Überlingen – Cast off the old and embrace the new: innovative mid-sized companies such as Lindlar-based Schmidt + Clemens see change as an opportunity rather than something to be afraid of. It is this mindset that impressed the judges in the TOP 100 competition, now in its 27th year, and from 19 June, Schmidt + Clemens will officially be able to call itself a TOP 100 company. During the rigorous selection process, the level C company (more than 200 employees) scored particularly highly in the Open Innovation category. This is the second time that Schmidt + Clemens has been recognised as one of Germany’s most innovative SMEs.
The TOP 100 company specialises in high-grade stainless steel components made using spun and static casting. The company’s steels and materials can be used in the toughest conditions, such as in industrial furnace construction at temperatures of up to 1,250 degrees Celsius, in energy technology or in seawater environments in the marine industry.
In the development of its innovations, this global market leader, family-owned for four generations, relies heavily on open innovation, i.e. on partnerships with research institutes and universities, and on a continual dialogue with its customers. To make this contact as close as possible, the top innovator operates production facilities in Spain, the Czech Republic, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia in addition to its main site in Lindlar, Germany. It also has three sales offices and 30 sales agencies around the world. “This allows us to play our part in shaping developments in our industry,” says CEO Jan Schmidt-Krayer.
One of its innovations is the “SCOPE Fusion HTE tube”, which is used in steam crackers, one of the most complicated facilities in the petrochemicals industry. Coke is deposited in an oven’s tubes during the cracking process, reducing energy efficiency and in extreme cases leading to the plant being shut down. The pipe developed by Schmidt + Clemens slows down this pro-cess. “It improves heat exchange and ensures that gas temperatures remain balanced,” says COO Dominic Otte. Customers benefit from up to ten times longer lifetimes for their facilities.
The TOP 100 competition
Since 1993, compamedia has been awarding the TOP 100 seal of approval to SMEs with a particular ability to innovate and above-average success rates for innovations. Professor Nikolaus Franke has coordinated the project since 2002, and is the founder and director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Vienna University of Economics and Business. The TOP 100 is mentored by science journalist Ranga Yogeshwar and organised in partnership with the Fraunhofer Society for the Promotion of Applied Research and the German Association for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses (BVMW). Media support for the company benchmarking competition is provided by manager magazin, impulse, and W&V. Further information is available at www.top100-germany.com.
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