Whether in production, maintenance or on building sites: processes are currently overtaking themselves in virtually every area. Everything has to happen more efficiently and the tools used need to be able to respond more flexibly than ever to new developments. Without any downtimes. Without the risk of failure. And, at the same time, ensuring that maximum safety at work is still guaranteed. Since the demands of users are growing and the regulations are constantly getting stricter, Günzburger Steigtechnik, as a quality manufacturer, is repeatedly being asked to come up new innovations – in terms of process optimisation, digitalisation, work safety and new materials. This innovative spirit is one of the ingredients for success at Günzburger Steigtechnik: in 2019, the company once again increased its performance across all KPIs and was once again rewarded for its innovative ideas.
"I'm extremely proud of how successful our work was again over the last financial year. Alongside team spirit, innovative strength is the key ingredient in our success. As a quality manufacturer with a passion for innovation and leadership, we will continue to invest long-term in research and development", says Ferdinand Munk, Managing Director of Günzburger Steigtechnik GmbH, adding: "We want to make our access technology solutions fit for the future and constantly adapt them to changing processes and specifications. We set the course for this a few years ago, joining the Augsburg Technology Centre, for example. Here, we benefit from short pathways on development projects. At the site in Günzburg, we have also set up our own innovation workshop, which focuses on the access technology of tomorrow and strategic projects to secure the future."
Focus on new materials
The quality manufacturer from Bavaria is researching the use of new materials, for example. "The trend is very clearly towards lightweight construction methods, as the enormous success of our aluminium ladders already demonstrates. However in future ladders could also be made from alternative materials, and that will also be popular thanks to their low weight", says Munk.
Günzburger Steigtechnik is looking at the material of the future, as well as the communication of the future, which is already in the process of undergoing digital change. This is becoming patently clear in the company's Special Designs division: the access technology solutions integrated into production lines are automatically connected through state-of-the-art control technology to the upstream cycle times of production planning, while special sensors ensure permanent monitoring, preventing downtimes.
E-mobility in access technology
The trend towards e-mobility also has a role to play in access technology. "A few years ago, we developed a mobile maintenance platform for Alstom that is equipped with a high-performance battery and can therefore be moved wirelessly along the entire length of a maintenance track. This desire for independence from the plug socket is one we hear time and time again when it comes to new industry projects, and this is very clearly the future", says Munk.
E-mobility is also the order of the day in the company's rescue equipment range. Günzburger Steigtechnik has therefore revolutionised the supply of materials to fire services and aid organisations with the first electrically powered mobile container, the eRC. The eRC allows equipment and material to be effortlessly transported by one person from A to B, even on difficult terrain and across obstacles such as hoses and kerbs.
Extra work safety
However the company is not just looking to excel itself with new developments in rescue equipment and high-end special designs: it also wants to constantly set new benchmarks in its standard range, which already comprises over 1,600 products. In the last financial year, for example, Günzburger Steigtechnik unveiled the new generation of the nivello® ladder shoe which, thanks to a patented 2-axis inclination technology in the integrated joint, allows full-surface contact with the ground and therefore optimises static stability. The nivello® has already won several awards in 2019 for the added value it offers.
The two new step ladder products also offer extra safety at work: the two-part push-up extension ladder with steps and the step window cleaner's ladder. Their development was inspired by the new version of the TRBS 2121 Part 2 and they meet the stricter requirements of the Technical Regulations for Operational Safety (valid since the start of 2019). According to these regulations, if ladders are used as a place of work, only steps rather than rungs are permitted to be used as the base areas alongside platforms. Both new step ladder products were awarded the Special Prize at the EuroTest Awards Ceremony sponsored by BG BAU (Institution for Statutory Accident Insurance and Prevention for the Building Industry), recognising Günzburger Steigtechnik's innovative strength in the field of prevention.
Günzburger Steigtechnik also developed the MaxxStep step module in 2019, which allows rung ladders to be used for work at height as well. With this innovation, rung ladders become TRBS-compliant in moments. MaxxStep can be attached easily, quickly and, most importantly, without any need for tools, and is available in various sizes. To add extra slip protection, the module can be equipped with the clip-step step padding and R13 clip-step from the Climb smart! innovation and technology leader.
The R13 clip-step step padding has set a new benchmark in non-slip step surfaces, as it complies with the strict specifications of the most exacting slip prevention assessment group R13, thereby allowing ladders to also be used in wet, oil-contaminated and dusty work areas.
About the MUNK Group
With its business units MUNK Günzburger Steigtechnik, MUNK Rettungstechnik and MUNK Service, the MUNK Group is one of the leading suppliers of access solutions and rescue equipment and corresponding service solutions. As a technology and innovation leader in access solutions, the name Munk stands for safety made in Germany. The company is now run by the fourth and fifth generations of the Munk family. With the reorganisation under the umbrella of the MUNK Group, the former Günzburger Steigtechnik GmbH has given itself an even more clearly differentiated company structure to ensure its future and is making it clear with its name that the company will remain in family hands. Under the motto: One family. One name. One mission.
In the MUNK Günzburger Steigtechnik business unit for access solutions, the MUNK Group carries over 2,500 products in its standard range, from ladders for commercial, public and private use to mobile scaffolding, platforms, stairs and bridging steps to custom-made special constructions. These include, for example, work and maintenance platforms, docking systems, walkways and assembly platforms, which, in the era of digitalisation, can also be automatically adapted to the respective environment using the latest control technology.
In the MUNK Rettungstechnik business unit for rescue equipment, the company offers access solutions and transport logistics for fire, rescue and disaster relief operations. These include, for example, multi-functional ladders, scaling and push-up extension ladders, rescue platforms, toolboxes, station equipment and a wide range of mobile containers. In the MUNK Service business unit, the MUNK Group bundles the areas of installation, testing, repair and maintenance of access solutions and rescue equipment, as well as seminars.
The MUNK Group is always drawing attention to itself with new ideas that offer customers real added value in practice. It has already received several awards for its innovations, its economic development, its responsible and sustainable actions and as a family-friendly employer – most recently from the Oskar Patzelt Foundation as one of the three most impressive companies in the German SME sector. The company is also one of the top 100 innovators in the SME sector in 2021.
The MUNK Group manufactures exclusively in its home region of Günzburg. It was also the first provider ever to be audited by TÜV Nord in 2010 with the certified proof of origin “Made in Germany” and grants a guarantee of 15 years on all standard made in Germany products. The MUNK Group employs around 380 people at its headquarters in Günzburg and Leipheim and will invest around 20 million euros in its sites in 2021.