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Historische Ansicht der DURAG Firmenzentrale
75 years DURAG GROUP

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!

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.

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DURAG Weihnachtsfest Zeitung von früher
Flyer DURAG GROUP Intranet

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.

DURAG Farm in Japan
DURAG Farm in Japan

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.

Haspa Marathon DURAG GROUP
Haspa Marathon DURAG GROUP
Haspa Marathon DURAG GROUP
Haspa Marathon DURAG GROUP

Employees share their story | Ulrike Barnutz

Insight #3, 27 March 2023

Ulrike Barnutz, Travel Manager / Internal Services, DURAG GROUP, Hamburg location

DURAG milestones:

  • 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.

Hamburg räumt auf | 75 Jahre DURAG GROUP
Hamburg räumt auf | 75 Jahre DURAG GROUP
Hamburg räumt auf | 75 Jahre DURAG GROUP

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.

Find out more about H. Wilhelm Schaumann here.