Elaflex’s Global HQ in Hamburg, Germany
A key focus for SGB is environmental
protection and their systems are designed
to continuously monitor for any leaks in the
tanks and pipes, raising an alarm before any
of the stored product can leak into the environment.
The technology is used in millions
of tanks across the world to prevent pollution.
Perhaps it is the stunning surrounds of
their home location that first inspired SGB all
those years ago to do their bit to protect it.
Brugg Pipe Systems
From SGB we head 263km north towards
Brugg Pipe Systems’ German office just outside
the City of Hanover, home to Hanover
96 football club, although perhaps following
Germany’s recent showing at the football
World Cup in Russia it’s probably best we
stay away from football related descriptions.
Travelling North the road winds through
thick forests and past some of Germany’s
most beautiful countryside. Had we been
doing this trip for real I imagine the video
would’ve come out looking like an Audi car
commercial – the motorhome showcasing
it’s impressive handling as we follow the
long winding road, the sun creating an artistic
glare on the lens as it peaks through the
gaps of the trees. Something to consider in
future ENTV planning meetings.
Brugg Pipe Systems, which specialises in
the manufacturing of flexible and rigid pipe
systems, is part of the wider Brugg group.
What initially began as a cable company
in 1896 now employs 2000 people across
5 different divisions – cable systems, rope
technology, process control, real estate and
of course pipe systems. Brugg Pipe Systems
based in Switzerland and Germany not
only provides pipe systems to fueling stations
but also has divisions for local heating;
industry and in-house system packages.
When we caught up with the Brugg team at
UNITI expo in Stuttgart their latest LNG pipe
took centre stage. With increasing demand
for LNG and other alternative fuels, Brugg
are using their expertise to find solutions to
support this growth. This pipe features three
layers. One to take the product out, one to
The ‘road trip’ route.
take it back and a layer of insulation to keep
the product at the required temperature of
-162°C. What makes the product even more
important for site operators is that it comes
already assembled, which means there is
no onsite welding required.
These simple yet extremely effective innovations
are typical of Brugg. Two years ago
at PEI 2016 in Atlanta they showcased their
DEF heater for the first time. The innovation
was so cutting-edge that it was delivered
by FedEX on the morning of the show. The
premise was simple – instead of heating
around the pipe, which also heats the surrounding
environment and can cause issues
with product freezing, Brugg created an
internal pipe heating system which is controlled
by a temperature sensor. This principle
of heating guarantees a cost-saving
and effective heating of the AdBlue / DEF on
cold winter days.
As well as a wide product range and continued
innovations, Brugg Pipe Systems
also has an in house assembly team and
internal engineering department, ensuring
that they can provide the best consultation,
installation and support to their customers.
From Brugg we head north once again
and past the incredible sights of Lüneburg
Heath. Wikipedia informs me that this is a
popular tourist destination in Germany and
it is easy to see why with the purple heather
covered hills and magnificent woodland.
A couple of hours later (according to current
traffic) and we arrive at Elaflex’s global
headquarters west of Hamburg, the final
stop on our tour. The building which houses
the company’s research and development,
global sales and management is just
a stone’s throw away from the impressive
Volksparkstadion, home of Hamburger SV.
As with the German National Team, 2017/18
was a torrid season for the club and they
were relegated to the Bundesliga 2. That will
be the last football related dig, I promise.
However Elaflex’s reasons for their office
location goes beyond football and idyllic
views and actually happens to be where the
company was founded in 1923. Elaflex is a
leading international specialist for refuelling
equipment and safe connections for the
transfer of dangerous goods and sensitive
fluids. The company specialises in hoses,
couplings, expansion joints and nozzles and
today has around 630 employees across the
globe. Their largest manufacturing facility
is located just 400km away in Battenberg,
however Elaflex also has plants in New Zealand,
where they produce CNG products;
Australia, where they make LPG products;
Sweden, which specialises in cryogenic
and gas components and the UK where
they manufacture composite hoses. Elaflex
also has offices across the globe in Argentina,
Brazil, Australia, China, Singapore, Italy,
Belgium, France, the UK and Sweden.
One of the greatest challenges and opportunities
for Elaflex has been the increasing
demand for alternative fuels. “Elaflex has
always been concerned with creating solutions
from terminal to nozzle. We have a full
suite of alternative fuel solutions including
LPG, CNG, LNG and AdBlue. We have to go
with the market. If the market wants apple
juice to fuel a car we would look to find a
solution for that,” explained Stefan Kunter,
CEO of Elaflex
Elaflex has recently launched a new Product
ID app. Every Elaflex product features
a Data Matrix Code, which when scanned
gives users access to technical specifications,
product history and documentations.
“The new app for smart devices allows
customers, inspectors and officials that are
going to stations and refineries access to all
the relevant information about the products.
They can track the history and automatically
schedule inspections. Currently there
is a lot of paperwork and this will digitialise
everything and make it smarter,” explained
So there we have it, a tour of one of Europe’s
most instgram-worthy regions, a look
at three of the fuel retail industry’s leading
suppliers and only two football related jabs
– all without leaving the office.
erpecnews is published by McLean Events, Conferences and Media Ltd. 17