As a leading provider of solutions related to lubricants, Rhenus Lub GmbH & Co KG meets the requirements of a broad spectrum of customers every day. The family-owned company, founded in 1882 and based in Mönchengladbach, has gained the trust of countless customers in more than 40 countries with its variety of high-quality products for various users.
Wirtschaftsforum:Dr Reiners, I’d like to start by asking you a question. Where do you see your company after one year of lockdown?
Dr. Max Reiners: We were in a haze from March 2020 onwards. There was a significant drop in sales of metal working oils and a slight decrease for lubricating greases. However, things have been improving since the third quarter and the fourth quarter of 2020 was really strong; there were no absolute losses. Coronavirus aside, I think we are ahead of the pack in terms of market share. We serve around one third of the market. In terms of development, we definitely rank among the leaders.
Wirtschaftsforum: What does Rhenus Lub’s product portfolio look like?
Thomas Genz: Rhenus Lub is built on three pillars. Metal working fluids and metal working oils make up one segment, while lubricating greases form another branch. The third pillar is our service division “rhenus lubrineering”. This pillar is about fluid management. We handle the entire processes of our customers relating to fluids in their production. We help to maintain and optimise processes.
Dr. Ingo Nösler: We attach great importance to research and development and have developed many new products. On the production side, we are also one of the most modern grease factories in Europe and introduced Industry 4.0 (smart factory) here a long time ago. Our production and development are of the highest standard.
Wirtschaftsforum:Could you please give us some examples of innovation?
Dr. Ingo Nösler:We were the first to bring boric-acid-free and amine-free metal working fluids onto the market. The health of the user is always our priority. We were taking action on this front before the trend had even reached the market. For example, during the pandemic we brought skin-friendly metal working fluids for metal processing onto the market. We often exceed the legal requirements in this area, which is one of our strengths.
Wirtschaftsforum: What role does sustainability play in your company?
Dr. Max Reiners: In terms of lubricating greases, we offer bio-based and biodegradable products. We use green electricity and reconditioned drums in a second life cycle. We are a member of the UN “Global Compact” initiative and consider ourselves to be a sustainably operating company above and beyond our products.
We are a member of the UN “Global Compact” initiative and consider ourselves to be a sustainably operating company above and beyond our products.
Dr. Ingo Nösler: OEMs and suppliers. Our customers come to us from all sectors where metal is processed or lubrication is required. This includes the automotive, railway and aviation industry. We also started developing solutions for alternative energy at an early stage, such as for wind energy and electromobility.
Wirtschaftsforum: You operate on a global scale. What is your main focus when it comes to exports?
Dr. Ingo Nösler: Our focus is on Europe. Besides Spain, France and the Netherlands, where we have branches, the most important countries are Denmark, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary and Italy. Outside of Europe, we work together with local partners. We are successful wherever there is high demand for product solutions.
Wirtschaftsforum: The fourth generation recently joined the family-owned company. What issues are particularly important to them?
Dr. Max Reiners: The younger generation are driving environmental and digital transformation. As a company, we have been active in these areas for a long time. However, all four children offer a new perspective on these important issues through their professional activities. They will make a significant contribution towards further strengthening tour family-owned company with innovation and sustainable concepts for the future.
Wirtschaftsforum: And what is your outlook for the coming period?
Dr. Max Reiners: Our most important goal is to stay healthy for now. We discuss the pandemic each week and follow the latest developments. In addition, we want to increase our focus on the sustainable use of raw materials. We still don’t know what the “new normal” will look like after the pandemic. There will definitely be a shift in the market. We want to keep growing strategically and profitably. We are very well positioned for this in terms of development, production, application and service. We also want to expand our service and increase our presence in neighbouring European countries.