant located in Duisburg, Western Germany, where they are converting the S5 and S7 controls in the loadings to the process control system PCS 7.

But also other industries use the PCS 7 know-how of the technicians in Wülfrath, for example a worldwide acting technology leader in the field of valve, pump and cleaning components for the food, pharmaceutical and biotechnological industry. On behalf of this customer the colleagues are in charge for the software engineering for ultra high temperature (UHT) plants of various dairies.

In another project on behalf of an house automation supplier they design Intouch visualizations for the building control system at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum to control the ventilation, heating and cooling. 

Forward on the path of success

The expanded customer and project base came along with the employment of the head of branch Jörg Andrzejewski in January 2012. With his change to TRIPS the state certified technician for automation and energy technology brought ten years of engineering and commissioning experience. He gained this experience mainly in the food and chemical industry. TRIPS customers appreciate this industry knowledge as well as the know-how that he could gain in leading projects to optimize production processes.

Thanks to the stable order situation Andrzejewski could extend his workforce from two employees in the beginning up to 11 by now. These are hardware and software engineers as well as electricians. According to requirements the colleagues of the headquarters in Grafenrheinfeld help flexibly out or competent freelancers are recruited to complete the team.

So the subsidiary Wülfrath could raise its share of sales in the TRIPS group up to more than 10 %. And further growth is planned. “This will be possible by the very fact that TRIPS buyers in the neighborhood will find their local contact person in Wülfrath”, estimates Andrzejewski. “This shortens distances and response time, for example to supply our Dutch customers.” 

So TRIPS Wülfrath tracks the customer. And will – in anticipation of the management board – sustain the path of success of the whole group.