When the bells ring for dinner on the Queen Mary 2, the queen of cruise ships, the 2,600 passengers and 1,250 crew members can rely on a good piece of the Niederrhein: for the 1,500 meter-long balancing circuits, via which the food cooling in the legendary luxury kitchens is controlled, come from the cable and transmission line manufacturer SAB Bröckskes.
The company does nofocus on mass-produced goods, buton customer orientation and service. Hence, in addition to the standard products, every year more than 1,500 cables especially designed according to the customers’ requirements leave the factory for destinations in more than 40 countries -and on sea.
Indeed, several of thecompanies that produce electrical equipment in the Niederrhein region with the help of around 6,000 employees have a maritime streak. Reystar, for instance, has focused on maritime electronics and switchboard construction. Its customer base ranges from the Elbe cruise ship “Dresden” to the Cuban sulphuric acid tanker.
Alstom, a global leader in the construction of components for electrical grids, rail networks and industrial plants, produced the substations for the Alpha Ventus offshore wind farm in the North Sea in the Niederrhein region. For about a century now, the company – now going by the name Alstom Grid – has been developing, producing, examining, delivering and servicing transformers and inductors to be used all over the world.
The cables corporation Nexans also produces for the global market in the Niederrhein region. For example, it supplied cables for the Transrapid in Shanghai. In the production facility, which was preceded by theKabelwerke Rheydt founded in 1898, numerous technologically superior cable products made of copper and fiber optics are made for industry, infrastructure, plant construction, telecommunications, data networks –as well as ship construction.
ATB Schorch has been considered a specialist for electric drive technology since it was founded in 1882. Today the company produces made-to-measure solutions for, inter alia, the oil and gas industry, the chemicals and petrochemicals industry, energy generation, water management – as well as ship construction.
Other major players in the electrical engineering industry serve markets all round the world from the Niederrhein region, such as the cable manufacturer CiS Electronic or the developer and manufacturer of switching gear ATR Industrie-Elektronik, a subsidiary of the machinery and plant manufacturer Siempelkamp. The leading technology company in the area of LED technology, Vossloh-Schwabe Optoelectronic, which is part of the Japanese Panasonic Group, is also one of the region’s shining stars.
The companies also receive stimulus for innovation from the universities in the region and their graduates. Furthermore, the Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences has been training engineers for 50 years at its Krefeld-based faculty for Electrical Engineering/IT, these days also in dual study programs and courses that can be completed while working. The Rhein-Waal UAS has set up the electronics study program at the faculty for Technology and Bionics at its campus in Kleve entirely in English. The Excellence Initiative University RWTH Aachen is in close proximity to the Niederrhein region.