STÜKEN North America is celebrating its 20th anniversary. What in 1998 began as a spin-off of the German deep-drawing specialist has established itself as a valuable development partner for customers from all over the world.
For STÜKEN, the 1990s were a decade full of innovative product ideas for sophisticated deep-drawing technology – above all in the automotive industry. This industry developed new systems such as electronic brake systems, airbags or fuel injection systems to make driving safer and more economical. STÜKEN set standards in terms of practicality and cost savings with its deep-drawn stainless steel housings for fuel injectors. New technologies such as laser welding, camera monitoring and eddy current testing paved the way for further market share. Export increased, especially to the USA. Consequently, the family-owned business opened a plant in South Carolina in 1998 – the first international location for the medium-sized company. “You have to go where the customer demand is. With a certain volume it makes more sense to supply locally”, explains Dr. Hubert Schmidt, STÜKEN”s Chief Executive Officer.
In the 20 years since its foundation, the size of the production area has more than tripled from 3,000 sqm to 10,200 sqm. The third production hall was inaugurated in February 2015. In terms of technical equipment, the American subsidiary is in no way inferior to the German parent company. State-of-the-art deep-drawing technology plus a range of finishing processes meet almost every customer requirement. When the customer develops new products, STÜKEN co-develops and lines up accordingly. As a result, the team has grown from 10 to around 120 employees. “Some years ago STÜKEN North America started a training program in the field of mechanical engineering based on the German apprenticeship model,” says Mark Foote, Vice President & General Manager. “With this program we target students from the surrounding high schools and hope to gain qualified junior staff.”
The majority of customers still come from the automotive industry – but no longer only from the USA. STÜKEN North America exports 45% of its products to China, Japan, Brazil, Mexico, Hong Kong and Europe. Today the oldest STÜKEN subsidiary – the group also operates plants in China and the Czech Republic – is going its own way. In its portfolio it already has successful projects in the field of medical engineering. One of the success stories is a high-quality insulin pen made of anodized aluminum, available in numerous colors. The deep-drawn covers and caps from STÜKEN replaced turned brass parts. This innovative approach helped to reduce costs and increase possibilities: only by using aluminum with its suitability for anodizing the many colors were made possible. Mark Foote: “A nice piece of development work in our company, a big advantage for our customer.”
In this manner STÜKEN North America aims for further growth and expects sales of 25 million US dollars for 2018.
Founded in 1931, STÜKEN today is considered the leading global supplier of precision deep-drawn parts made of metal. Stampings and injection molded parts as well as complex assemblies complete the range and guarantee customers finished products of highest quality. The products can be found in countless applications from domestic appliances and fittings to computers, mobile phones and automobiles. Statistically every car sold worldwide contains 40 STÜKEN components. The independent, innovative family-owned company based in the German city of Rinteln on the river Weser has about 1.250 employees, subsidiaries in the United States, the Czech Republic and the People´s Republic of China, and achieved sales of 187 million euros in 2017.