It all started with unsteady cable lugs

From the province in the Lower Rhine area to the whole world: Horlemann in Uedem, near the Dutch border, has steadily developed and expanded its business areas over the past decades. Today, a wide variety of energy solutions are produced here, such as transformer station construction for large industrial companies and energy suppliers, automation solutions for the food industry or mobile power supplies worldwide, including for the FIFA World Cup. Horlemann unites eight business units under one roof with a footprint of around 70,000 square metres: In addition to electrical engineering, automation and mobile energy solutions, the group of companies also has a strong presence in the building materials sector and in pipeline and plant construction.
Solutions from a single source
This versatility proves to be an excellent competitive advantage as many services, from planning to execution, installation and servicing, build upon one another. The company has been part of Vinci Energies Deutschland and its energy infrastructure brand Omexom for about a year now. "Our various business areas complement each other perfectly, so we can offer companies and municipalities many projects all from a single source", explains Thomas Willems, Managing Director of Horlemann Automation & IT GmbH.

Willems manages one of the more recent but at the same time most important pillars in the group of companies: Around one fifth of the more than 500 employees at the location work in the growth division Automation & IT. Everything is implemented here: from a single, small control cabinet to complete, "turnkey" solutions for entire industries. Horlemann itself works with a high level of automation and relies on continuous optimisation down to the last detail.

"Our promise to provide the highest level of quality sets us apart from the competition", says Thomas Willems, "of course, we can only keep this promise by only processing top quality products". For this reason, we exclusively use branded products from well-known manufacturers that meet international standards and have the appropriate certifications; for example, the connection technology for the entire group of companies has always come from Klauke.

Connections on the test bench

This has resulted in close cooperation between the manufacturer and user: "It all started with unstable cable lugs," recalls Michael Aymans, who is responsible for customer-specific planning of the switchboards (Computer-aided engineering). Several assemblymen made him aware of the cable lugs that did not hold on to the corresponding cables despite correct cross section assignment. Aymans searched for the cause and found a high variance in the cables, even between different batches from the same manufacturer: “Connection technology is perhaps only a small, but yet decisive component in the control cabinet. Sure, there was always the option to 'somehow tie them up', but that was out of the question for us."
Horlemann Automation & IT works according to established standards and norms, especially in switch cabinet construction, as customers are increasingly asking for the use of certified components and demand corresponding quality certificates. When there was uncertainty in the electrical installation, Aymans turned directly to Klauke to solve the problem. They carried out pull tests for all connections processed by Horlemann in their in-house application technology, checked all tools and made specific recommendations on how to best combine the conductors, connectors and tools. After an internal practical test that lasted two weeks, Aymans finally switched all its processing tools to Klauke: "Now connectors and tools fit together perfectly. Klauke provides us with a guarantee on these connections and we, in turn, can pass this on to our customers."

Training courses are the way to safety

In order to ensure that the whole team was confident in using the system, Klauke carried out a comprehensive training course at the Horlemann site. As well as the fundamental features of different conductor classes, a hot topic for discussion was the connections processed by Horlemann and how to correctly implement these. Aymans then compiled individual training material to ensure that new colleagues were able to work quickly and safely right from the beginning. With support from Klauke application technology, these are regularly updated and expanded.

A success story of solidarity
The Klauke system has been established at Horlemann Automation & IT for three years now. The next chapter in their cooperation will also examine the use of the system in the other business areas, not least against the backdrop of Horlemann's integration into Omexom. Thomas Willems sees a clear competitive advantage in combining direct technical cooperation with important manufacturers and C-parts logistics through wholesalers: "Our business is getting faster and faster, more and more international. When everything runs smoothly and we can rely on the tried and tested systems during planning, procurement and assembly, this enables us to balance individual configurations for our customers with high output at the same time".

Even in the electrical trade you're always learning something new – with Klauke's specialist knowledge you always stay up to date with the latest technology.