Our mission: "expand our client portfolio worldwide and convince them to choose Demaclenko"
Andreas Dorfmann has been the CEO of Demaclenko since December 2012. At first he led the merger of the companies Demac and Lenko, and formed a new team from two existing ones, launching at the same time a new brand and product portfolio aimed at combining the best of each company’s technology and heritage and thus offer a product always tailored to customer needs. The next challenge is to focus on the manufacturing process, in order to be able to be even more competitive in the Alpine Region and worldwide. The German journalist Luise Weithaler interviewed Andreas Dorfmann for Mountain Manager.
MM: "As announced at Interalpin, Demaclenko has started a new production site in Telfs (Tyrol, Austria) already in 2015; why this decision?"
Andreas Dorfmann: " When we incorporated Demaclenko in 2011 we decided that Demaclenko Telfs was going to be Demaclenko’s holding company and that we would also manufacture here at some later stage of our consolidation. This is also why we relocated our Austrian staff, who are in charge of sales, service and project management in Austria and Germany, from the old Lenko subsidiary in Radfeld to Telfs/Zirl. We have also started our worldwide spare parts operation in Telfs/Zirl, hence from this location we are now able to service all our international customers and dealers. The obvious next step was to relocate also part of our production to Telfs. The reason for this decision is that we trust the industrial environment in Tyrol, where there are good infrastructural conditions as well as a good labour market; in addition to all that, there are quite a few large customers of Demaclenko who are not very far from Telfs. All things considered, both we as well as the Leitner Group consider Telfs a strategic location which will gain more and more importance."
MM:” What exactly is being done in Telfs? What is the time schedule?"
Andreas Dorfmann: " When Demaclenko was established, the Leitner Group purchased some land adjacent to the existing Leitner production site in order to create the new Demaclenko factory right there. But for the time being, the space currently allocated to us in the current building of the Group is adequate to build some of our product lines and thanks to the synergies with the LEITNER Ropeways, LEITWIND and PRINOTH human resource departments there is a large skilled workforce available in Telfs on which we can rely and which allows us to be more flexible and ready for our clients' demands. Our Group wants to exploit the production capacity of the Telfs factory in a balanced manner, but also exploit available synergies as much as possible - which is not an easy task.
MM:” Will these organizational changes lead to changes in other departments of Demaclenko? What about the sales and service departments? "
Andreas Dorfmann: " Regardless of changes in productions, the core sales team of Demaclenko will remain the same for our customers, but our service department has been strengthened in order to cope with the constantly growing number of machines and projects and to offer the best service possible at any time. In Italy we have newly organized our Service introducing a dedicated person for the spare parts business and one who is completely dedicated for the quality assurance of our snowguns. The rest of our Italian team will look after the service on site at construction projects and look after our international clients. The Austrian team was also reorganized and strengthened and will be dedicated to our Austrian and German customers in order to offer them the best possible service, and the same applies to our other teams in Switzerland and North America, where we have added highly skilled staff in the service area, as well as in France, where we have just started very successfully this spring with a new team who were already able to secure some important new projects."
MM:” What are your sales results so far this year? Please mention some concrete projects?"
Andreas Dorfmann: " The current order situation is not just good, it’s excellent, our growth this year will certainly be by a double-digit percentage. An increasing number of ski resorts have contacted us due to their recently difficult winter seasons. In Austria, one major order was awarded to us by the Schultz Group of Oberzillertal, who ordered more than 200 snow guns, of which 110 Titans in various configurations and more than 90 lances. We will continue the work we already started last year with the construction of a pump house in Kitzbuehel by delivering over 100 additional machines. Other Austrian orders came from Scheffau, Hopfgarten, Lienzer Bergbahnen, Flachau, Murau etc; in Germany are also working in Garmisch, for our old client Bayerische Zugspitzbahn, as well as in Brauneck, Jungholz and Wurmberg. In Switzerland, we are working on the renewal of the entire artificial snow making system of St. Moritz, which is getting ready to host the World Championships in 2017 and have placed a large order extending over the next three years, and we are proud of having been the sole supplier of this demanding customer for over 10 years already. Another important project comes from Corvatsch, nearby St. Moritz; this project is also a complete renewal job planned for the next two years. And then there is China: several ski resorts have ordered our snowguns and we doubled our sales year after year since 2013. I must say this market is really appealing, and is expected to grow further since China will host the 2022 Winter Olympics. Last but not least is Italy, where we continue our partnerships with Piz Sella, Colfosco, San Vigilio and where we won new customers such as San Martino di Castrozza and Prato Carnico. Also in Scandinavia we are having a good year, among others in April we won an important €5M project in Hafjell, Norway to renew and expand an existing snowmaking system, a job to be completed within October 2015. We also recently opened our new French subsidiary in Montmélian, at the current headquarters of Leitner France. We have already acquired some interesting projects in Praz de Lys and Les Gets and I have high expectations from this market, which is actually totally new territory for Demaclenko, but has a high potential since until now just 30 to 40% of the tracks are covered by technical snowmaking systems."
MM:” The new Titan 2.0. was presented at Interalpin. What has changed compared to the previous Titan? Which are the benefits of the further development of this model?"
Andreas Dorfmann: " The Titan was already a very successful fan gun with which we managed to stir-up various markets in the last three years since Demaclenko was launched. But we wanted to improve its performance further and we can now proudly claim that today the Titan is truly the market's most powerful snow maker. The improvements we made, thanks also to a cooperation with the German Frauenhofer-Institut, involve mainly the fan and the turbine, which improved the throwing range achievable with the same amount of energy. Since the throwing range leads 1:1 to a better crystallization of the snow flake, the snow quality and quantity were also improved. Titan 2.0 is getting enthusiastic reviews thanks to its snow quantity, snow quality and energy efficiency, and it now also runs more quietly. Even the nozzle ring concept has been improved, and enables an improved nucleation. The water flow range is between 1 and 11 l / s and is continuously adjustable. Needless to say that we selected only top quality materials to manufacture this outstanding product."
MM:” Which customers will use the new Titan 2.0 for the first time? "
Andreas Dorfmann: " Titan 2.0 has already been ordered for some projects in Austria, Kitzbuehel and for the Schulz Group. This year both the previous version and the new Titan can be ordered; from 2016, only the Titan 2.0 will be available. Overall, this year we have a goal of delivering more than 1000 fan guns."
MM:” A further product development in Demaclenko is the creation of the new nozzle head concept “EOS”. What is innovative in this new product?"
Andreas Dorfmann: " The same break-through nucleation technology adopted for the Titan 2.0 has been applied to the new EOS head. Air consumption has been further lowered, to just 1.8 kW, which makes EOS the most energy efficient lance in the market. The new nozzles have been designed to achieve the maximum yield with less pressure. We are convinced that with this combination of improved snow production and energy efficiency EOS will conquer the market and convince our clients. EOS was developed thanks to our R&D team in Selva’s constant quest to find new technical solutions to improve the quality of our product, but also the new design catches the eye, merging all the improvements of this product with a break-through design.
The new lance’s compressed air supply is at approximately 195 l/m (1.8 kW), the snow production compared to the previous VIS UP model has remained more or less the same with 52 m³ / h, and snow production starts with a wet bulb temperature of -1.5 °. The nozzle head is smaller and more compact to avoid the formation of ice with wind and rain; moreover there is a small heating system inside the head, developed specifically for starting snow production without any trouble caused by icing.
With these new products, the Titan and the EOS, we have positioned ourselves at the very top pf the market when it comes to quality and performance. We are confident that the customers who will have added thee guns to their systems will be our best testimonial and by word of mouth we are sure that we can convince many more customers to trust Demaclenko."