Nürtingen, 24 October 2023: Dirk Heers, Managing Director of eta plus electronic gmbh, is leaving the company. Uwe Uhlemann, Head of Operations at IST METZ, will take over the duties of the Managing Director on an interim basis with immediate effect.
eta plus electronic gmbh was founded in 1988 and since then has been producing UV medium pressure lamps and electronic ballasts that are used in printing presses worldwide for drying inks and coatings. For the growth market of UV water treatment, eta plus develops and manufactures innovative lamp systems for municipal drinking water disinfection plants and for ballast water treatment on ships. The company is part of the METZ group of companies in Nürtingen and has over 120 employees.
Different opinions about the future strategic orientation led to the decision to go separate ways with immediate effect. "On behalf of the management and the employees, I would like to thank Mr Heers for his work for eta plus. I wish him all the best for his professional and private future," says Christian-Marius Metz, owner and managing director of METZ BETEILIGUNGEN GmbH.
"I am very happy that we were able to win Uwe Uhlemann for this responsible task. I am confident that he will successfully lead the eta plus company thanks to his human and professional qualities and I wish him all the best in this regard," adds Christian-Marius Metz.
The UV lamp manufacturer records strong growth - now over 100 employees
eta plus is mainly known as a developer and manufacturer of high-performance UV lamps for its parent company IST Metz. In the meantime, Eta Plus has created a second, strongly growing pillar with lamp systems for water treatment. This year, the Zizishäuser company celebrates its 30th anniversary.
The economic crisis in 2009 was the starting signal for diversification, reports Managing Director Peter Schwarz-Kiene, who took over the management of eta plus in the same year. Founded in 1988 as a subsidiary of IST Metz, the company designs and produces the UV lamps and electrical ballasts that are used in printing presses worldwide. Eta Plus also supplies components for IST Metz's second line of business, UV technology for industrial applications such as the drying and curing of varnishes and surface coatings.
But because the printing industry weakened after the crisis, Eta Plus expanded its field of activity to include water treatment. Schwarz-Kiene reports that the company had already been involved in this field on a small scale in 2000. Now it was specifically expanded as a second strategic pillar. "UV is a reliable method to kill germs here," explains sales manager Markus Roth: "No addition of chemicals is necessary." Pharmaceutical residues, for example, can also be eliminated with UV light in combination with other methods. Water suppliers in several large cities around the world are among the customers. 10 000 lamps per year are sold in this market.
Treatment of ballast water on ships as a new market
Since 2009, the turnover of eta plus has risen from 5.5 million to probably more than 16 million euros this year. According to Schwarz-Kiene, the growth is mainly coming from the water market. Next year, the company is aiming for a turnover of 20 million euros. By then, water treatment should account for 50 per cent of turnover.
This continued strong growth is to be made possible by a new market that is just opening up, says Markus Roth: the treatment of ballast water on ships. Ships need a certain basic load to increase their stability when they are empty. This happens through ballast water. The problem: due to the growing international maritime trade, living organisms are increasingly transported back and forth around the world in the process, which can damage the ecosystem at the respective other location. "Living organisms from Asia, for example, which have no natural enemies in Europe, can cause the local ecosystem to overturn if the ballast water is drained here," explains Roth.
Since last year, a ballast water directive has been binding worldwide, which is intended to reduce damage to the marine environment. "UV technology will be at the forefront of ballast water treatment," says Markus Roth. Worldwide, he says, systems are needed for about 40,000 ships. A completely new lamp technology was developed especially for this market.
Production in Nürtingen
eta plus develops and manufactures completely in Nürtingen. In addition to the UV lamps, they also make the electrical ballasts - the electronic control of the lamps. "We are the only manufacturer that produces both," reports Schwarz-Kiene: "That makes us a strong partner for customers."
But despite the good opportunities that Eta Plus sees here, Peter Schwarz-Kiene is cautious about the company's further growth plans. "We expect another decent growth in the next three to five years. But not as strong as in the past ten years." This is also due to the fact that the company's strategy is not aimed at a mass market: "We will remain modest in terms of growth and will only manufacture and sell products that suit us. We will not become a supplier of highly standardised products."
(Source: Nürtinger Zeitung from 27.10.2018)
eta plus electronic gmbh has received GL certificate for its new Electronic Lamp Controller (ELC) ELC X6B and ELC X8B. The units can operate lamps up to 6kW (ELC® X6B), respectively 8kW (ELC X8B) and are specially adopted for the usage onboard of ships. They can be operated in ambient temperatures up to 55°C and have successfully passed all environmental and EMC tests necessary to operate them in every marine applications like BWTS, fish farming or fresh water treatment, etc. that means in all applications where you expect harshest environments. The ELC X_B series is based on the successful ELC X series where eta plus has introduced highest available IP 54 protection level. This ensures perfect protection of all electronics against all kinds of environmental pollution. The key to this protection level is the unique cooling concept with integrated air conditioning. This ELC® concept allows highest packaging density, one of the major critical parameter especially for BWTS retrofits and new builds. Other important features of the X Series are fieldbus control (modbus and PROFIBUS), extensive dimming range, wide input voltage range 360 V to 528 V, lowest harmonic distortion THDi, insulated lamp output, integrated earth fault detection, and so on.