The foundation for SchäferRolls GmbH & Co. KG was laid in Stuttgart in 1946. What began with the repair of rubber tires is now one of the leading providers of roll systems and roll covers for the international industry with over 300 employees and a production area of more than 32,000 m². The third generation, medium-sized family company has its headquarters in Renningen (Southern Germany) and further locations in Northern Germany, Slovenia and the US. On the occasion of the company’s anniversary, we look back with today’s spokesman of the management board, Adrian Stoll, on 75 years of success and towards a prosperous future.
SchäferRolls is a leading name in the industry, renowned for its precision, technical expertise and solid track record
In 1946 your company history began with the repair of rubber tires. What are the key milestones in the development of your company?
Already back then, Hefner & Schäfer OHG (Fig. 1) used the vulcanisation process, a basic technology to process polymer materials and to manufacture roll covers, for the repair of rubber parts. In the 1950s, rubber rollers used for paper transport in the newly developed photocopier became our new main business. That’s how we got to the roll. A decisive and courageous step was the new building at our current location in Renningen in 1979 (Fig. 2) with an, at that time, enormous production area of 16,000 m².
This enabled us to venture into large rolls and thus supply to the paper industry.
In 2001, the joint venture Sava-Schäfer d.o.o. in Slovenia to supply the Eastern European markets marked the beginning of the internationalisation of SchäferRolls. In the beginning of the 2000s, we added composite and polyurethane roll covers to our production range. This enabled us to make the leap from a pure specialist in rubber roll covers to a holistic provider of elastic roll covers. The opportunity to participate in MWN Niefern Maschinenfabrik GmbH has given us the chance to act as a full-service supplier since 2006. With the foundation of SchaeferRolls Inc. in Farmington (New Hampshire) USA in 2008 and the opening of a second production plant in Covington (Virginia) in 2018 we continued aligning our product and production expertise with additional locations internationally.
How do you describe your current market position?
Over the years, SchäferRolls has been established as a quality leader on the market and a partner and supplier to well-known industrial companies in a variety of industries and applications. Customers continuously say: “There are roll covers and there are Schäfer roll covers!”. Such a statement only grows over decades as customers become satisfied with the product and service and then recommend us to others. We rely on uncompromising quality, consistent customer orientation, creativity and – most importantly – the right employees. We are thus able not only to hold our own against the large corporations but also to further expand our market position.
How important is the paper and tissue industry?
The pulp, paper, cardboard and tissue industry is – and will remain – an essential pillar of our business. This is reflected not only in the sales figures but also in the use of our development and production resources. With its technological demands for efficiency and reliability, the pulp, paper, cardboard and tissue industry drives us to ever new levels of excellence.
Do you carry out your own research and development?
The expertise for our recipes, the knowledge of raw material properties and the processing of our roll cover materials – these are well-kept secrets at SchäferRolls. At the same time, we maintain close development partnerships with our customers and suppliers.
We regularly visit them on site, listen carefully and try to work out ideas together. In this way, we keep our finger on the pulse of time and gain valuable industry knowledge for our developments. The ongoing development of our technological expertise is the basis for long-term company growth.
Is the next generation already in the starting blocks?
Our goal is to set up the company in such a way that we can pass it on to the next generation with a clear conscience – who ever the people involved may be. So that it is economically sound, respected internally and externally and perceived as goal-oriented and approachable. Together, we want to create a good transition at the right time. SchäferRolls is – and will remain – an independent, medium-sized company that goes off the beaten track for its customers. With uncompromising quality, flexibility, fairness and credibility, we want to continue to offer our customers a preferred alternative.
Short biography of Adrian Stoll
After graduating from high school and completing military service, he studied at the universities of Tübingen and Stuttgart to obtain a diploma in Business Administration.
He began his career as an assistant to the management and in the controlling of a medium-sized company in the field of industrial assemblies.
He then joined a family business in the customer service area and is currently the spokesperson of the Management Board of SchäferRolls.