Innovation by passion

“With our uncompromising commitment to premium quality, a strong culture of innovation and passion, we have become the world market leader. The key is maintaining a balance between proven engineering and the courage to continue developing technologically ever more sophisticated solutions.”  (Axel Barten)

Building highly complex rolling mills and foil slitting machines while securing theposition as the leaders in quality and technology in most of the product areas requires not only a great deal of experience but also continuous and systematic technological advancements. The reasons for that are new challenging tasks of the customers, reliable market trends, interesting impulses from science and, last but not least, new digital solutions.

The basis for that is predominantly the corporate culturally rooted enthusiasm for the art of engineering even to the management level. This spirit is supported by the regular interaction with university institutions, mentoring of university degree theses having technically interesting topics, participation in best practice circles or the commitment in important operators’ associations.

Other sign of practiced innovative culture is the recently finished Achenbach Technology Centre ATZ, where parts of the Achenbach technology including the possibility of demonstration will move: The OPTIROLL Rolling Mill Automation Systems, OPTILINK Big Data Applications, such as the IoT platform for digital system networking, but also some important technological components including their development, design, manufacturing and assembly. Due to the physical proximity to the Campus Buschhütten and the close cooperation in a network with the Campus centres, the innovative culture at Achenbach will be further invigorated (

The concept of innovation

Innovation is the act of introducing something new and is used in business to denote new ideas or inventions. Several different types of innovation can be defined:

  • A product innovation is a technical innovation in which the basic function of the pro-duct, its design and additional benefits are further developed. This type of innovation¬ is usually triggered by a previously identified, real customer need.
  • Process innovation optimizes the way a task is performed but not the outcome of the task. Process innovation helps companies save time and money while designing their processes more creatively.
  • Service innovation is an intangible form of innovation that was invented to add additional value to a material product, such as a production system. Feasibility studies are an example of a service innovation.
  • Application innovation is the transfer of an existing technology to new markets to meet new needs, such as the transfer of industrial robot technology to the amusement park industry for use in roller coasters.
  • Marketing innovation improves certain processes in the area of communication, pricing or distribution to the end customer (such as large, individually packed Spreewald pickles distributed via gas stations at ten times the price).
  • Business model innovation is the deliberate modification of an existing business model or creation of a new business model to better meet customer¬needs or to meet them in a different way than with existing business models (e.g., computer manufacturer Dell, who introduced the build-to-order pro¬duction concept, thus eliminating the need for resellers).

For more information see


Achenbach Technology Centre

As Leaders in Technology, strategic thinking and doing are essential in order to maintain or preferably expand technological leadership. In concrete terms, this means to do right now well-aimed development work to open up success potentials in the market for tomorrow.

Regarding the technical features of the various machine types, Achenbach focuses on those components, which are immensely important for their customers and plant operators and which make the difference towards its competitors.

The external indiction of this proceeding is most recently the building of the new Achenbach Technology Centre: Having a total area of 1600 m² for presentation, development and assembly, this building has just been finished. First of all, the new division Achenbach Digital Solutions will move in including the business unit Achenbach OPTILINK® Big Data Applications like the IoT Platform for digital system networking within the customers' production process or with apps regarding maintenance and support or E-warehouse especially for the spare parts procurement.

Besides that, the entire business unit Achenbach OPTIROLL® Rolling Mill Automation Systems will move in the ATC. Last but not least, an ultramodern assembly line for a very important technical feature of the Achenbach OPTIMILL® Rolling Mills will be located here: Achenbach UniFlat® Flatness Measuring Rolls.

Last but not least, the Achenbach simulator will be located in the ATZ to enable visitors to virtually roll by themselves basing on the latest rolling mill technology.

The new ATZ is trendsetting, as here highly-precise mechanical design and manufacturing solutions are brought together with overall could-based big data solutions.

Campus Buschhütten

A long-term vision is now falling into place: the Campus Buschhütten. The aim of this initiative is to sustainably strengthen the economy in Südwestfalen, one of the most powerful industrial regions in Germany, especially with regard to metal processing.

Facing megatrends the digital transformation as one of the current, the Campus is determined to be a place for innovation, research and demonstration of trendsetting production technology - a unique combination of industrial tradition and forward-looking approach, in which the actors can cooperate in individually selectable network partnerships in two directions: Companies to further develop the production technology of their products and/or to test new proceedings regarding digital transformation in the field of production technology as well as the academic institutes to check their research findings for relevance in a so-called 'Sandbox'.

The Campus Buschhütten consists of four centres: On the one hand, two university institutions will take part in the Campus project: the university of Siegen with a long-term space rental for their IPEM (International Production and Engineering Management) chair and the RWTH Aachen with their WZL (Werkzeugmaschinenlabor - machine tool lab), who will process trendsetting topics such as '3D metal print' and 'digital factory planning' in the Campus Buschhütten.

On the other hand, there are two factories moving to the Campus: the SDFS (Smart Demofactory Siegen), where, apart from research and demonstration of new production technologies, products will be manufactured in line with the market, such as the rear axle for the e-car e.GO and the SLAB (Smart Leraning Factory Achenbach Buschhütten), implementing a new concept for technical-industrial training in close cooperation with the chair in Technical Didactics of the university of Siegen.

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