The new "be top" company magazine: The pacemaker

07.12.2017. Time flies – and nowhere is this more true than in today’s digitised world. This makes smooth processes and reliable partners all the more crucial. The new edition of be top shows why Rittal considers itself a pacemaker for industry and IT when it comes to supporting partners on their paths to success. The Friedhelm Loh Group company magazine also reports on why speed and precision are so key to achieving that success, from digitization and Industry 4.0 right through to service and integration.

“Speed is not to be toyed with,” says Dirk Pretorius, a passionate runner and marathon pacemaker who certainly knows what he is talking about. In the latest edition of the be top company magazine, he describes how he helps other runners achieve their target race times by running just ahead of them to set the pace as accurately as possible. Dirk Pretorius is clearly a strong partner to have in a marathon – after all, running in somebody else’s slipstream is also less of a physical and mental strain than running alone.

The new be top shows why Rittal similarly sees itself as a pacemaker. Ever since it was first launched, the company has set the pace within the industry – from the early idea of standardisation in control and switchgear engineering right through to current digitization and Industry 4.0 developments such as web-based configuration systems. For Rittal as a pacemaker, digitization means ensuring that customers achieve their aims quickly and efficiently. “To us, digitization means delivering better results in even less time and with fewer resources – enabling our customers to achieve their goals,” explains Rittal CEO Dr Karl Ulrich Köhler.

Staff at the Friedhelm Loh Group believe that speed is also vital in engineering, so that customers can enjoy the benefits of productive, innovative solutions. As Eplan and Cideon CEO Maximilian Brandl explains in be top: “The ability to act in real time is absolutely essential. If you wish to be fast in the engineering space in the longer term, you’re going to need stamina. And that stamina can only be achieved with the right IT and the right processes.”

Getting there faster

When core processes are being completed in ten minutes rather than two or three hours, this clearly delivers a major boost to efficiency. And it is exactly what has been achieved at Eplan. The company has allowed customers to test its new Eplan Cogineer automation tool ahead of its market launch, enabling “the early bird to catch the worm”. Thanks to feedback from these customers, the solution – which cuts circuit diagram design time by up to 90 percent – has now been specifically adapted to user requirements. The new edition of be top tracks this development from the “early-bird” phase through to the final solution.

Faster to the customer

Rittal uses unbeatably flexible service solutions to meet the challenges posed by the Indian market. From heat and long distances to an infrastructure still in development, be top reports on the challenges that arise in this market and how Rittal service engineers in India take to motorcycles to weave though busy streets. They can simply sail past traffic jams and get to customers much faster – once again, it's all about speed.

Faster approvals

Different markets, different standards. The new be top shows how plant engineer ATR is preparing itself for the US market with the help of expert know-how and competent partners such as Rittal. Unlike in Europe, exports to North America are bound by the standards of Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Rittal supplies products that are already UL-listed and can therefore be used in the United States without any problem.

Fast growth

As a start-up, it takes more than a little courage to break into a heavily contested market with extremely standardised products. However, with bright new ideas and strong partners like Stahlo, Dutch company Nedprofielen, which manufactures sheet-steel profiles has done just that. After only one year of being up and running, Managing Director Gert-Jan van der Ham is already reporting rapid growth in production volumes. In the be top interview, he explains how he achieved this.

Fast integration

“It was particularly important for us to see whether they really were motivated – and they were,” says Stefan Nadler, Chairman of the Works Council at the Rittal plant in Rittershausen and initiator of the Friedhelm Loh Group’s new integration project. He is referring to Youssef and Hussein Almohamad, two of the fifteen participants in the “Direct entry for refugees into the workplace” pilot project, which helps refugees who are keen to work but lack school leaving qualifications, training and language skills. The Group is actively involving its employees in the project, thus creating the necessary conditions for complete integration that goes far beyond the workplace. This edition of be top reports on the project and the progress the two brothers are making.

The latest be top clearly shows that know-how, speed and setting the right pace are all key criteria for success. They drive us forward and act as a boost for high performance and innovation. Having strong, reliable partners like the pacemaker Dirk Pretorius is also crucial on the path to success. They give us the support we need to reach our goals with maximum precision. Read more in the latest be top 2/2017, available to download at

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