BUCHEN and XERVON are celebrating three company anniversaries this year – demonstrating in an impressive way how tradition and progress can complement each other.
A partner for industrial businesses: The foundation stone for BUCHEN UmweltService GmbH was laid back in 1844. Originally a pump manufacturer, the company later specialised in delivering industrial services. Its technological know-how and experience and its high innovative spirit have ensured its success: now offering industrial services, waste management and remediation work as well as a whole range of specialist services, BUCHEN has become one of the leading industrial service providers in Europe.
BUCHEN-ICS GmbH, a company specialising in reactor services, catalyst handling, tank cleaning and chemical cleaning work, was founded back in 1979. ICS’ first subsidiary was then set up in the French town of Le Havre just five years later. It was also the BUCHEN Group’s first foreign subsidiary. With its services being in such high demand, especially from major industrial businesses, BUCHEN-ICS now has customers across the whole of Europe and is considered to be the leading international provider of reactor services.
XERVON Regio Benelux’s story began at the end of the 60s when the company carried out corrosion protection work for the Belgian chemical industry’s first new-build projects in the harbour district of Antwerp. After a branch was set up to be closer to the harbour, demand for the company’s services grew rapidly. Scaffolding was added to the portfolio in the middle of the 70s and insulation in 2005. XERVON Regio Benelux now has several branches across Belgium and the Netherlands and is one of the three largest service providers in the region.
Johann Schumacher founded a pump factory in 1844, right at the start of the Industrial Revolution in Prussia, as the region was known back then. This was also the very beginning of what has now become the BUCHEN Group. Three generations continued manufacturing pumps before Richard Buchen, who was married to one of the Schumacher granddaughters, took the firm in a new direction. He turned the company into a service provider that specialised in offering services to the growing industrial sector. To begin with, they primarily focused on industrial cleaning work – even back then, they were using high pressure water jet systems. At the end of the 60s, the portfolio was then extended to include hazardous waste management services, with the company running its own treatment plant. Soon after, it launched a third field of business: remediation work.
Over the following years, the company continued to steadily extend the number of its services in all three areas of business. Some important milestones here include the setting up of numerous divisions offering specialist services – from catalyst handling, nuclear services and sludge dewatering, to heat exchanger services and safety services, all the way through to carrying out turnarounds and cleaning large-scale tanks.
This systematic specialisation is certainly one of the main reasons why the business has been such a success.
Step by step, it has established itself within the Group as being the leading provider of industrial services. Health and safety are at the very core of the company’s policy. It set out its ‘Health & Safety Principles’ for the first time back in 1986 and, in 1995, BUCHEN was the first company in Germany to receive accreditation in line with the SCC Check List.
BUCHEN primarily works wherever the processing industry – such as refineries, chemical firms, and heavy industry businesses – are to be found. The company decided early on to build up a network so that it could be close to its customers. Its first branch was set up in 1961. Further branches and business units followed soon after – initially in the north, west and south of Germany and then in the east of the country after reunification. Besides growing its own business, the company has also carried out some targeted acquisitions to enable it to steadily expand its portfolio of services.
At the same time it was extending its presence on its home market, BUCHEN was also looking at building up and expanding its international operations. Its first foreign subsidiary was established in France in 1984. This was then followed by the foundation of subsidiaries in many different countries in the west, east and south of Europe before BUCHEN took the plunge and moved to another continent as well, establishing a company in Bahrain on the Persian Gulf in 2009.
BUCHEN is well-known for its innovative spirit – for continuously further developing conventional industrial cleaning systems and optimising them so it can offer highly specialised, automated services. In many cases, these improvements have been possible because of the new technology that the company itself has developed. In the 60s, for example, BUCHEN was the first firm to use a mobile unit for burning out refinery sludge. Numerous high pressure and ultra-high pressure cleaning devices have been developed since then so that the work could – and still can – be carried out more efficiently. These include the BTS Jet Washer system (a closed and automated tank cleaning system) and the Closed Loop system (a closed and automated system for cleaning heat exchangers). The company’s high innovative spirit and its years of technological experience and know-how will continue to be two of its main strengths. BUCHEN is well prepared for the future.