Founded in Kaiserslautern in 1864 by the brothers Karl and Jacob Pfeiffer as a machine engineering works and iron foundry, the comminution specialist stands for the durability of its machines and equipment, their exceptional reliability and high availability. Here, Gebr. Pfeiffer bases its offers on a wide range, from compact and small to the biggest installations in the world. Cement was ground in a Pfeiffer mill for the first time in 1894.
In recent years, there has been another boost to innovation: in 2006, the first MVR mill and in 2008 the first MultiDrive® drive in combination with a Pfeiffer vertical mill went into operation. In 2016, the then largest mill in the world at the time with a drive power of almost 12000 kW started grinding in Brazil. In 2017 the next innovation step followed in Africa: the world’s first modular plant (ready2grind) with a vertical mill for cement started up operation, many more are set to follow.
The latest developments include at present other products and services in digitalization and artificial intelligence (‘smart machines’), as well as the GPpro system for intelligent preventive maintenance.
Being there for customers around the globe
The board of Gebr. Pfeiffer SE, with Mathias Dülfer as CEO and board member Christoph Geupel, pursues a corporate strategy in which the long-term company development is regarded as more important than short-term success.
Innovative spirit, high quality standards and systematic orientation to the requirements of the customers worldwide are the trademarks of Gebr. Pfeiffer Group, which generates an annual turnover of around € 130 million.
Besides its own production in Kaiserslautern, the company works with external finishers around the world, which, of course, must meet the company’s high quality standards. A total of seven subsidiaries (USA, Russia, Malaysia, Brazil, China, Egypt and India), as well as the 25 representatives around the globe ensure that the company is always close to customers, and that with an export share of around 98%. Even if Europe remains an important market, there is a clear trend towards emerging nations. Southeast Asia has recovered particularly well after the most recent financial crisis. With almost 150 mills sold there, the Indian subcontinent remains a strong market for Gebr. Pfeiffer and Africa is catching up. The ready2grind technology is in demand especially in regions in which relatively small terminals are the right choice.
Besides the cement industry, which accounts for around 80% of sales, the gypsum, lime and minerals sectors are included among the company’s customers. For customer enquiries from other industries, the company also looks for suitable solutions.
In vertical mill technology, Gebr. Pfeiffer is one of the forerunners in the sector, and that not only for cement. Pfeiffer orients itself systematically to meeting market requirements and getting the resulting innovations up and running. These include besides the state-of-the-art MVR vertical mills for the cement and lime industry, the MultiDrive mill drives for power output to well over 10000 kW, the modular ready2grind grinding plants and the gypsum-calcining vertical mills.
Standard modules for diverse requirements
The German plant engineering company offers its worldwide customers comprehensive solutions – individually compiled on the basis of standard modules. Here, the engineers always have the specific requirements and the overall process in their sights. The Gebr. Pfeiffer experts aim only to ease up when everything is running perfectly. Multinational employees support the customers on a partnership basis over the entire lifecycle of the machines and equipment. It is only the quality of these Pfeiffer employees, from consultation through analysis, design, in-house manufacture, assembly and service that makes each plant a Pfeiffer achievement.
The flagships of Gebr. Pfeiffer include over 3000 MVR and MPS vertical roller mills that are used in various industries. Thanks to the design-related exceptionally smooth running of the MVR mill, extremely high product finenesses are possible. In Brazil, for example, a CEM I with a specific surface area of 5500 cm²/g acc. to Blaine is produced. In the lime segment, ultrafine products up to 10 µm are produced in Gebr. Pfeiffer MVR mills.
The MPS gypsum calcining mill can process different starting materials, from 100% natural gypsum to 100% FGD gypsum, here one machine is sufficient for grinding, drying, classifying and calcining – ideal for plasterboard production. Mills of this type are currently in operation with throughput rates of 10 to 100 t/h.
The other products include:
SLV high efficiency separator
SUV/SUT distribution table separator
TRT triplex dryer
KLV/KLE lime hydrators
ready2grind modular systems
MRD/MRE ball mills
Gebr. Pfeiffer supplies everything, from individual machine to engineering, procurement and construction.
The Kaiserslautern-based machine and plant engineering company supplies global players like, for example, LafargeHolcim or HeidelbergCement, but also many newcomers. Up to now, over 3000 vertical mills, including almost 100 MVRs, and a total of well over 4000 machines and plants have been supplied to over 100 countries in the world.
Service with a capital S
Besides offering an extensive product range, the company focuses on services, and here primarily aftersales services. To strengthen this area, in 2015, for example, a storey was added to an office building to extend the service department. The range of services of Gebr. Pfeiffer include besides assembly and commissioning, technical service and maintenance work. Moreover, in addition to service contracts and Pfeiffer-maintenance software for preventive maintenance GPpro, upgrades and modernizations, replacement parts supply incl. consignment stocks as well as training form part of the comprehensive portfolio.
Employee motivation as the driver of success
The company sees its biggest asset in the experience and commitment of its more than 500 employees and is gratified by their special sense of belonging. This often applies to entire families: Gebr. Pfeiffer is not only a family business because it still belongs to the founder family today, but also because many employees are working in the company in the second or third generation. The company is particularly proud of the low fluctuation in its workforce.
The company puts everything into creating a particularly respectful environment. The company philosophy includes besides a flat hierarchy and dynamic management also the possibility of mobile working. Employees are included in decisions and various training programmes ensure continuous further development.
Every Pfeiffer machine is a team achievement, all employees are conscious of this and everyone lives by the common motto: “Getting it done!”
With a view into the future
Gebr. Pfeiffer sets its development focuses on the topics of digitalization, sustainability and emission reduction.
The company researches and develops together with partners such as Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology as well as Kaiserslautern Technical University and Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics (ITWM). Close cooperation is also maintained with partners from machine engineering, e.g. the gear unit specialist Flender, with whom the MultiDrive was jointly developed.
Latest developments in the product range are the MVR with 10% increased capacity, several digital products and G4C – an efficient system for cement grinding plants to separately influence the gypsum phases.
With regard to energy saving and CO2 reduction, the continuous development of energy-efficient grinding technologies and the increased use of alternative materials for clinker are always a focus.
The company sees itself well-equipped for the future in Kaiserslautern. With the experience from 156 years, Gebr. Pfeiffer is stepping up to the current and future topics in the cement, lime and gypsum industry: digitalization, increasing efficiency, standardization and cost reduction, but sustainability, energy and emission reductions, too.