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  • Dear Readers,

    The term “shutdown” is really not the best choice of word for describing what our customers and we do during a major turnaround. The only thing that has been shut down is the facility itself – everything else around it is a hive of activity. In fact, work begins months before a shutdown is due to take place as everything has to be meticulously planned and organised and all possible parts produced in advance so that the plant can be up and running again in as short a time as possible.

    BUCHEN and XERVON took part in two major shutdowns earlier this year – both at the same time. All in all, the two companies deployed around 1,200 employees over this four-week period to carry out a whole range of different tasks. Very few companies in Germany are able to take on such a mammoth project. Read our feature article to find out how we succeeded in doing this.

    Brand-new technological developments

    Another thing that creates a hive of activity at our company is our desire to solve our customers’ problems and find bespoke solutions that meet their exact requirements. We are constantly working on further improving our services by developing technical innovations that make processes even more efficient. We have come up with a number of smart ideas for a range of different applications. From closed loop processes, to getting maintenance work fit for the future with condition monitoring, all the way through to creating our own complex technological developments such as the dense phase conveyor system and our very own industrial cleaning robot, the automated industrial cleaner (AIC).

    No matter what development we may be looking at, our focus is always on improving workplace safety. As a result, we have launched a variety of product innovations onto the market recently that makes working in boilers much safer. We have also been awarded a number of work safety prizes from our customers – demonstrating that this subject is just as important for them as well. And we are happy to admit that we are extremely proud to have been awarded these. They are proof that our ongoing efforts to improve work safety are bearing fruit. Whether it be RWE, EVONIK or Covestro – to name just a few – they have all commended us and thanked us for the hard work we carry out in this area. We, too, would like to say a big “thank you” to them: for giving us these awards and giving us the opportunity to work with them. We are also doubly proud because we operate in such a wide range of fields, all of which – such as tank cleaning work – have their own particular hazards and risks. Our experts are in high demand both for onshore and, in particular, offshore projects. From the North Sea to the easternmost region of Russia: our customers like to make the very most of our in-depth know-how and specialist technology.

    Outstanding scaffolding services

    What’s more, the latest scaffolding projects in Sweden and Austria clearly demonstrate just what a name XERVON has made for itself as one of the leading European scaffolding businesses. Both projects involve extremely complex requirements, whether it has to do with weather protection or special anchorage solutions. In fact, we are well-known for delivering specialty scaffolding solutions in all of the countries we operate in. Which was one of the reasons why we invested in our scaffolding business in the German town of Eisenhüttenstadt. With both the workforce and workload having expanded over the last few years, we decided to invest in our employees, in our customers and in the region as a whole.

    Have fun reading this first ever digital edition of our magazine – you’re bound to read about a service or product that could be of interest to your own business!

    • Hans-Dieter Behrens

      Olaf Karrass

      Jürgen Lennertz

    • Matthias Ebach

      Carsten Lange

      Klaus Thiele

Well equipped for the future

With the building work completed, XERVON’s scaffolding specialists in Eisenhüttenstadt were able to move into their new offices at the beginning of March and are now enjoying working in this new and modern environment. A ceremony was held, of course, to officially open the building which also included a programme of interesting events for all those attending.

Space for efficiency, quality and growth

The company’s scaffolding branch in Eisenhüttenstadt has a long history that goes all the way back to when it was part of East Germany and delivered services to the local steelworks, Stahlwerk Eisenhüttenkombinat Ost (EKO). This steel mill still exists today, operating under the name ArcelorMittal Eisenhüttenstadt GmbH, and XERVON’s scaffolding experts are now well-known for their high quality services across the whole of the region. They have been working from their offices in Seefichtenstraße since 1994. The company has now once again invested in the future and built a modern, two-storey office building just 30 metres from their old one.

This new building has plenty of space for the team, which has expanded rapidly over the last few years: modern changing rooms, storage rooms and staffrooms with a kitchenette can be found on the ground floor, whilst the first floor is home to offices (with the latest computer technology) and a large meeting room that can hold up to twenty people. Branch manager, Torsten Schenk, commented: “We all love working in the new building. The large conference room is also really useful – in the past we always had rent a room elsewhere if there was a large group of us meeting.” He even went a step further saying: “I’m confident that this new building will help further increase the standing of the scaffolding business in the region.”

An opening ceremony with a spectacular programme of events

  • There was, therefore, good reason to celebrate the opening of the new offices and this is exactly what the team did at the beginning of March – putting on an all-day event for all those wishing to attend including company representatives, employees and their families and many business partners. A programme of events had been organised that lasted throughout the day and gave the visitors an interesting insight into the scaffolding business. Branch manager Thorsten Schenk and his team had prepared numerous activities. They made the very most of the day to show how scaffolding work has changed over the last few years and become a business that requires high levels of skill.

    Not only did XERVON’s industrial climbers put on an impressive display of their work, they also demonstrated how operatives can be rescued high up on a scaffold should they get into difficulty – a truly spectacular sight. A large stand had also been set up dedicated to the whole subject of safety. This showed, for example, what tools and safety equipment scaffolders need to wear and carry with them nowadays. A dummy wearing all the gear including personal protective equipment (protective clothing, protective mask, gas detector etc) illustrated this perfectly and many of the visitors were astounded by just how extensive a scaffolder’s kit actually is.

Scaffolding of today and yesteryear

On another section of the grounds, a scaffold was continuously being erected and taken down throughout the day to give all the guests, who had little experience of the industry, the opportunity to see how this work is performed close up. Setting up the base, adjusting the height, levelling the surface, aligning the system, erecting the first scaffolding level, building the rest of the scaffold and then taking it down again ... alternating teams of scaffolders demonstrated how each individual stage was carried out – with all of them wearing a full set of PPE (personal protective equipment), of course.

There was also a particularly interesting display of scaffolding material that took a look back at how the equipment has changed over the decades: a whole range of materials were on show – from the wooden scaffolding poles with ‘VEB Gerüstbau’ inscribed on them all the way through to the systems being used at the moment – with all of them being, of course, “state-of-the-art” when they were in use. “This display clearly demonstrated just how much this business has changed in such a relatively short period of time and how much skill and know-how are needed,” Thorsten Schenk continued. As was demonstrated by a cube of scaffolding made up of scaffolding tubes and couplers. This structure was around three metres by three metres and had been made by two XERVON scaffold labourers as part of their further training course to become scaffolding specialists.

One of the highlights of the event can still be viewed today: the team had put together scaffolding to create the word XERVON and painted it red and white to match the company colours. This impressive structure (seven metres long and two metres high) has been placed next to the entrance of the new building, making it very clear which company is working inside.

Since the craft of scaffolding officially became an apprenticeship profession in 1991 and a professional trade with a master’s certificate in 1998, the job of scaffolder has become an attractive career choice with good job prospects. XERVON offers scaffolding apprenticeship jobs at its different locations to give young people the opportunity to qualify in this profession. Should you be interested in such an apprenticeship, then simply send your application to Mr Soenke Friedrich at

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