Founded in 1898, Schäfer-Technic is a family-owned company with a team of 80 experts. For more than four decades the company has been specializing in developing and producing some of the world’s top machines and equipment for preservation, refurbishment and repairs of roads in any kind. Their product range is focused on bitumen processing machinery with the highest practical utility. Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company? Schäfer-Technic: In the world of today, we all are subject to various expectations, quick changes and new circumstances. The same goes for our business partners. We are aware that our customers’ needs and requirements towards their equipment would vary and expand as time goes by. Our salespeople and engineers keep an ear to the ground to estimate, analyze and understand what those demands could be. With this method we are confident to offer the best possible solution to our clients. The results are state-of-the-art and individual machinery with exceptional processing quality and a long servicing life. The high number of active schäfer-technic machines in many countries is an affirmation of our work. E.E: What’s the news about new products? Schäfer-Technic: During the last few years, we were able to present quite a few innovations to the markets. At the fair Hillhead in the UK, we successfully unveiled the world’s first all-electric bond/tack coating machine! The “BSM-Pe” operates in situ completely emission-free – including the carrier vehicle. Another new product is the “SM1700” whose size is extremely small. It finally enables the automation work with micro-surfacing on narrow roads such as pavements or bicycle lanes. Micro-surfacing is a highly economic and environmentally friendly method, which extends the life of the road without renewing the surface completely and does not require energy for heating up the building material. Both machines can be seen at the schäfer-technic stand on this year’s BAUMA fair in Munich. – 2 – E.E: What are the ranges of products? Schäfer-Technic: schäfer-technic hast a vast range of products for a lot of different construction methods: For surfaces: Surface dressing machines OB-Vario Bitumen sprayers SRChipping spreaders ST Micro surfacing machines SM For layer bondings for the preparation of asphalt application: Bond coat sprayers BSM Edge spraying machines SKS Repairs of damaged areas Mini-Mix (micro surfacing and cold asphalt mixtures) Repair trains RZA-Vario Blow-Patchers Sealing technology: Sealing cookers LS Products for treatment of cracks and joints Laying machine for bituminous sheeting There are also special products such as tanks for bitumen or emulsions, as well as unique and individual products for more specific needs. E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active? Schäfer-Technic: As you know, many markets are currently suffering from price increases and problems in the supply chain. The increase of building material costs, especially for bitumen, is a big challenge for the most of our customers. The additional expenses often cannot be passed on to their clients, since the principals of the construction sites, e.g. German municipalities, have strongly restricted budgets. This means that there are very little funds to finance the many roads in bad condition. In contrast; when it comes to new asphalt constructions, there are a lot of large tenders for work on motorways, which tend to be won by bigger companies. The big construction companies profit from it, while small construction firms draw the short straw. At the same time, construction companies of all sizes are having problems finding qualified and motivated personnel. Since the product range of schäfer-technic offers a high number of different machines for different methods, our risk is spread onto multiple markets. E.E: What can you tell us about market trends? Schäfer-Technic: In general, you can see a clear orientation of the road construction industry towards renewable energies and sustainability. Northern Europe is showing great interest in electrically powered construction machinery. Fortunately, we were able to anticipate and prepare for this tendency. The world’s first all-electric bond coat sprayer made by schäfer-technic is already on the market and other types of electric machines are under development. – 3 – In Germany, new construction and expansion of bicycle lanes are in trend. For this usage, we offer a number of small and maneuverable machines. The Patch-method is an established form of road rehabilitation in France. There, we are the largest producer of Blow-Patchers. Our developments are often groundbreaking and ensure the highest working quality and most convenient operation while requiring less man-power than similar machines. In all other corners of the world, we are experiencing a growing demand for micro-surfacing machines. E.E: What estimations do you have for 2022? Schäfer-Technic: This year we have had a lot of difficulty of procuring small components as well as truck chassis. This makes our production planning very difficult and results in longer lead time until our customers can finally work with their new machines. This of course is unsettling for our customers who are already struggling with the same problems themselves. Consequently, investments are not very intuitive for construction companies at the moment. As a family-run company, we are fortunate to have maintained a very efficient financial situation in the previous years. This secures us to manage the current tough time with fewer orders than in years before the pandemic. We take advantage of this rather calm time to optimize our processes and to work on ourselves in order to come back stronger when the time comes.