Manufacturing

Stephan Wartmann – CEO, BRUGG

BRUGG’s CEO doesn’t only make sure his company manufactures the world’s strongest cables, he’s also busy building lasting relationships with customers and suppliers.

While it’s no longer fashion- able to work one’s way up through a company, this “old school” career approach certainly pays dividends, particularly when it comes to specialised knowledge and niche sector experience.

After 22 years with infrastructure pioneer BRUGG, CEO Dr. Stephan Wartmann has these attributes in spades, plus a unique outlook that comes from having spent a career developing within an international business.

Stephan says: “I began working for BRUGG in the US, followed by two years in Japan where I built a new factory and established a Japanese

market. After several years between the US and Japan I returned to the company HQ in Switzerland. It was a challenge to be part of an international group as a young engineer, but I was moving around and experiencing different cultures, areas, and business segments, so it was a great learning adventure.”

First founded as a cable manufacturer in 1896, BRUGG has since diversified and now makes loading cables for e-mobility, special cables for wind power, and process control solutions for water, power, and gas supply. The company also produces pipe systems for district heating and liquid gas applications, and ropes for aerial ropeways, structures, and elevators, not to mention protection netting solutions against natural hazards.

Active in four business sectors over 22 production sites with 16 sales segments and some 1,600 employees, BRUGG is a giant in its sec- tor. “We see ourselves as a global niche player with a very strong market position,” continues Stephan. “In our niches we are number one, sometimes number two, rarely number three. We have production sites in Australia and Chile and started producing in Africa this year. There are two factories in China, three in the US, and several all over Europe – we operate globally and manufacture close to our customers – something that certainly marks us out from the competition. Manufacturing competence is of the utmost importance, and as a niche player with a high level of quality and specialised production knowledge, we also engineer and build some of our own machinery.”

BRUGG products are manufactured to the most advanced technical and quality standards, appearing in iconic builds and events; its elevator ropes feature in the highest building in the world, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, as well in the Pearl Tower Shanghai. Its rope structures include the famous Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro and the new Raiders Stadium in Las Vegas.

“They are something of a BRUGG speciality,” confirms Stephan, “but at GEOBRUGG (subsidiary) we also make strong meshes and high-performance netting solutions used for mining and rockfall/avalanche protection, as well as visitor protection at racetracks. We’ve produced these security fences for Formula 1 in Vietnam, Austin in the US, Mexico City’s Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, Circuit de Spa in Belgium, Red Bull Ring in Austria…in fact, most new race tracks use our product.”

Another BRUGG difference is the company’s belief that service is not just selling a solution or a product. “We think it starts much earlier with problem analysis and ends in the complete cycle of client support, including installation, after sales service and maintenance,” says Stephan. “We always look for sustainable long- term solutions for our clients and provide the whole package if needed – we are here to help and we support continuously.”

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