Press Release


Shaken, not stirred – the combative spirit at DEPRAG

Amberg. The Micromat screwdriver is around the same size as a ballpoint pen. The particular strength of this slimline tool lies in assemblies in extremely low torque ranges. The Micromat is a classic in industrial assembly. DEPRAG screwdrivers sit well in the hand. The handle is not round as one may assume, but square edged. If you look carefully at your hand when gripping an object, you can see that the fingers and palm create a square outline. The screwdrivers are also extremely precise, even after millions of cycles. It is these attributes which have made the industrial screwdriver into DEPRAG’s top seller.

However, in this photograph, CEO Dr. Erik Hallmann is holding an electric pistol screwdriver and posing in a James Bond stance. He manages DEPRAG together with his wife Ingrid Schulz-Hallmann and their fellow partner Dr. Rolf Pfeiffer. The self-confident pose is justified. The medium-sized company is the global market leader in the fields of screwdriving technology, automation, air motors and air tools. They supply all customer requirements, from screwdrivers and feeding machines up to manual work stations and even fully-automated systems. The allusion to James Bond, the quintessential secret agent is apt. Even the locals do not know exactly what goes on behind the factory walls, parallel to Amberg city walls, at DEPRAG headquarters.

Thermomix Technology

Nevertheless, an element of DEPRAG can be found in many peoples’ kitchens, namely those who own a Thermomix. Anyone preparing a meal using the versatile kitchen aid is reliant on technology originating in Amberg. The manufacturer Vorwerk assembles the iconic kitchen machines using equipment built by DEPRAG. The company has a wide array of renowned clients. The screws in many mobile phones are assembled thanks to DEPRAG. A plaque in the reception area in Amberg testifies to these partnerships with a list of customers from the electrical industry, the automotive sector, sanitary technology, the food industry and many more branches.

“Our partners are global enterprises”, explains Erik Hallmann. “And we are too”. In the morning a purchase order arrives from India, on the previous day a shipment has been sent to North Africa. The multitude of countries to which DEPRAG products are shipped can be inferred from the promotional film, available on the company website in English, Chinese, French, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Portuguese and Spanish.

The origins of the family business DEPRAG SCHULZ GMBH u. CO. KG date back to the Bavarian Rifle Factory founded in 1801. Integration into the Deutsche Werke followed in 1918 with a conversion to civilian products such as: tools, gauges, technical devices and for the first time, small pneumatic devices. Within the framework of a Management Buy-Out in 1931, machine builder Otto Schulz founded the Deutsche Präzisionswerkzeug AG and began manufacturing pneumatic tools. In 1981 his son Carl Schulz took the decisive step of branching out into the USA and set the international expansion of the company into motion. Today, DEPRAG has 380 employees in Amberg and the group has 700 worldwide.

The company’s roots are based in classic machine building. All key components are manufactured on site at DEPRAG – in halls which have stood since the 19th century. Precision is a top priority and technical specialists are indispensable. The company’s apprenticeship quota is 10%. Erik Hallmann reveals that competition for trainees is fierce. DEPRAG trains industrial machinists, industrial mechanics, predominantly mechatronics engineers but also, IT specialists, product designers and of course industrial salespeople. The company has recently purpose-built a two-floor training centre.

A step ahead of the competition

DEPRAG has developed an adaptive screwdriving system for lightweight construction assemblies in the automotive industry: the Adaptive DFS (DEPRAG Fastening System), a patented device. The starting point of over three years of development activities, was the realisation that the mix of materials used in lightweight automotive construction was resulting in the establishment and advancement of fastening procedures such as flow hole screw assemblies. Lightweight construction materials which are increasingly favoured over steel in bodywork construction, can be automated and assembled using the Adaptive DFS. The complete assembly process – from forming a hole in metal sheeting to the final tightening of the fastener – generally takes less than two seconds. The controller of the Adaptive DFS continuously records relevant screwdriving procedure values and immediately and automatically adjusts downforce and speed as required. Holes do not need to be drilled and components do not need to be punched in advance. The company promises that expensive and time-consuming repairs caused by roughly formed piercings, wedged screws or damaged threads are kept to an absolute minimum. “The Adaptive DFS has given us the technological edge. The same system can even rapidly assemble push fasteners. Only our product is able to do this, it is unique”, declared Erik Hallmann.

The Adaptive DFS indicates the direction of future development. Erik Hallmann quotes the key term Industry 4.0. Software revenue is increasing rapidly. The Micromat embraces the development with its electric version. In comparison to the pneumatic design, the EC-Micromat can document and analyse the screwdriving data of each individual screw assembly.

Press Contact:
Dagmar Dübbelde
Carl-Schulz-Platz 1
D-92224 Amberg
Tel: 09621 371-343
Fax: 09621 371-199

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