Succession is not an issue at Herding, but rather crisis-proof management in familiar family hands. The generational changeover takes place almost silently and smoothly over many years, with strategic decisions being made jointly in close consultation. Major changes which many companies are experiencing in this situation are, to the delight of all employees, not taking place at this innovative mid-sized company. Urs Herding, who holds a Doctor of Mechanical Engineering, has been successfully managing the independent company since 2005, now in its second generation. As managing principal shareholder he has been spokesman for the Herding Group since April 2020. Master electrical engineer Andreas Stich joined the company in 2012 as deputy head of final assembly. In the meantime, he has taken on personnel responsibility on behalf of the production management and is now following in the footsteps of his father Gerhard Stich as a partner.
Pioneers of groundbreaking filter technology
Almost everything that is produced creates a lot of dust.This in turn is very dangerous and burdensome both for us humans and for our environment. In order to protect the environment and ourselves, there are filters that ensure that the dust produced in the production of all kinds of goods is extracted and filtered.
When Walter Herding set up his own business in Amberg 43 years ago, these filters consisted entirely of paper or fabric. With this type of filtration, the dust settles in the depths of the material over time and makes it necessary to replace the filter. To do this, the machines have to be switched off, production comes to a standstill and downtimes occur. This in turn costs a lot of money.
Inspired by the vision of an economical as well as ecological filter medium, Walter Herding begins to look into new materials for filtration. The systems are manufactured at the one-man business of Gerhard Stich in the Raigering district of Amberg, who joins the company in 1980 as an additional shareholder. The two of them are one of the first to settle in the Amberg Nord industrial estate.
The real success story begins with the invention and patent application for the Herding sinter-plate filter. In 1981, the young entrepreneurs succeed in bringing a rigid filter element onto the market which is made of plastic, or more precisely polyethylene. It is provided with a coating similar to that of a Teflon pan in in-house production. This provides effective protection against dust deposits in the filter medium. The dust remains on the surface and is "cleaned off" at certain intervals by means of compressed air or gas. Even very fine dust, which is produced during grinding, is filtered out. In technical jargon, this is referred to as high separation efficiency and low clean gas values < 0.1 mg/m³.
Herding filters have an extremely long service life, often lasting more than 15 years or more. And they are used almost everywhere, across all industries. From the pill to paints and chewing gum to electromobility, to name just a few examples.
From a two-man operation to a globally active company
The so-called Herding Sinterlamellenﬁlter revolutionizes the state of the art and sets new standards worldwide. At that time, nobody could have imagined that it would develop into a company that is now at home all over the world and enjoys a worldwide reputation in the field of filtration.
The following years are characterised by dynamic company growth. Since then, Herding has developed into one of the world's leading manufacturers of industrial filter systems and has an extensive global network with its own companies and cooperation partners. The original two-man office has grown into a company with 450 employees worldwide, and the Amberg headquarters has grown to an 85,000 square metre site.
Sustainably manufactured "Made in Germany"
From the individual filter medium to the completely installed filter system, the production chain starts with the filter media production at the headquarters in Amberg and ends with the final assembly. 95% of the purchased parts come from German suppliers, whereby the focus is on regional suppliers. This forms the basis for a good environmental balance by avoiding long transport routes and high transport costs. The vertical range of manufacture in Germany ensures a high quality standard. The German production location ensures fair working conditions at a high level. Fair trade is therefore a high priority for the company.
Herding Filtertechnik is committed to protecting the environment in the long term. It protects the air, man, machine and environment from harmful emissions and makes a valuable contribution to securing the future.
Well prepared for the future
The two new shareholders are looking forward to the future. "Although there are certainly challenging times at the moment, Herding is very well positioned for the future. The company is active in important markets of the future, such as the battery industry or additive metal printing," say Dr. Urs Herding and Andreas Stich "In addition to all our international presence, we attach great importance to the Amberg location and are proud that many of our extremely committed and highly qualified employees have been with us for many years. Without them, the success of Herding would not be possible".