HEUTE Maschinenfabrik (translates as HEUTE machine factory) is a manufacturer and distributor of cleaning products from Solingen, Germany. While the company’s traditional business field has been shoe shine machines, today their most important product series is ProfilGate. This is a series of cleaning fields (embedded mats) for wheels, tyres and boots.

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

HEUTE: It’s industry of all kinds and their logistics departments, as they tend to be the gate of ingress for dirt. Every company and factory that needs to produce cleanly without dirt or dusts in their facilities needs our products – be it engineering, electronics, chemistry or automotive. Process-reliability is the name of our game.

Another branch we supply with our products is food-processing. Since we have several series of cleaning fields with integrated disinfection, we can provide process-reliability in these sectors as well.

E.E: What’s the news about new products?

HEUTE: Our system ProfilGate is in constant evolution. It started as a single product for the cleaning of tyres, but became a family of product variants. The reason why there is no catch-all ProfilGate is that our use cases are so different and specific. To give you an example: Our youngest product, ProfilGate xs, hit the markets last year and is specialised in the very small castors Automated Ground Vehicles (AGVs) tend to have. This enables us to supply a market of smart factories that encountered the problem of cleaning AGV wheels while the robot is constantly on the move. We are currently working on another variant for use outside of our usual customer base, the industry. But at this point in time, we cannot share more info on that ProfilGate variant.

E.E: What are the ranges of products?

HEUTE: Over time, two branches of ProfilGate have developed: The original one, which is a dry form of cleaning shoe soles and wheels. The other one is the ProfilGate aqua family, which, as the name already implies, is wet cleaning and disinfection. While the dry products use hot-zinc dipped steel grates, the aqua family instead uses inox stainless steel, as it is usual in the food-processing industry.

The products are further categorised in different tray depths and grate mesh sizes. The mesh size correlates with the size of wheel that is supposed to be supported and cleaned by the system, while the tray depth mostly varies with frequency of use. 

This way, ProfilGate can support any wheel size between lorry tyres and small castors and provide smooth rides with the best cleaning result.

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?

HEUTE: In a way, we have our very own market, since there are no serious competitors thanks to our patented mechanisms. On the other hand, the market for industrial cleaning devices is huge, just as the demand is. The difference between those products and ProfilGate is that our cleaning field prevents the ingress and proliferation, conventional cleaning wipes after the fact. The few pre-emptive devices that exist, such as mats, are neither long-lasting nor sustainable. 

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

HEUTE: Industrial cleaning will become more important. For one, companies learn to present themselves as clean factories with a sheen. Especially when they go through the trouble of new buildings, they have to be really presentable. Hence ProfilGate is a great choice for them, as it takes away effort while giving them better results than other means. 

At the same time, requirements become more strict. Companies have to put in more effort to pass certificate audits. For example: Recently the BRC Global Standard has introduced the need to disinfect mobile equipment when it enters productions. Our customers who already use ProfilGate aqua can sleep easily as they need not to take measures. They’re set. Others on the other hand need to scramble.

E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?

HEUTE: We regularly visit factories and therefore know: The undersides of forklifts can look terrifying, especially in dairy and food processing. Hence we developed our stand-out product, ProfilGate aqua spray. We have specifically designed this cleaning system to pressure-wash the bottom side and the convoluted angles of the forks with disinfectant solution. The important thing is that the cleaning happens on ground level and there is no need to lift the vehicle. The procedure is different compared to other ProfilGate systems, as the user needs to stop on the cleaning field. But it’s only for a few seconds and the pressure-wash prevents dirt and cross-contaminations from proliferation unseen under your forklifts.

E.E: What estimations do you have for 2024?

HEUTE: One thing we have learned from the CoViD pandemic is that our business mostly is crisis-proof, or at least crisis-resistant. As long as manufacturers continue to exist, they will need to keep their facilities clean to uphold standards. That’s when we come in and improve their factory. Even the high-rise of resource prices did not impede our growth. So whatever high or low for the industry, or the German industry in particular, will come in 2024, we are confident we can tackle it with vigour.