AKW Apparate + Verfahren GmbH: 50 years of experience

As early as over 100 years ago, kaolin, feldspar and silica sand were produced in Hirschau. Here AKW Apparate + Verfahren GmbH was founded as a research department  in April 1963 and since then has offered services, products and know-how all over the world. After restructuring and establishing the AKW Apparate + Verfahren Holding GmbH & Co. KG – AKW A+V continued its way to become an international specialist for high-end and state-of-the-art equipment and plant engineering in wet-mechanical processing of mineral resources and environmental technology.

So having evolved from its beginnings in the process of kaolin and ore, AKW A+V is now well-positioned in future technologies too: For example, with state-of-the-art solutions that ensure a reduction in the environmental impact of emissions and pollutants (in water and soil) or an internationally applied recycling process for the photovoltaic industries. Whether for the engineering of complex plants or as a supplier of specialized standalone machines, AKW A+V is always on hand with customer-oriented solutions.

AT MINERAL PROCESSING asked the managing directors Dr. Wolfgang Rubarth and Georg Fritsch what past milestones have been particularly important for AKW A+V and how its future development looks.

AT MINERAL PROCESSING: What are the key criteria that enable a company to exist half a century?

Fritsch/Rubarth: According to our understanding of service, it is necessary to find the best solutions to meet the specific requirements of our customers. To fulfil this obligation, we have always relied on the positive power of interdisciplinary cooperation. Cooperation with renowned universities and first-class strategic partnerships are important success factors for our company. Scientific curiosity is a bond. And teamwork creates the conditions to take on the most complex challenges and realize success.

AT MINERAL PROCESSING: What were the particular milestones in your company history?

Fritsch/Rubarth: In 1976 AKW A+V developed the first plant worldwide for the classification of aluminium hydroxide in Stade. In 1986 AKW Apparate + Verfahren GmbH became an independent company. In 1988 AKW A + V became a plant engineering company – with the worldwide first large plastics recycling plant for pre-separated plastics from household waste near Coburg that AKW A + V designed and equipped with the latest process technology. The plant is used for the extraction of a reusable polyethylene granulate (PE) – PE is the main plastic component in household waste.

From January to April 2001 the company designed and installed the first SiC processing plant “Bautzen I” with an annual processing volume of 3 000 t/a. The plant was commissioned from May to August 2001.

In 2005 AKW A + V moved: from Georg-Schiffer-Strasse 70 to Dienhof 26. The technical laboratoy and the storage hall initially remained at the old location in Georg-Schiffer-Strasse. In 2010 work started on the construction of the new technical laboratory and the storage hall which was ready to use in 2011.

AT MINERAL PROCESSING: What is particularly important to you when you think about AKW Apparate + Verfahren GmbH?

Fritsch/Rubarth: There are three points that are particularly important to us:

• The further development and continued existence of this dynamic company at the heart of Germany’s Upper Palatinate region.

• Maintaining the enthusiasm, honesty, creativity and dedication of our employees.

• The internationalization of the company while preserving the down-to-earth attitude of the employees.

AT MINERAL PROCESSING: Looking to the future?

Fritsch/Rubarth: We have the best conditions to meet the challenges of tomorrow: visionary pioneering – as also talented and high qualified employees. We look back to 50 years in which we have literally caused quite a whirl. But now also after these years, for us: the future starts today. And starts again every new day.

AT MINERAL PROCESSING: Many thanks for the interesting insights into the history of AKW Apparate + Verfahren GmbH.
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