Innovation, high quality products, market proximity and the belief in Switzerland as a business location are the cornerstones of the Birchmeier philosophy. Founded in 1876, the company develops and manufactures the products in its own factory in Stetten AG, Switzerland. With its suppliers, who are mainly based in Switzerland as well, the company has been working successfully for decades. This allows ongoing process monitoring, a high level of flexibility and improvements in quality and the products in general. The customers benefit from prompt deliveries and excellent customer service. Interview with Jürg Zwahlen, owner and chairman of Birchmeier. Birchmeier products are manufactured in our modern production facilities Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company? Jürg Zwahlen: When it comes to the precise application of liquids, powder or granules, private and professional users from the sectors of horticulture, industry, hygiene, facility management, cleaning, construction, agriculture, forestry and from the automobile industry rely on the devices from Birchmeier. With this wide range of products, one can find the perfect device for every application. With each Birchmeier product, the customers benefit from top quality, functionality and durability as well as a 10-year spare parts availability guarantee. Birchmeier products are manufactured in our modern production facilities E.E: What’s the news for 2021 about products? J.Z: Birchmeier has converted its battery-powered sprayers (two-wheel sprayers, wheelbarrow sprayers, pumping stations and backpack sprayers in different versions) to the Cordless Alliance System (CAS). The cross-manufacturer battery system brings together 17 companies from various sectors. Those manufacturers offer more than 200 different tools that can be used with the same battery pack. This is a great advantage for the user because the battery and the charger are expensive. Once the user owns a CAS battery, he or she can use it for a large number of garden and electric tools. Thanks to the CAS system, over 200 different tools and devices can be used with the same battery pack E.E: What are the ranges of traded products? J.Z: The wide range of products includes anything from small hand sprayers to manually operated or battery-powered backpack or cart sprayers that can be used for spraying, foaming, diluting and spreading. There is also a matching range of accessories for virtually all applications. Designed to be durable and backed up by dependable customer service and the “Made in Switzerland” quality label, the products meet the most demanding requirements of private and professional users around the world. Birchmeier devices are suitable for applications in house and garden, for hobby or professional use E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active? J.Z: Amongst all the markets in which Birchmeier is active, disinfection is currently highly active and demanding. The company has been producing disinfection sprayers for decades. The manual and battery-powered sprayers have themselves proven worldwide with the most common disinfectants long before the Covid-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, when it comes to efficient disinfection, there are three key requirements: the right disinfectant, the right application unit and the right use. Sufficient disinfectant must be applied over the entire surface with no areas missed. Our contribution is a range of products uncompromisingly geared towards disinfection: the right nozzle, pressure, flow, spray pattern, droplet size and chemical resistance – with or without additional air support. Birchmeier products are used worldwide for disinfection E.E: What can you tell us about market trends? J.Z: We see a global trend towards more environmental awareness. This leads to a demand for more sustainable and environmentally friendly products. With our high-quality devices with a long service life, we have been following this philosophy for decades, long before a broader environmental awareness developed. Another important tendency is the demand for battery-powered tools. As a partner of the cross-manufacturer CAS system, we fully comply with the ecological mindset for multi-use by using one battery for many tools. More comfort at work is also gaining importance. Our ergonomic devices relieve the user and are more efficient and safer. E.E: What is the latest innovative product marketed? J.Z: With the air-supported spraying technology, we have developed a new, very efficient and environmentally friendly spraying method. The market reacted to this innovation with great interest and honoured the product with several innovation awards. The new device, the AS 1200 spray blower, combines the advantage of conventional nozzle spraying technology with a controlled airflow. State-of-the-art electronics and battery technology are used. This new air-supported spraying technology can be used in plant protection, viticulture, horticulture, agriculture, greenhouse cultivation, food storage as well as pest control and disinfection. Air supportet technology is state of the art from Birchmeier E.E: What estimations do you have for 2020/21? J.Z: Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, every forecast for the current year turned out to be wrong. We see a similar situation for the coming year. We have to react flexibly and quickly to the given situation, but we assume that the global pandemic will be overcome step by step and that we can return to normal economic conditions. Accordingly, most of the industries that have now suffered will return to normal. As a company, we are active in a very large number of markets and a wide range of applications, so this mix will allow us to balance the situation.