ISOCO pushes the speed pedal
Where once the DDR-caravan QEK Junior was produced, a specialist for the manufacturing of high end plastic products emerges.
Schmiedefeld. Just one year ago it didn’t look very fortunate for the future of the company, which, during DDR-times, as producer for consumer goods and daughter company of VEB MAxhütte Unterwellenborn- manufactured the cult-status caravan QEK Junior. The company with 40 employees was since January 2013 in insolvency process, with lawyer Florian Strapper searching for an investor to continue the long tradition of the company on the heights above Saalfeld.
On Nov.8 Dr. Strapper announced success:“ “The current business operations of the insolvent Isoco Kunststofftechnik GmbH & Co. KG from Schmiedefeld has been transferred as part of a transferred reorganization on 01.01.2014 to the Isoco Plastics Technology GmbH”, reported Stapper. Behind the new company stands the Thuringian entrepreneur Harald Schweitzer, who in Schmiedefeld expands his business activities after many years of successful activities in Asia. The product development should be strengthened, as well as investments in new technologies were announced at that time.
A year later Harald Schweitzer has arrived in Schmiedefeld. After the years in China he enjoys the fresh air of the Thuringian Forest and has learnt to appreciate “the functioning bureaucracy in Germany”. The company, in which hardly anything was invested in the last 20 years, is now restructured. The number of employees who work here in three-shift operation, including temporary workers even increased to almost 50. Revenue, which was last under three million euros per year should increase to 3.5 million euros. Apprenticeship programs were started again. For the first time products from Isoco are exported, of course to China, where Schweitzer still has good contacts. Sales, which was pretty much on the ground, slowly starts rolling, thanks mainly to the second shareholder, which the Thuringian Harald Schweitzer already worked together with in Asia.
Until now, in Schmiedefeld two main business areas existed: the manufacture of plastic curbs for industrial buildings in large quantities as well as the development and production of exterior parts for the automotive industry – basically in the tradition of the QEK Junior production. The customers include almost all well-known manufacturers of RVs. Products with Excellent surface quality combined with lightweight designs are produced for vehicles; thy are lightweight, weather-resistant and can be made in complex shapes.
The third business unit starts operation: Inection Molding Process on large machinery. The first two of the four planned machines are already in a plant that has been used for tool manufacturing. “This is the finest of the fine. Our customers are already waiting when we can finally start operation, “said Schweitzer, who praises the “Treasure of skilled worker” of the company. Some are working for 30 years at Isoco, founded 1960. By investing in new, advanced production equipment he now also wants offer the production of larger series in the same, usual quality, so the 44-year-old, who currently resides in Neustadt / Orla. With this the self-set growth milestones should be in reach, step by step.