H. G. Weber has worldwide reach
By Mike Mathes
Assembly technicians at H. G. Weber put the finishing touches on a large converting machine destined for a customer in Australia. After assembly, the components had to be disassembled and packaged for shipping.

¦ A commitment to customer satisfaction. H. G. Weber’s global customers can rely on fast response times for quality service parts and knowledgeable technical support.

H. G. Weber & Company may be known in its immediate locale as a small manufacturer.

However, the little company and its French sister company Holweg combine to form a giant in the global realm of converting equipment manufacturers.

In its 87 year history, the firm has expanded its horizons to reach all corners of the world. And, its emphasis remains entrenched on its goal of being customer-driven and service-driven.

According to John Schmitt, H. G. Weber treasurer and Chief Financial Officer, the new partnering with Holweg has allowed both companies to enjoy synergies. “Together we continue to figure out the best path for success,” Schmitt said.

For H. G. Weber, that has translated into a bright economic picture at a time when the manufacturing economy has been soft.

“Our 2011 was a good year for the company and 2012 looks equally as good,” Schmitt said.

“We have called everyone back from layoff and hired another half dozen employees— we now have 68 on staff.”

Global reach

H. G. Weber has forged this bright future by extending the global reach of its quality products and service.

Current machines in production will serve customers in Wisconsin, on both US coasts, in Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia and Japan. And, most recently an exceptionally large converting machine was shipped to Australia, designed to manufacture large paper

bags with special, innovative features.

“That machine represents a huge commitment of time and resources and a trust commitment on the part of our customer. This is how we build the future,” Schmitt said.

The process falls back on the company’s core competency of building quality equipment, good solid machining value and adding innovations along the way.

Machines keep running

Interestingly enough, the H. G. Weber commitment to quality is evident on some of the service orders the company still receives.

Recently, the company worked on resurfacing a drum assembly from a converting unit manufactured at the Kiel plant in the 1970’s. “It’s amazing to learn of the huge inventory of Weber machines with a long history that are still out in the field running. We maintain them and replace parts,” Schmitt said.

Customers like the solid feeling of the H. G. Weber design, one the company continues to strive for.

“We have a stellar reputation among world markets for customer service,” Schmitt said. “We sell repair parts all over the world and do installations and machine repairs in all those markets.”

With a dozen employees devoted to machining, the number one goal is to create repair parts for customer service on a 24-hour ship and deliver basis. Secondly, the machinists support the manufacturing assembly of new equipment.

When the economy is positive for H. G. Weber Company, the effect also spills into the local economy. “We rely on local machine shops to help fabricate some of our components. We have a lot of great little shops in the local area, some as far away as Green Bay and Milwaukee,” Schmitt said.

At the end of 2007, H. G. Weber joined the DCM group and now works closely with their sister company Holweg to further strengthen the paper division of the group.

The following are indicators of H. G. Weber’s success:

¦ Maintaining a high level work force even during tough economic times.

¦ A high customer loyalty and retention rate over the years.

¦ Sales growth despite the mature market for some of its products.

¦ Several successful recent product developments including Servo technology and adapting to more environmentally friendly papers.

¦ Numerous industry awards for product innovation and manufacturing excellence.

¦ Low employee turnover and good union/company relations.

Basic values

H. G. Weber’s success can be attributed to these basic values:

¦ A willingness to work with customers to design and build a machine unique to that particular customer’s needs.

¦ Treat everyone with respect, dignity and trust. That goes for suppliers, customers, employees, and the community.