DURAG GROUP celebrates 75th anniversary
2023 is a special year for us: we’re celebrating the 75th anniversary of DURAG GROUP. A good occasion to give you a deeper insight into our world. That’s why we’ll be regularly publishing interesting facts and things to know about DURAG GROUP here in our anniversary year: historical facts, field reports, what motivates us, what we make happen and much more. We look back proudly on 75 successful years and would like to share selected, unique snapshots with you here. You will always find the latest posts at the top of the page. We wish you interesting and inspiring insights!
Stronger together, experienced and young at heart!
When H. Wilhelm Schaumann founded the company Durag Apparatebau together with two nuclear physicists in Hamburg in 1948, the success story of the DURAG GROUP began! Travel with us to the beginnings in our video on the 75th company anniversary. Learn more about how the company name was created and how our logo has developed over time. Get to know a meanwhile international group of companies in an entertaining picture journey. For many years, the DURAG GROUP has stood for special, efficient, diverse and reliable products as well as solutions for a better future – for process quality and a clean environment, for safe industrial combustion technology and for safety in tunnels and traffic.
Discover the history of the DURAG GROUP in the video. Many more backstories and interviews around the 75th anniversary can be found below!
Employees share their stories | Carola Ferck
Insight #30, 27 November 2023
Carola Ferck, After Sales Clerk DURAG GROUP, Hamburg site
From a working world without computers to digital service planning: Our clerk Carola Ferck has been part of the DURAG GROUP team since 1987 and has experienced the change accordingly. In this interview, she looks back on the early days in our analog sales department and reveals her highlights from 36 years with the company.
How long have you been with DUARG GROUP and how did it come about?
I’ve been with the company for just over 36 years now. I originally trained as a retail saleswoman at a jewelry store in Hamburg and also worked there for some time. Then I decided to do some further training, as a result of which I discovered a newspaper advertisement for DURAG GROUP. On October 15, 1987 I started as a clerk in the sales department and was responsible for quotations and orders.
What was your daily work routine at that time?
At the end of the 1980s there were no PCs at DURAG GROUP. These were only gradually implemented from September 1990 and during the following year. The first real merchandise management system was initiated by Frank Wischnewski in 1992. In my early days at DURAG, we were still working with a preliminary stage called “Twix”, which was a typewriter with a screen. The order confirmations, invoices, delivery bills and work cards were written with it and printed with the so-called Ormig method, a common duplication method at that time, also known as matrix printing. Orders on printed work cards were taken personally from us to the manufacturing departments then. An order confirmation for customers was sent either by letter or fax. A red card was used for urgent orders, and in some cases the equipment ordered with it was picked up directly from the production department, taken to the shipping department and shipped the same day. This was the case, for example, when a light receiver such as the D-LE 603 flame sensor urgently needed to be fitted to the boiler of an existing system.
Can you tell us about your career at DURAG GROUP?
A little later I took over the service area for northern and western Germany. This included planning service calls, scheduling appointments and billing calls. At that time, there was one service technician for these regions, plus several in southern Germany. With the opening of the Berlin Wall in 1989, service locations were added in East and West, customers now had direct contact persons nearby and travel times were shortened considerably. Southern Germany, Austria and Switzerland were still serviced by the DURAG sales location South. When digitalization, including new programs and departments, took off, I of course experienced and accompanied it firsthand; it was a completely new working world.
What highlights do you remember most from all those years?
These were definitely the company and Christmas parties and especially the DURAG GROUP party on May 8, 2015, which coincided with the farewell of my former team leader and the Hamburg harbour birthday. We sailed along the Elbe on two old sailing ships, it was a wonderful experience for everyone.
What made you want to stay at DURAG GROUP?
Well, my area of responsibility kept changing and expanding, and that is still the case today. The colleagues stayed, the working atmosphere was just right. And in a blink of an eye, 36 years have gone by.
Event management | Exhibition appearances in change
Insight #29, 14 November 2023
For many years, the DURAG GROUP has been presenting itself to the industry audience at exhibitions, where it showcases its product portfolio. In the past years their organization has changed a lot. Earlier exhibitions were mostly realized by ourselves, today usually an exhibition constructor takes over the construction of the exhibition booths. Whereas 20 years ago there were still a few firmly planned plus spontaneous exhibition appearances, nowadays the corresponding planning begins as early as the previous year with close consideration of the sales and image aspects. Implementation has become increasingly complex due to the many trade shows running in parallel as well as organizational structures.
For many years, there was a permanent exhibition team made up of employees from various departments. Starting in 2017, a permanent role for the exhibitions was created in Marketing: Wojciech Urbas was always involved, but since then he takes care of this task as Event Manager. He has been organizing the DURAG GROUP’s exhibitions through the sales department since 2006. He started in 2000 as Sales Assistant for Eastern Europe, then worked in the back office and was responsible for our training courses and events like sales meetings between 2006 and 2017.
Exhibition stand construction: from patchwork to corporate design and more sustainability
In earlier years, the DURAG GROUP rented exhibition space, booked so-called system stands where posters were attached to the walls. Between 2008 and 2010, the focus was then placed on roll-ups. Again a few years later, additional suspended walls or pop-up displays could be used to present large-scale graphics. Nowadays, the modular, sustainable design is important to be able to re-use. The design of giveaways has also changed due to compliance and sustainability considerations.
In contrast to today, a visually uniform corporate design did hardly play a role in exhibition booth construction in the beginning. “The concept was colorful and diverse, a lot of things ran intuitively,” says Wojciech Urbas. “Nowadays, on the other hand, we rely on a uniform, clear design, present only a few, selected products.” The products presented live on the stand in each case are precisely defined in advance, with the focus on new devices or current applications. The whole thing is supplemented with digital tools or screen presentations and information videos.
Smaller exhibitions with more specific themes
The selection of exhibitions has also changed over time. In 2006/2007 DURAG GROUP participated in 18 international exhibitions, in 2012 there were already 30 and in 2019 even 56. This is due to the fact that the exhibition landscape has changed and there are now many smaller exhibitions with special topics. In the noughties, the focus was on individual product presentations, whereas today complete solutions and the entire product portfolio are presented using digital tools. Depending on the trade show, location and topic, the focus is on gaining new customers or maintaining existing ones. In the past, it was mainly decision-makers who visited the trade fairs, and contracts were often signed directly at the booth. Today, the visitors are more diversified. And the time available for people to visit a trade show is also limited. The capture of contacts has also changed: Business cards are digitized via an app and forwarded directly to the CRM system.
Exhibitions remain the most important contact platform
Even in the digital age and despite lockdown, exhibitions are still our number one business contact platform, emphasizes the expert from DURAG GROUP. “It has been shown that virtual events simply do not have the same effect during the pandemic as live exhibitions. The active participation of virtual visitors is usually lower at online events, which is why they tend to serve as a supplement to conventional trade fairs,” says Wojciech Urbas. The event manager has always enjoyed his job: “I like the variety, the stress, the opportunity to constantly experience something new and, above all, the personal contact with people.” When he retires in November 2023, Emeli Koller will take over his tasks in this area.
Employees share their story | Rajendra Kumar
Insight #28, 13 November 2023
Rajendra Kumar, Managing Director DURAG India, Bengaluru
Our colleague Rajendra Kumar has been part of the DURAG GROUP team since summer 2002. At the start of DURAG India, now 62-year-old was hired as Country Manager and is now the Managing Director of DURAG India. One of the highlights of his work was, of course, the ceremonial opening of DURAG’s own building in his birthplace and home town of Bengaluru in May 2022. Before he goes into his well-deserved retirement at the end of March 2024, Kumar and his wife visited DURAG GROUP's Hamburg location for the last time on business. In this interview he looks back on his almost two decades with the DURAG GROUP.
Rajendra, when and how did you join the DURAG GROUP?
At the beginning of the new millennium, the DURAG GROUP had decided to open its own branch in India. From a friend came the tip to apply. The interview was successful, so I was hired in July 2002, to coincide with the opening of DURAG India branch office.
How did you get started, what was your day-to-day work like?
I started directly as Country Manager for DURAG India. Before that, I had already gained a total of 16 years of professional experience as an Engineering & Sales Manager in two different companies. In the beginning, it was almost like raising a newborn child for me (laughs). Industries we serve are spread out in every part of India. In the beginning it was travelling length and breadth of the country, knocking at the door of every potential customer, making presentations, talking about DURAG products and services, and show the potential customers that we have a solution to each of their requirements. It was also a task to create a sales partner network to cover every region and ensure there is no overlapping and conflict of interest among partners. Today, we have an established team of nearly 30 employees in which everyone takes care of different tasks.
What were your biggest challenges?
The biggest challenge was to build a business that was fully-fledged and to ensure its stability and sustainability. Over the time, we have not only built a team, but also increased the customer base many times over. We also introduced many new products and technologies in the market, repair and diagnostic capabilities. The icing on the top was the grand opening of our own building in Bengaluru. Although the move-in had already taken place on October 1, 2021, the formal inauguration took place only in May 2022 due to the pandemic.
How has DURAG India developed overall?
Over the past 20 years, we have installed thousands of combustion and environmental products. We have established a full-fledged service through which our customers in India, as well as in many other countries, are served. Locally, many components are produced by DURAG India and complete product integration is carried out. On a human level, we have an open work culture, all employees are encouraged to make suggestions on any topic they think is relevant. Everyone is highly motivated and supports the team whenever and wherever needed. Not to forget digitalization, which has many advantages: We use the same platforms and techniques throughout the DURAG GROUP, which makes us very efficient.
Has the long period of service changed or influenced you personally?
Yes for sure, I have grown with the company. As I have always worked in German companies since my student days, I have also been strongly influenced by the German work culture, such as the quality standards, documentation, productivity, time schedule, and the professional approach to every challenge.
What highlights from your years at the DURAG GROUP do you remember the most?
a) Establishment of a new company in the country
b) Regular launch of new products and technologies
c) Gaining customer trust and creating brand value for DURAG GROUP in the Indian market
I appreciate the continuous efforts and support of my team and the sales partners to be successful together. All this is very special from my point of view.
Is that one of the reasons why you have been at the DURAG GROUP for so long?
Definitely. I have always felt that DURAG India is a part of me. I have always felt a moral responsibility towards the shareholders, the management and also the families of the employees who work for DURAG India. Therefore, at no point did I think of looking for job alternatives.
How would you describe the corporate culture at the DURAG GROUP?
In my opinion, it depends a lot on the people who are at the helm of the company. We are lucky to have CEOs and Managing Directors who always propagate a clean, open and ethical business culture.
Where do you see DURAG GROUP and yourself in ten years?
I will be enjoying my retirement from April 2024. I would like to see DURAG GROUP grow by 150 percent or more in revenue by 2030 from present level, and that developing economies such as India make a significant contribution to this. I also wish DURAG GROUP add more wings through M&A activities. I hope my wish would come true.
Read more about the opening of the DURAG India branch here:
DURAG Sports | Marseille-Cassis Half Marathon
Insight #27, 6 November 2023
It all started with a small running group at AP2E, a member of DURAG GROUP. It was initiated by a colleague from DURAG France who, used to visit us every week. After numerous training sessions, 18 ambitious runners from AP2E and DURAG took part in the “Marseille-Cassis Half Marathon” for the first time.
This traditional sporting event in the south of France has been held on the last Sunday in October for 44 years. Both professional and amateur athletes take part, and off the route there is a popular festival atmosphere. While just over 700 people took part in the first event, this year there were over 20,000 from all over the world. The route between Marseille and Cassis leads through the Calanques National Park and has an altitude difference of over 320 meters. Almost all team members completed the entire race, with one colleague even crossing the finish line in 600th place.
More information about the event can be found here: https://www.marseille-cassis.com/en/course/presentation
DURAG SOCIAL | OUR COMMITMENT TO THE “MOTHER CHARITY” ORPHANAGE IN TOGO
Insight #26, 1 November 2023
“We would like to express our appreciation once again on behalf of the orphanage and all the children for this support!” says Kerstin Amissah. On her initiative, our employees generously donated to the Mother Charity orphanage in Togo at the “Family and Friends Day” in Hamburg, where many glasses of city bee honey were sold at the Hamburg event as part of our 75th anniversary year in June. The proceeds as well as other collected donations were doubled by the management of DURAG GROUP to about 2,800 euros.
At the beginning of August, Kerstin Amissah’s husband Kuassi, a native of Togo, spent a day using the money to buy the first donations for the orphanage directly on site. Currently, 115 children between the ages of zero and 20 live there.
The couple regularly supports the development project and had initiated the special campaign for DURAG GROUP. “The money has now been used for cooking oil, canned tomatoes, pasta, powdered milk, diapers and baby food,” Kerstin Amissah tells us. Recently, Kuassi went back to Lomé to buy additional rice, beans and corn. With the remaining money, the orphanage was also able to pay electricity costs.
Our colleague adds: “The gratitude shown to my husband during the donation there, but also the warm atmosphere in the orphanage and the loving treatment of the children there made a deep impression on him.”
She also sent us a letter of thanks from the founder of the orphanage, Charity Yawoavi Vodjogbe. She wrote to us: “Dear DURAG GROUP employees, we would like to thank you very much for the donation you have given us. It was a wonderful surprise that made us very happy. Thanks to your support, we can now continue to advance the mission of our foundation.”
We were happy to help – and we wish her, the team and all the children and young people at the orphanage all the best!
DURAG SPORTS | “Wipro Bengaluru Marathon“, DURAG India
Insight #25, 23 October 2023
On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of DURAG GROUP, the team at DURAG India has resolved to do more for their own health and make an effort to counteract their sedentary lifestyle. At 9 a.m. on Sunday, 8 October, there were 22 of our Indian colleagues at the starting line of the “Wipro Bengaluru Marathon”, ready to complete a 5 kilometer run. The event was organized by NEB Sports, and a total of more than 20,000 people participated in various categories of the marathon through India’s fitness capital, Bangalore. Although this was the first time that most of the DURAG India team members had taken part in an event of this kind, all of them successfully crossed the finish line. “We felt that we can achieve anything if we just put our mind to it,” says Jayanthi Rozario. This is to be the first of many more sporting events under the motto “Running for Better Health.”
EMPLOYEES SHARE THEIR STORIES | CHRISTIANE MARSKE
Insight #24, 18 October 2023
Christiane Marske, Strategic Purchasing DURAG GROUP, located in Hamburg
- 01.08.2003 – 31.07.2006: Apprenticeship as industrial clerk
- 01.08.2006 – 31.05.2018: Purchaser
- 01.06.2018 – today: Strategic Purchasing
Christiane Marske, now 40 years old, was born in Celle and moved to Hamburg directly after school for her apprenticeship at DURAG GROUP – and she’s been part of the team ever since. In purchasing, she has managed a wide variety of product groups and supported digitization processes, making DURAG GROUP fit for the future in this area. In this interview, she tells us more about her time with her employer of many years.
Christiane, when and how did you join DURAG GROUP?
After graduating from high school in 2003, I wanted to do an apprenticeship and not go directly to university. So I decided to do an apprenticeship as an industrial clerk at DURAG GROUP.
What was your daily work routine back then and how has it changed over time?
As a big city, Hamburg was of course overwhelming, but here at DURAG GROUP I felt at home right from the start. Everything was more informal at that time and the processes were simply structured. I took on many different tasks and often helped out in departments, allowing me to gain experience in many areas. My current position in strategic purchasing is still very multi-layered, plus it now involves much more complex responsibilities. In particular, the supervision of our digitization projects enriches my everyday work. I’m enthusiastic about them because they definitely move us forward and you can see directly the value they add to our company. The digitization projects in purchasing have prepared our company well for the future.
How was your career path at DURAG GROUP?
After my training as an industrial clerk, I worked in purchasing for twelve years. During that period, I was responsible for a wide variety of product groups, from office materials to electronic components. In 2018, I then moved to Strategic Purchasing and specialized in purchasing semi-finished products as well as castings and drawing parts. I also took on other strategic tasks, such as supplier management and the optimization of purchasing processes.
And how has the company developed during this time, why have you been part of DURAG GROUP for so long?
In my early days at DURAG GROUP, our processes were simple. Nowadays, the organization is more complex and structured, and to some extent also more anonymous, but that is in the nature of things when a company grows as strongly as DURAG GROUP has. Nevertheless, the sense of belonging in our company is very good. I appreciate the informal and family-friendly atmosphere, and my colleagues are nice. I have developed long-term friendships with many of them.
Where do you see DURAG and yourself in ten years time, what do you wish for?
I hope that DURAG GROUP will continue to be as successful in the next ten years as it has been so far, while also retaining its informal atmosphere, and that I can continue to contribute to moving our company forward in the future.
DURAG Sports | Dragon Boat Festival in Friedersdorf
Insight #23, 9 October 2023
We also had another sporting highlight in our 75th anniversary year: the “Ghost Dusters” from GRIMM AEROSOL TECHNIK, a member of DURAG GROUP, made it to the final of the 23rd Dragon Boat Festival on a lake called Muldestausee north of Leipzig in Saxony-Anhalt.
A total of 25 teams took part in the annual event. The organizer is Wassersportclub Friedersdorf e. V. The headquarters of GRIMM AEROSOL TECHNIK is also located in Friedersdorf. At the end of August, 11 professional sports teams and 14 hobby groups, mainly from regional companies like ours, took part in the competition. Participating for the second time since 2022, the “Ghost Dusters” had prepared in six intensive training sessions. In the end, there was an impressive team performance by the total of 20 paddlers, who joined forces to take fifth place among the hobby teams.
We’re on the right track and ready for the next Dragon Boat challenge in 2024!
Team event in Scheveningen | Smitsvonk
Insight #22, 6 October 2023
Our 75th company anniversary was recently also celebrated in the Netherlands. At the end of September, the team at SMITSVONK, a DURAG GROUP company, met for the beach event in the Dutch seaside resort of Scheveningen, a district of The Hague near the company’s headquarters in Zoetermeer.
For the 24 employees, September 22 started with a pub quiz, where they vied with various other teams for the title of ultimate quiz champion. Hans Gon, Managing Director of SMITSVONK, reports, “The adventurous among us took an exciting high-speed rib boat ride afterwards, reaching speeds of up to 80 km/h, it was a great experience.” The day ended with a barbecue on the beach with good food and equally good conversation.
Founded in 1947, SMITSVONK is the oldest member of DURAG GROUP specializing in high-energy ignition systems and control systems for industrial combustion processes, primarily in the petrochemical, iron and steel industries. The team and the product range of SMITSVONK have been enriching DURAG GROUP since 2006.
Documentation | Cooperation with Elbe-Werkstätten
Insight #21, 20 September 2023
In preparation for our exhibition of numerous memories, milestones, special moments, events and historical documents on the occasion of our 75th birthday, we are cooperating with Elbe-Werkstätten, an establishment that employs around 3,100 people with disabilities and promotes their integration into the labor market through a wide range of vocational training and job opportunities.
At the beginning of the year, as part of our anniversary celebrations, we started to sift through existing slides, photo negatives and file folders together with Michael Pencke, Head of Digitization at Elbe-Werkstätten. Melis Paragnik, Marketing Manager at DURAG GROUP, took care of coordination with Elbe-Werkstätten from our side. While handing over the documents, she also got a detailed insight into the digitization department. “During our research, for example, we came across a code of conduct for a Christmas party from 1953. It was very exciting to sift through the data and to help preserve and trace the development of DURAG GROUP over the past decades,” says Michael Pencke.
In close cooperation with eight employees, including Elisabeth Neubert from Elbe-Werkstätten, over 19,000 pages of documents, almost 3,100 photos and 390 small-format slides have been digitized in recent weeks using various digitization techniques – documents steeped in history from our founding to the present.
Partner Meeting 2023 | Asia Pacific
Insight #20, 19 September 2023
Together with almost 120 guests from the Asia Pacific region, we can look back on three professionally exciting days. Our second partner meeting in the 75th anniversary year took place in Bangkok. In addition to the vision and mission of DURAG GROUP, the conference program also included presentations, workshops and insights. Alongside virtual tours of our European factories, our guests were informed about our new products D-R 909, Flame Supervisor, ProCeas® AirPlus and EDM 280. In addition, some of our partners gave vivid user examples: oil gun replacement at a power plant, flame monitoring solutions for fired heaters, product tube monitoring in an NCC plant, use of a CEMS total mercury analyzer and a PEMS success story.
In the evenings, the guests relaxed with activities together: there was a boat trip as well as an exclusive gala dinner at the exhibition location Millennium Hilton Bangkok, where a number of partners were honored for their outstanding cooperation at an award ceremony.
DURAG ENVIRONMENT | Searching for waste on the Alster
Insight #19, 18 September 2023
Last week, on one of the last summer evenings of the year, Kristian Hinz, Melis Paragnik and Michaela Weihs grabbed their nets and garbage bags: they went on one of the Alster canals in Hamburg in a kayak in search of trash. The three members of the DURAG GROUP team were successful: the photo shows how much they collected in just one hour! Unfortunately, it should actually be said, because too much waste is simply left and thrown away carelessly – on our paths and streets and in our waters.
Nevertheless, in the spirit of “DURAG ENVIRONMENT”, the trio had fun while doing good in their free time. “We’re very pleased that DURAG GROUP took care of the costs for the boat rental at the Supper Club at Isekai,” says Michaela Weihs.
DURAG Family + Friends | Family celebration at DURAG India
Insight #18, 13 September 2023
The 75th anniversary of DURAG GROUP is a great occasion to celebrate – for all employees and also for their families. So our colleagues at DURAG India organized a family party. To ensure that as many people as possible could participate, the event took place on 15 August 2023 – India’s Independence Day.
“On the occasion of this special birthday, we gave our families an understanding of the history of the origins and development of DURAG GROUP over the past 75 years. But we also ventured a look into the future,” explains Jayanthi Rozario, Administration & HR Manager at DURAG India. The day-long program, which consisted of various activities, kicked off with a talent show for children. Afterwards, the youngest ones took part in a quiz and a drawing competition. “This produced some great designs and ideas, which we rewarded with small prizes. Of course, every child got one in the end,” says Rozario with a twinkle in her eye.
During a lunch together with typical local dishes, the families of the DURAG GROUP employees got to know each other even better. “All in all, our family party was a complete success! We will definitely do it again,” says Rajendra Kumar, Managing Director at DURAG India, summing up the event.
Employees share their stories | Rolf Kierstein
Insight #17, 11 August 2023
Rolf Kierstein, specialist for emission and combustion technology and sales support, South regional office.
63-year-old master electrical mechanic Rolf Kierstein has been working for DURAG GROUP in the field of commissioning and service for more than three decades. In this interview, he reveals how it all began and what the experienced service specialist for combustion technology would like to see for the future of the company.
Rolf, when did you join DURAG GROUP and what did you do before that?
Following my training as an energy appliance electronics technician, I worked for seven years in mechanical engineering in the field and in the office. After further training as a master electrical mechanic, the DURAG South branch in Bad Boll took me on 16 April 1989. I was responsible for the commissioning and repair of dust measuring devices and various combustion technology products, so for both service and support for the sales department. My area covered southern Germany, Switzerland and Austria.
What are currently the most challenging projects for you?
Quite clearly: commissioning flame monitors in critical plants so that they also meet safety requirements. This is the case, for example, when several burners and different fuel variants are used. A current example is the installation at a chemical company in Ludwigshafen, where one of the two boilers has been completely free of natural gas and light fuel oil since January 2023. After extensive testing on the old heavy oil boiler, we recommended to the customer the optimum combination of flame monitors for this extremely complex task. As a result, eight D-LX 201 compact flame monitors were installed in parallel operation with eight D-UG 660s and are now operating very successfully. Now, preference is given to firing with liquid and gaseous waste materials from the company’s own production, sometimes in combination. As a result, one-sixth of the internal energy supply for a company with thousands of employees is secured. The identical conversion of a second boiler is expected to follow in 2024.
How has your field of work at DURAG GROUP developed?
A medium-sized company has become a large company and one of the leading companies in combustion and emission monitoring technology. The quality of our products has always been very high. My goal is always the optimum installation of our devices at our customers’ premises to ensure smooth, trouble-free operation and a long and sustainable equipment service life.
How have you personally experienced your long tenure with the company?
I started my dream job at DURAG in April 1989 and have always been happy to give my full commitment. To this day, I enjoy it very much and like being able to provide advice and support to our various customers, sometimes getting creative to make production and products as trouble-free and safe as possible. The spectrum ranges from conventional power plants to producers of chemical products to food producers. I have been with the company for 34 years as of April 2023, and I’m still pleased to be able to give my best as a specialist in combustion technology. The varied work has always motivated me to do the job with all the energy and creativity I have.
And how are things on a personal level between people?
The corporate culture at DURAG GROUP is very informal, open and appreciative. I find the teams to be extremely friendly in their dealings with each other, and everyone takes their responsibilities very seriously. Overall, I consider our working environment to be extremely modern and future-oriented. We have innovative, good work structures, and the safety equipment for the service staff is perfect.
What highlights do you remember?
The annual get-togethers in Hamburg with colleagues from the service and development departments are super. I also thoroughly enjoyed the summer events at DURAG GROUP. The absolute highlight was my 25th anniversary in 2014 in Hamburg, to which I was invited with my partner, which simply overjoyed me. In addition, my countless appointments with customers have resulted in some personal contacts that I wouldn’t want to be without.
Where do you see DURAG GROUP in ten years time, what do you wish for?
I hope that we continue to have motivated employees. It would be nice to be able to impress our customers with quick response times in the long run. I also hope that DURAG GROUP will become a leading supplier in the field of combustion and emission monitoring technology. Then I will be able to tell my grandchildren proudly and happily about my countless, varied and interesting assignments for my former employer, whose success I was able to help shape through my work.
DURAG Sports | DURAG Korea on the „Peace Road“
Insight #16, 21 July 2023
“For the 75th anniversary of DURAG GROUP, DURAG Korea wanted to do something special,” says Ho-Jeong Lim, Branch Manager Korea at DURAG GROUP. “So we decided to go hiking together and cover 75 of the 770 kilometers of the Haeparang Trail running along the east coast of the Korean peninsula.” The team chose a section that led to South Korea’s northernmost city of Goseong – and to the so-called “Peace Road.”
The tour took place every Friday between 16 June and 7 July. The first three stages under the motto “75 years and we keep on running” led to areas with the cleanest air in the country. Ho-Jeong Lim: “There we realized once again how important it is to protect our environment and preserve it for future generations – not only as a DURAG GROUP company, but also as part of society.”
The fourth and final stage was completed by colleagues from DURAG Korea together with a number of business partners from Woori Environmental Technology, ANPT, KPC System and Haneul. This particular section of the Haeparang Trail is named “Peace Road” because of the nearby Korea Unification Observatory.
Ho-Jeong Lim adds, “The entire DURAG Korea team would like to thank everyone involved in the campaign, not least the DURAG GROUP 75th anniversary organizing team. In particular, Miriam Pfeiffer, who is Head of Sales Asia/Pacific, has been very supportive.” The hike together with our esteemed partners will long be remembered by the team as a very meaningful time, says Ho-Jeong Lim in conclusion.
Memories | A quarter of a century of DURAG India
Insight #15, 19 July 2023
The 75th anniversary of DURAG GROUP is a good reason to celebrate for the entire group of companies. This naturally includes taking a look back. So staff at DURAG India picked out a selection of old pictures and arranged them in the entrance area of the office in Bengaluru as an illustration of the company’s history, allowing customers, cooperation partners and all visitors to reminisce with the team.
On the occasion of our big anniversary, the individual companies in DURAG GROUP are quite rightly looking back on their own successes and milestones, both big and small. For example, the history of DURAG India starts in 1997. What began more than a quarter of a century ago with a small branch office in Securderabad is today an important subsidiary. The new office building in Bengaluru, with space for around 30 colleagues, was occupied at the beginning of October 2022. “When DURAG GROUP decided to operate directly on site here, it was a big challenge at first,” explains Jayanthi Rozario, Manager Administration & HR. “In terms of sales, it’s not at all easy to cover a huge country like ours with industries in every state.” Nevertheless, over more than 25 years now, DURAG India has grown steadily at all levels despite the huge task, she says.
“DURAG GROUP’s 75th anniversary is a significant milestone that makes us very proud and happy, as do our own successes,” explains Jayanthi Rozario. “It is wonderful to be part of this celebration.” He adds that it remains DURAG India’s stated vision to represent DURAG GROUP in the best possible way and to be the market leader in India with the best, most technically advanced and up-to-date products and solutions. Rozario continues, “Our employees have always shown the highest integrity and commitment in their relationships with customers, suppliers and all other stakeholders, and they will continue to do so. We go hand in hand with our owners, management and employees to achieve our goal. We warmly congratulate DURAG GROUP on its 75th birthday and wish it another 75 successful years and many more – may they be as exciting and rewarding!”
Training courses | Perfect combination of theory and practice
Insight #14, 14 July 2023
We have been offering internal and external training courses for more than 23 years. In addition to the internal team at DURAG GROUP, the target groups mainly include our national and international partners and customers. Recently, we have been able to increasingly supplement the range of on-site training courses with digital variants, or switch over to them completely. Our long-term goal is to provide flexible access to the DURAG GROUP’s diverse training program for everyone.
Initially, there were only on-site training courses for customers and partners that were offered directly via the sales department. These have been published on the website for around ten years now and have been supplemented by additional webinars since the pandemic (2021). Overall, the demand for training has increased over the years, and the requests and participant groups are becoming increasingly international. Among the reasons for the increased demand are the growing complexity of applications and devices.
Hands-on training courses: focus on practice
Our product and user training courses are characterized by a combination of theory and so-called hands-on modules. The aim is to demonstrate the product as practically as possible. In this way, participants learn everything they need to know directly – using demo or test devices. Depending on the device, application or module, supplementary special training courses such as explosion protection are available on request.
The topics of the customer training courses cover the following topics:
- Environmental monitoring
- Continuous mercury analysis
- Systems for combustion technology
- Environmental and process data management systems for users and administrators
- Gas analysis
Internal training courses: comprehensive and flexible through blended learning
Our internal training courses are mainly in the area of personnel development, focusing on expanding methods and technical expertise as well as personal and social skills. In the area of professional competence, these courses are gradually being converted to a so-called blended learning approach, where self-generated e-learning courses are used for preparation, followed by on-site seminars or webinars on individual topics, both conducted by internal trainers. The digital learning platform used for this purpose enables significantly more, and more flexible employee training, for example in the areas of project management, communication techniques or healthy work practices.
We will be happy to send you further information on our external training courses. Simply send us an inquiry by e-mail to email@example.com.
DURAG Social | Charity Project by DURAG India
Insight #13, 13 July 2023
Under the motto “Community Service Bringing Hope and Joy”, the DURAG India team is supporting an aid project for girls and women. This is a very special charity action as part of the 75th anniversary year of DURAG GROUP.
Bright faces as a small ray of hope in an often-challenging everyday life: joy, hope and community make you strong for a better future. The DURAG India team therefore supports the independent, non-governmental Saraswathi Charitable Trust. “Community service is a very essential part of life here in India,” explains Binny Phabian from DURAG India. “There are many people here in this country who are not blessed with all the necessities as we are.”
The selected foundation provides orphans and victims of child labor with food, clothing, medical assistance, education and shelter. DURAG India’s donation will specifically benefit a home for 20 orphaned girls, child laborers and single mothers. “The girls of today are the women of tomorrow and should one day become strong pillars of society,” emphasizes Binny Phabian. “The foundation had told us about a number of specific wishes. With our voluntary donation, we were able to organize a washing machine and detergent, a water purifier as well as quilts and bath towels for the home. We are very happy that we were able to cover all the needs.”
This is just the beginning: corporate social responsibility will continue at DURAG India in the future – a wonderful inspiration for the entire DURAG GROUP!
Further information on the Saraswathi Charitable Trust supported by DURAG India can be found here:
Insight #12, 3 July 2023
The DURAG farm in Japan (see Insight #6) is growing and thriving! Once the site had been carefully prepared, the team from DURAG Japan could fully concentrate on the plants – with active support. Miriam Pfeiffer, Regional Director Asia/Pacific at DURAG GROUP, planted young watermelons with the Satoshi family at the DURAG farm. The watermelons will be harvested in August and should be so juicy and delicious that we can hardly wait for the harvest season.
To view more pictures, please click on the image.
Family and Friends Day | Hamburg
Insight #11, 28 June 2023
More than 350 colleagues and guests had a lot of fun last Saturday at our Family and Friends Day! At the entertaining event celebrating the 75th birthday of DURAG GROUP at our headquarters in Hamburg, old and young experienced guided tours through production and simplified product presentations. At around 2 p.m., there was an official welcome from CEO Frank Uwe Schulz. In his speech, he spoke about the history and successes of DURAG GROUP.
We are especially happy about the sale of 100 jars of honey by Kerstin Amissah and Julia Hoberg, collected by our busy Stadtbienen (city bees) at the Kollauhof. The proceeds from the sale, together with other donations, amounted to around 1,300 euros. This will be doubled by DURAG GROUP and donated to a charity project for children and young people in Togo, which is regularly supported and visited by our colleague Kerstin Amissah and her husband, a native of Togo.
Special childcare was on offer throughout Family and Friends Day, as well as an entertaining program with bouncy castle and rodeo riding in the courtyard. The well-being of all our guests was taken care of with coffee specialties and finger food. In the afternoon, we ended the informative as well as relaxed day together with a buffet and drinks. We would like to thank everyone involved for a great event!
Partner Meeting 2023 | DACH, EMEA, AMERICAS
Insight #10, 27 June 2023
75 years DURAG GROUP: we also celebrated this aspect together with our partners from June 20 to 23 at our Partner Meeting 2023 in Hamburg. More than 100 guests accepted the invitation of DURAG GROUP to the Lindtner Hamburg private hotel. The hotel provided the ideal setting for what is now the tenth event of its kind – including morning yoga and running sessions and an exclusive gala dinner.
The anticipation for the event was great, especially after the successful welcome dinner on the evening of 20 June. “We are now looking forward to three days of professional exchange with more than 100 participants from the DACH, EMEA and AMERICAS regions,” said CEO Frank Uwe Schulz following the kick-off event.
The conference program ranged from our vision and mission to proven technologies and reference projects from the three business units Process and Environmental Monitoring, Combustion and Safety Monitoring, and Tunnel and Traffic Monitoring.
Highlights included our partners’ contributions to joint projects as well as the presentation of our new products: the D-R 909 extractive dust monitor, the PROCEAS AIR PLUS® greenhouse gas analyzer from AP2E, the QAL1-certified EDM 280 aerosol spectrometer from GRIMM AEROSOL, and the Flame Supervisor from DURAG. In addition, the new certification for AP2E’s LaserCEM® for HF, NO2, CH4 and a lower CO measurement range was addressed.
Another highlight of the Partner Meeting was the gala dinner. Fabien Burato, Managing Director of DURAG Sales & Service, was pleased about an all-around successful evening: “More than 190 international participants in elegant evening dress enjoyed the festive atmosphere at the Lindtner Hamburg private hotel.” Incidentally, our celebration with a symposium for the 50th anniversary of DURAG GROUP also took place there in November 1998.
Once again, we as DURAG GROUP proved our team spirit – stronger together. We thank all participants for their support! The next Partner Meeting is already just around the corner: from 11 to 14 September 2023 in Bangkok for the Asia-Pacific region. We look forward to meeting our partners from the region there!
DURAG Sports | HafenCity Run 2023
Insight #9, 7 June 2023
In its 75th anniversary year, DURAG GROUP is particularly fit: “There were 55 of us participating in the HafenCity Run this year, which is a new record for us,” reports Oliver Falkenberg, who organized the registrations for the Hamburg event last Saturday.
431 teams with more than 14,000 participants took to the starting line for a good cause at northern Germany’s largest company run. “Among our team were many who had already completed the relay race at the Haspa Marathon,” reveals Falkenberg. In addition to our employees, some family members took part in the relaxed 4.5-kilometer route through Europe’s largest inner-city urban development area. While the event itself has been taking place since 2002, we at DURAG GROUP have been involved for 15 years.
Employees share their stories | Jeff O´Gorman
Insight #8, 6 June 2023
Jeff O’Gorman, Complaints Manager DURAG GROUP, Hamburg location
- 15.12.1994 – 01.09.1995: Shipping Manager
- 01.07.1995 – 31.12.2014: Export Manager
- 01.01.2015 – 30.06.2020: Head of Sales Support
- Since 01.07.2020: Complaints Manager
Jeff O’Gorman, a native Londoner, has lived in Germany since 1983. He began his career at DURAG GROUP a few days before Christmas in December 1994: The 62-year-old started as Shipping Manager, and as Complaints Manager is now responsible for our international complaints management. In this interview, he tells us why this responsibility fulfills him and what he considers to be the most important change in his almost three decades with the company.
Jeff, how long have you been with DURAG GROUP and how did it all start?
Back then, I applied for the advertised position of shipping manager, which is now 28 years ago. I had originally learned the profession of forwarding agent.
What did your workday look like when you started and what does it look like today?
At that time, the shipping department consisted of just me as the shipping manager and a packer. So every shipment that left our premises was handled by me. Today, I’m responsible for complaints management. The main goal here: satisfied customers. I have contact with customers worldwide and with almost all departments within DURAG GROUP when it comes to solving problems. It’s a fulfilling job, and most of the time it’s fun!
What career path did you take at DURAG GROUP?
After I had been here for a few months, the position in export sales became available and I took it over. Before I came to DURAG GROUP, I had often traveled abroad on business. This experience and my pleasure in dealing with people from different cultures provided a good basis for the new role. I then went on to manage the entire sales processing for foreign business in close coordination with the managing director at that time. This ranged from quotations and consulting to order processing and preparation for shipping. In the process, I learned a lot about emission and combustion technology. DURAG USA had just been founded. So, together with Ton Hameleers, I provided help and support with its beginnings, and also with the establishment of the subsequent offices abroad, for example those in India, Japan and Korea.
How has the world of work evolved during this time?
In the beginning, letters and telex were still our main tools of communication. The introduction of e-mail communication was a big step. We proceeded very cautiously at the beginning, because until then all correspondence went over the managing director’s desk.
Which highlights do you remember most fondly?
The best memories are of our international sales meetings, where customers and cooperation partners from all over the world came together. The work itself and the great team spirit and friendships among our colleagues from foreign countries have always given me great pleasure.
Communication | From the blackboard to Social Media
Insight #7, 15 May 2023
More dynamic, more immediate, more diverse, more transparent: The DURAG GROUP's communication has changed over time. The blackboard, the classic staff meeting and mailings still exist today. Letters, however, only exist to a limited extent, because the world of communication has changed fundamentally since the company was founded in 1948. In the early days, internal Christmas booklets and an employee newspaper were still published, which you can discover in the picture gallery accompanying this insight. In the anniversary year 2023, our communication is faster, more direct and primarily digital.
Direct exchange, dialog, is becoming increasingly important. Externally, we provide information on our website, but especially via social media. In the social networks, the most important communication channel is the international business network LinkedIn. In addition, the DURAG GROUP is present on Facebook, XING, YouTube and Vimeo. Our "Te@mNet" is the central internal communication platform. Recently, video messages from the Executive Board have also been posted there, professionally produced with our own video equipment.
The corona pandemic was a major turning point for communications as a whole: For many, office work shifted to the home office, collaboration to digital meeting rooms, and the number of webinars increased. Today, videoconferencing is as common for us as picking up the phone once was. The latter has now disappeared altogether on some desks, and this trend is set to grow.
At the same time, we at the DURAG GROUP naturally still like to focus on "real" gatherings: In addition to numerous trade fairs, congresses etc., where we meet customers and partners live on site, there are many internal company events and joint activities – also and especially in the anniversary year.
Follow us on the following channels:
DURAG Environment | DURAG Farm in Japan
Insight #6, 10 May 2023
Environmental thinking and action are an integral part of the corporate culture of DURAG GROUP. This is reflected in various activities to benefit the environment in this anniversary year. One particularly nature-oriented example is the “DURAG Farm” in Japan, where the DURAG Japan team created a garden especially for the 75th anniversary and are now gradually planting vegetables to be given away locally. The first ground was broken with various potato varieties, with carrots, edamame (young soybeans) and sweet potatoes to follow. Since the farm can only be cultivated on weekends, the vegetables were covered with a dark cover to protect them from cold, drying and weeds. The garden is completely surrounded by nature – including hungry herbivores, so the delicious vegetables are also protected by a fence.
Click on the image to open the DURAG Farm image gallery.
Employees share their story | Takeshi Saito
Insight #5, 8 May 2023
Takeshi Saito, consultant & advisor since 2021, Area Sales Manager Japan from 2005 – 2021
He’s almost as old as the company itself and has enriched our team for many years: Takeshi Saito was already a sought-after expert for energy and analyzers in Japan before joining DURAG GROUP. He was Area Sales Manager for Japan until 2021 and built up our business there. In order to stay up to date, he attended product training courses at our Hamburg location from time to time. As a consultant and advisor, he is currently taking care of a smooth handover of his former responsibilities into younger hands – those of his son Satoshi Saito. In this interview, he talks about his beginnings at DURAG GROUP and his future vision for us.
Takeshi Saito, how long have you been with DURAG GROUP and how did that start?
My previous employer was one of DURAG’s distributors at the time. When I left there in 2004, DURAG management was visiting Japan, and that’s how my story at DURAG GROUP began – going back 17 years now. I had previous business development experience in the energy industry and was head of the Instrumentation business unit including analyzers. So the task of developing the Japanese market together with DURAG was just the right job for me.
What career path did you take at DURAG GROUP and were there any particular challenges?
I was responsible for all sales and business development activities in Japan since the beginning. The biggest challenge was the development of marine applications, mainly for LNG tankers.
What do you like about working for DURAG GROUP, how would you describe the company culture?
The business and working atmosphere at DURAG has always been passionate, working with a smile and integrity. Passion, smiles and integrity – this work style fits my own philosophy of life. Besides that motto, I also like DURAG’s “Originality and Continuity” slogan.
Has your time with the company changed or influenced you personally?
Here in Japan, we have the saying “Even a stone gets warm when a person sits on it for three years,” which means “perseverance wins”. Continuity is a key to positive business development.
Which highlights do you remember most?
I look back with pleasure on the 60th anniversary of DURAG and the international sales meeting held in 2008. I also have fond memories of the meeting two years later with a subsequent visit to the Stuttgart folk festival “Cannstatter Wasen”.
How do you see the future of DURAG GROUP, what do you wish for?
I am convinced that DURAG GROUP will continue to grow steadily and add new, unique technologies to its portfolio. In my remaining time with the company, I will fully support my son Satoshi in the spirit of DURAG Japan’s continued growth.
DURAG Sports | Haspa Marathon Hamburg
Insight #4, 24 April 2023
Around 11,800 participants at the 37th Haspa Marathon Hamburg – and DURAG GROUP was right in the middle of it. Equipped with team shirts and a banner for the 75th company anniversary, around 32 DURAG employees from the Hamburg location took part under a bright blue sky.
The evening before the run, the teams got into the right mood with a shared pasta dinner and music. With this perfect preparation behind them, everyone was highly motivated for the starting gun on Sunday, 23 April 2023. However, the shared experience was much more important than the times run. The mixed running groups from all departments led to a noticeable increase in team spirit.
To open the image gallery please click on the image.
Employees share their story | Ulrike Barnutz
Insight #3, 27 March 2023
Ulrike Barnutz, Travel Manager / Internal Services, DURAG GROUP, Hamburg location
- 01.07.2000 – 01.09.2019: Secretary / Assistant to the Executive Board
- 01.09.2019 until today: Travel Manager / Internal Services
Born in Örebro, Sweden, Ulrike Barnutz has been working at DURAG GROUP for almost 23 years now, in the meantime in the area of internal services / travel management. Reason enough to take a look back at this long time together with her on the occasion of our 75th company anniversary: how she came to the company, what has changed over the years, what she appreciates about her work and which events from her professional life she particularly likes to remember – you can read all about it here.
How did you come to join DURAG GROUP?
In the traditional way: in the summer of 2000, I saw a job advertisement for secretary and assistant to management in the “Niendorfer Wochenblatt” newspaper, applied and luckily got the job.
What was your start like? Did you have any previous professional experience or was it all completely new to you?
One nice surprise was that I met some friendly colleagues right at the beginning who I already knew personally. I had previously trained as a wholesale and export merchant and had worked as such for eight years at a company in Niendorf.
How has DURAG GROUP developed over time?
In 2000, when I started, there were about 70 of us employed here at Kollaustraße. The atmosphere was a bit more informal than it is today, because you knew just about everyone personally. I remember that in the early years I even used a typewriter! At that time, a gong also sounded regularly in the building: once at 9 a.m. for the breakfast break and again at 12:30 p.m. for the lunch break. So everyone on each floor or in each department had a break together, which was always a lot of fun and sometimes very loud.
What did your workday look like then compared to now?
Until September 2019, my workplace was located directly in management’s offices. My responsibilities included for example organizing and booking events and business trips as well as general secretarial jobs. For many years, I also personally distributed mail and payslips to colleagues based here at the location – that has changed with Covid. In the meantime, I have a variety of new responsibilities, and also a change in where I work: since fall 2019, I no longer report directly to management, but to the HR department.
What were your greatest personal challenges at DURAG GROUP?
For me, it was always particularly exciting when there was a change in management.
What made you stay with DURAG GROUP for such a long time?
My area of responsibility gives me a great deal of pleasure because it is very varied. And there’s always something new. Regular positive feedback also contributes to my satisfaction. And I like the fact that there are still many colleagues from my early days with whom I can occasionally reminisce at an event. It creates a feeling of togetherness. Over the years, DURAG GROUP has grown considerably and new departments and areas have been added. Nevertheless, it has remained clear on the whole – also thanks to colleagues who have held their positions for many years.
Has being with the company for so long changed or influenced you personally?
It has given me many personal friendships that I still have today.
What highlights have remained in your memory in particular?
Actually, all the celebrations were very memorable. I always had a lot of fun helping to organize them. It was also great to see or get to know colleagues from other locations with whom you had already been in contact for many years, either in writing or by phone. I will also never forget how we cleared out the mechanics hall, watched the World Cup games together and turned the premises into a dance floor in the evening. It was also spectacular to have the opportunity to be on a large sailing boat at the entry parade of the Hamburg Harbor Birthday in 2015.
Where do you see the DURAG GROUP and yourself in ten years? What do you wish for?
I hope to be enjoying my retirement in ten years. Until then, I hope that DURAG GROUP here at the Hamburg/Niendorf location continues to be so successful. I am looking forward to many more interesting tasks and conversations as well as celebrations with old and new colleagues.
DURAG Environment | Hamburg cleans up
Insight #2, 23 March 2023
From 24 February to 5 March, the annual waste collection campaign “Hamburg räumt auf” (“Hamburg cleans up”) took place. We also took part again, this time the event was held under our annual motto “75 years DURAG GROUP”.
A total of 30 employees set out in small groups to clear the area around company headquarters of waste. They were equipped with garbage bags, gloves and tongs. The varied “spoils” included leftovers such as liquor bottles, candy wrappers and lots of cigarette butts, but also shoes, old clothes and batteries and long-expired food. For the future, we hope that everyone will dispose of their waste properly and pay more attention to environmental issues.
In 2023, around 79,800 volunteers were involved in “Hamburg cleans up”, who according to the city cleaning department collected around 133 tons of garbage.
To open the image gallery please click on the image.
The beginnings of the DURAG GROUP | H. WILHELM SCHAUMANN
Insight #1, 6 February 2023
DURAG was founded in 1948 by the businessman H. Wilhelm Schaumann (see picture) together with the nuclear physicists Prof. Bagge and Dr. Diebner. The latter held electronic pentode amplifier valves in the turbulent post-war years and were looking for a use for a measurement device. Schaumann spent a lot of time with scientists at the time – including Nils Bohr, who later won the Nobel Prize. Thus, Schaumann quickly recognized the potential of these tubes and laid the foundation for today's company.
The name DURAG is thus also based on the DURATRON, a device for detecting gamma rays, which the founders had developed using the old electronic pentode amplifier valves.