2011/02/14   |   Switzerland

More profit through special products

The roots of the Swiss Josef Lehmann Holzbau AG go back to the year 1878 when the carpenter's shop was founded as a one-man-business. Today the enterprise is among the largest timber house element producers and employs 40 people.

No more low-cost production

Business manager Peter Lehmann, who is in charge of the finances, explains that the company mainly produces elements for the consumer market, but also various components for other prefabricated house producers. The factory makes about 150-200 wall elements per year. Thereby on third of the sales volume results from house renovation.

Business competition in the field element production is very tough in Switzerland and beats down the prices", says Peter Lehmann.

We have invested a lot of work to find out what effects the new energy regulations will have on the house construction and how components and elements for low-energy houses must be constructed. It's our goal to produce innovative and superior products, in order to being able to stand out against the most competing market segment, the low-cost products.

Our old beam processing center was already 20 years old and we wanted to invest in some new technology. Labour costs are high and with an automation of the production it is possible to keep the costs in check. At the same time we are far more able to help out smaller enterprises, that can't deal with such investments,  reasons why Peter Lehmann purchased the WEINMANN beam processing center WBZ 160. The machine is able to saw and cut many different shapes for timber joints into a work piece with a maximum size of 200 x 45 mm. The beam processing center is equipped with a 12-fold tool changer.

Economic crisis didn't cause any negative effects

Lehmann markets his products in Switzerland within the local area and doesn't export them to Germany, even if the border is not far away. Compared to the rest of Europe, where businesses had to fight heavily against the crisis, the year 2009 was extraordinarily successful for Lehmann Holzbau AG, says Lehmann.

Therefore we had the chance to invest. This year has also been a good one, although the cold winter is just now causing a decrease in enquiries. We probably won't reach the level of the previous year, guesses Peter Lehmann.

Source: Puu & Tekknika

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