The setting would be ideal for a james bond movie: "the link between the worlds" or so. Well hidden at the edge of the kitzingen industrial park harbor, a gray staircase leads uphill. A bright orange gelander directs eyes and hands upwards. A woman's door leads into dark buror rooms, down a narrow corridor. Behind a steel door it hums quietly. It is the background melody in the world of wheels.
Individual scents stand out from a mixture of smells that fills the coarse hall: rubber, wood, glue… The smelling organ is irritated.
Christoph adam and his sister gabriele smile as they look into the questioning faces of visitors. The chemical engineer and the accountant, who joined their father's company in 1996 and have been complementing each other as managers ever since, know exactly that their company is a very special one. Although 84 employees now work here in kitzingen, hardly anyone outside the inconspicuous industrial buildings has any idea of the mysterious giant wheels that turn here every day. Christoph adam suspects why: "our products are mainly used in huge industrial plants and power stations. They have only an indirect influence on people's daily lives."
The "ditec" – dichtungstechnik gmbh – puts on the "giant wheels so called rubber and fabric compensators make. Sounds complicated and highly technical. It is also. To put it simply, "ditec" provides to ensure that enormous pipes are elastically connected to each other and perfectly sealed. This is extremely important, for example, in power plants of all kinds – in chile, for example, where the elastic parts from kitzingen have to withstand even strong earthquakes. "Ditec" but he also designed a compensator for the space agency NASA, which was tested at a height of 14 kilometers by a boeing in the stratosphere.
For the largest european fish farm in portugal, the company has built underwater seals of three meters in diameter – adam: "there was no one else in the world i knew who could make such a thing". And for a huge drinking water extraction plant in the desert of qatar, an emirate on the persian gulf, seals were also formed whose dimensions resemble highway tunnels.
Many professions under one roof
In addition, the company's own assembly team is making calls on well-known companies in the food industry, for example at bahlsen or storck; here, for example, the pipelines of the production lines have to be sealed in a food-safe manner.
"Our strength is our individuality, gabriele adam gets to the point. That "ditec" the reason why the company is able to react flexibly to the most unusual requirements is that all the work steps, from design to production and quality assurance, take place in the immediate vicinity of one another. Technicians, mechanics, carpenters, tinsmiths, locksmiths, installers – they all work in the kitzingen "harbor" hand in hand.
The heart of the huge "wheel hall is the calender – a grass-covered unit with heavy rollers that smooth silicone and rubber raw compounds according to individual requirements.
Through a plastic curtain you can get to the in-house carpentry shop and in the neighboring building is the metal construction shop. "Our father knew that the highest quality had to come from a single source", analyzes christoph adam. The fact that engineers, woodworkers and metalworkers work very closely together makes for enormous flexibility. Even to integrate steel into rubber is a challenge for "ditec" no problem.
Manfred adam is now 77 years old and still closely associated with the company that the mechanical engineering technician founded in 1973 – back then in schrannenstrabe. Over time, it has become more and more of a specialist company that today fills an important niche worldwide. "Three quarters of our products are now rubber compensators, only one quarter is made of fabric."
2007 the adams have their own "vulcanization" expanded. Here, components with diameters of up to five meters can be made elastic and resistant to chemical and mechanical influences from outside. The managers won't reveal any more details – the special technology developed over the years is a trade secret. Just this: temperature, pressure and time are the components that are individually specified for each elastic element.
Gabriele adam: "our main strength is that we can also fulfill very unusual wishes and requirements." For example for use in space. Or at the bottom of the sea.
James bond could be envious.