Insights | Berghof Process Management

Berghof for 30 years in Mühlhausen

January 4, 2021

In October 2020 Germany celebrated the “German Unity Day“ and the reunification of Germany for the 30th time. For the Berghof Group, this special anniversary has also particular significance: It marks the very birth date of a business unit, that has become an important part of our group of companies today and has been operating successfully and internationally from Mühlhausen in Thuringia – Berghof Process Management.

Taking a closer look at the history of Mühlhausen in northwest Thuringia one will soon
realize that electronics has a long tradition here. Even in the 1950s, specialists in the medieval Imperial City did a lot of tinkering already, first with tube technology, later with pocket calculators and microcomputers.

Just a few weeks after the fall of the Berlin Wall, these electronics specialists from the East
exchange ideas with representatives of the Berghof Group for the first time. What becomes quickly apparent after the first joint projects: the chemistry is right, and the companies are determined to become close partners on equal terms. So the successor company to VEB Mikroelektronik and the Berghof Group decide to unite their strengths and know-how in a joint venture - and the success story of Berghof Process Management begins.

This joint venture quickly develops into a successful alliance. As a consequence, the Berghof Process Management business unit, now part of Berghof Automation GmbH, grows sustainably and becomes firmly established in various areas. For example, in the market where the company first gets a good reputation - in railroad technology. In 1997, it developed a first control system for Deutsche Bahn (DB) in Cottbus, and just two years later the second control system in Frankfurt – for the fundamental modernization of which Berghof was recently awarded another contract.

By its holistic focus on process and security optimization, the Berghof Process Management team has tapped into more and more application areas over the years. Our company founder Prof. Dr. Georg Zundel realized early how important committed and innovative employees are for the success of all Berghof business units: “Without our capable and reliable employees it would have been impossible for me to be entrepreneur and scientist at the same time“.

A good example for the strong team performance of Berghof Process Management: The operations control system “IBIS“ especially for maintenance plants, with which maintenance and repair work on trains can be excellently planned and executed. Based on this system, the team in Mühlhausen masters a very special challenge in 2017 – the “BFR“ (operations control computer) as the central control system for Europe’s largest and most modern
railroad maintenance factory in Cologne-Nippes.

“In this important prestige project, we prevailed in a major international tender against everybody who’s anybody in the field of control technology for railroad systems. This shows what a good reputation we have built up over the years at DB,“ says Thomas Wallstein, who has headed the division since the beginning of 2019 together with Annett Lange, thanking the team of Berghof Process Management for its tireless efforts.

Since 2004 Berghof has also been offering „RTS“, a modular system for the functional testing of electrical, pneumatic, hydraulic and mechanical components of all types of rail vehicles. Here too, the Berghof system has quickly established itself and has become an integral part in many railroad plants – for example in Dessau, Krefeld or Kassel.

In addition, Berghof Process Management is one of the world‘s leading providers of operations control systems for transshipment stations and terminals for combined transport. The Berghof “BLU“ system is already simplifies the control of complex processes at more than 30 transshipment stations throughout Europe, significantly increasing the goods turnover.

Control systems made by Berghof, however, also ensure the simple, convenient and safe control of extremely complex structures in a completely different area – the so-called telecontrol technology, i.e. the remote monitoring and control of widely scattered
objects from a central location.

As early as 1998, Berghof Process Management gained a commission from Telekom to modernize a satellite monitoring system for five locations – and subsequently planned and implemented ever larger and more complex telecontrol projects. The top project so far: in 2014, the Mühlhausen colleagues bring the outdated telecontrol system of its transmission network with 64 transmitter stations up to date for the Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR). One of Berghof‘s characteristics is the decisive factor here: the company offers full service, i.e. a complete solution comprising its own hardware and software.

With the know-how in the fields of railroad and telecontrol technology acquired through the decades, Berghof Process Management has built up another market currently booming in recent years: The team develops energy storage testing systems for renowned automakers, increasingly on an international scale. From the very beginning, the developers in Mühlhausen have worked very closely with their customers – and by doing so have developed and continuously optimized high-performance systems. As a result, the company has established itself as an important partner in the automotive industry and is thus well prepared for the electric mobility growth market, which is currently becoming enormously important.

“So we were right to trust our gut instinct and had a good timing when we put a lot of energy into building up our latest area years ago. This lead in know-how and our long-standing references in this still quite young field are increasingly paying off for us,“ says Annett Lange expecting a bright future.

Because the Berghof Process Management team has continued to develop both in terms of quality and quantity over the years. In order to cope with the continuous trend towards electric mobility and to meet the high demand, the business unit has just recently expanded its capacities by employing further staff and adding a second company
building. So in its own company too, the team in Mühlhausen attaches great importance
to ensuring that, despite strong growth, everything is and will be fine.