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Category: Group news

28.09.2019

A very pleasing look back at the past and with optimism for the future


“A 100th company anniversary is really something special”. Thomas Niehoff, Managing Director of the East Westphalia Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Bielefeld, must know what he is talking about, as more than 130,000 companies are listed in his chamber district. At the end of September, Niehoff presented an honorary certificate to the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Seppeler Group, Kai Seppeler, at the Rietbergwerke's afternoon anniversary celebration. More than 800 guests, comprising staff, their relatives, customers, suppliers and partners were present at a cheerful family celebration during the day on the company's premises and were provided with various insights into the history of the company, which specialises in hot dip galvanizing and container technology. In the evening, about 650 guests accepted the invitation from the CEOs, Thomas Weise and Stefan Neese, to attend the Rietberger “Cultura” - a circular theatre in Rietberg.

What all started back in 1919 as a pipework and sheet metal factory, has now developed into a leading supplier of containers of various types and locations for hot dip galvanizing and corrosion protection. The Rietbergwerke thereby form the nucleus of today's Seppeler Group, which now employs around 1,400 staff in 14 companies and 19 operating business units in Germany and Poland. A company history, which was acknowledged by NRW (North Rhine-Westphalia) Prime Minister Armin Laschet in a video message as well as by NRW President of the State Parliament André Kuper along with Ralph Brinkhaus, Chairman of the CDU/CSU Parliamentary Group on site within the framework of the “Seppeler Late Night Show” evening event.

In retrospect, the history of the Rietbergwerke seems stringent and logical although constant transition has always continued to play a major role. Back in the early days, sheet metal and pipes were quickly turned into barrels, which have been protected against corrosion in the company's own galvanizing plant since 1922. Electrification of the German Federal Railways in the 1960s then enabled the Rietbergwerke to enter the field of contract galvanizing and manufacture galvanized power cable masts for extending the rail network. Over the years, the management team created around Dr. Klaus Seppeler, the father of Kai Seppeler, concentrated less on other business sectors such as agricultural engineering or constructing test benches and one started to focus more on tank and container and hot dip galvanizing at the Rietbergwerke. The takeover of the Helling & Neuhaus galvanizing plant, in nearby Gütersloh, enabled Dr. Klaus Seppeler to subsequently develop the expansion of the entire group.

The Rietbergwerke still benefits today from this diversity of design and constructive knowledge, which has been continuously developed over the past one hundred years. The container technology division develops and produces stationary and mobile container and tank systems, collection and storage tanks for fuel, fuel suction devices and customer-specific products, which are then protected against corrosion in the nearby galvanizing plant. The numerous major customers, metalworkers, locksmiths and private individuals also benefit from this know-how and the existing synergies when it concerns the design and construction of their components before they are hot dip galvanized in Rietberg.

The anniversary celebrations at Rietbergwerke were therefore highlighted by the motto “Setting things in motion. Making things work. Expressing our thanks” and the knowledge that this success was always affected by actions in the past, will influence the future and is the result of continuous work and constant transition. For this reason, Kai Seppeler and his wife Nina, who is responsible for the Seppeler Group's locations in Poland as Managing Director, were particularly keen to request a donation for the "Aktion Lichtblicke" (The campaign "Bright Spots"). The initiative has been supporting children, young people and their families throughout North Rhine-Westphalia since 1998, who are in financial and emotional need. The hosts were able to present a cheque for 20,000 Euros to a representative of the initiative during the evening, before the event continued on late into the night, indulging in many pleasant memories and celebrating extensively.