Successful niche products “Made in Satteldorf”

You don’t need a mass market to be successful. A perfect example of this is HEGLA, the company with a centre of excellence for special vehicle attachments in Satteldorf (Schwäbisch Hall, Germany). People who don’t have anything to do with glass, windows or structural elements professionally will probably not recognise the company, which was established in Beverungen in North Rhein-Palatinate in 1976, although the company is the market leader in the sector for vehicle attachments for glass and window transport.

Mercedes Antos with glass reef HEGLA Fahrzeugbau

Transport attachments for bulky, easily damaged goods are a specialism of the HEGLA Group, which converts up to 90 trucks and 440 vans at its three locations in Germany every year. HEGLA Fahrzeugbau’s best-known and most visible products on the road are surely its glass racks, which have been attached to the delivery and service vans of many window manufacturers, glaziers’ workshops or sheet-processing companies. “The extra transport option on vehicle exteriors is a major advantage for heavy, bulky and easily damaged goods, such as panes and windows,” explained Managing Director Hans-Peter Löhner of HEGLA in Satteldorf. “The goods can be directly placed on the rack and do not have to be lifted into the interior with great effort, where it would block the space required for other material.” The goods are protected against falling during transport by special slat bars that fix them in place. The racks are made from a patented aluminium profile that is extremely stable and adds little extra weight.

Customers have the option to add a pull-out interior rack, roof rack and tool cabinet system to their vans. The vehicles are converted in close collaboration with their manufacturers and the work can be done on all makes and models. The average completion time is one day – including TÜV certification.

Glass wholesalers and insulating glass manufacturers that want to ship large quantities of glass or glass in extra-large formats can also have a truck converted for use in the glass industry, equipping it with a loading crane, a tilting side rack and special tarpaulins that include labelling.

Drawers and compact storage for glass, sheets, and wooden panels are another product segment that is a specialism of HEGLA and also manufactured in Satteldorf. Materials to be stored can be conveniently sorted into the multiple-use compartments and removed with direct access. “The opportunity for direct removal without re-stacking reduces the risk of damage during handling,” said Mr Löhner, describing the systems’ benefits. “At the same time, the storage system enables our customers to maintain a clearer overview of their inventory.”

The HEGLA Group has around 500 employees. 45 of them work in Satteldorf. At the company headquarters in Beverungen, production concentrates on machines and systems for cutting flat glass, while harp racks and profile storage systems are the focus of the subsidiary in Kretzschau (Saxony-Anhalt).

Branch specific vehicle with external reef