VOL. 25 March ISSUE YEAR 2024


in Vol. 25 - March Issue - Year 2024
Challenges and Innovations in the Wheel Blast Machine Market
Hermann Walkenhorst, Head of Sales at AGTOS

Hermann Walkenhorst, Head of Sales at AGTOS

Hermann Walkenhorst, Head of Sales at AGTOS during EUROGUSS Fair at Nuremberg, January 2024

Hermann Walkenhorst, Head of Sales at AGTOS during EUROGUSS Fair at Nuremberg, January 2024

AGTOS drum blast machine for surface treatment of bulk materials

AGTOS drum blast machine for surface treatment of bulk materials

AGTOS Gesellschaft für technische Oberflächensysteme mbH has been on the market for over 20 years now and has established itself as an internationally recognised manufacturer of shot blast plants. In this interview, we talk to Mr. Hermann Walkenhorst, Head of Sales at AGTOS, about the still young year 2024 and its challenges.

(?) MFN: Hello Mr. Hermann Walkenhorst, thank you very much for this interview. Can you tell us something about yourself and your work at AGTOS? 

(!) H. W.: For three years now I have been working for AGTOS. As part of a follow-up plan for a co-founder of AGTOS, Mr Scheibler, I initially started in international sales. 

During my initial training period, I was able to get to know the broad product portfolio and the high degree of customisation of the machines in the capital goods sector. Thanks to my many years of experience in international machine sales, I was able to further deepen and expand my knowledge and skills at AGTOS. I have been working as Head of Sales since June last year. My job is to support and organise the entire sales team. The team consists of the international sales managers, who work closely with the sales assistants and sales engineering team and support and continuously expand the entire international business.

(?) MFN: And how is AGTOS starting the still young year 2024?

(!) H. W.: After a great financial year in 2022 and a good but challenging year in 2023, we have a positive outlook for 2024. Our strength lies in being able to offer our products across many sectors, which means that we can continue to work on good projects with a stable product mix in the current situation.  

At the same time, we are continuously working on further developing our products and services in order to continue to meet the constant demands of the market.

(?) MFN: What challenges and what potential do you see in the market?

(!) H. W.: I see the current potential and simultaneous challenge for a medium-sized company like AGTOS in technological developments and their sensible integration into existing business structures. We have to learn to recognise many new opportunities for us and make use of them in a timely manner. Advances in artificial intelligence and automation will create new business opportunities that need to be utilised in good time. 

What's more, we need to address the issue of sustainability not just in terms of the product, but on the whole.

AGTOS stands for expertise in wheel blast technology, so innovation is firmly anchored in our DNA. With our endeavour to continuously develop new technologies, processes and products, we enhance our competitiveness and can meet the current needs of our customers. 

For example, our abrasive preparation, which is a key function in a shot blast plant, has been further developed. We have been able to reduce the degree of dust separation in the air classifier to 0.1 mm. This enables us to offer our customers one of the most efficient abrasive preparation systems on the market. After all, a clean operating mixture is essential for a shot blast plant to run sustainably. Just 2% more dust and coarse particles in the abrasive circuit can quickly double the wear.

(?) MFN: How do you see the current issue of sustainability?

(!) H. W.: Sustainability requires a holistic approach that encompasses all aspects of a company's life cycle. This involves not only environmental aspects, but also social and economic dimensions. In other words, it is about involving everyone. We have already successfully done this with many in-house projects involving cross-departmental participants. We have also succeed in getting the various stakeholders to see environmental management as sustainable. We also promote aspects such as social responsibility in supply chain management, innovation and sustainable behaviour along the entire process chain.

When it comes to innovations, we have the great advantage of having great production depth. This allows us to directly incorporate the topic of sustainability as an integral component.

(?) MFN: How is it that AGTOS has such a high production depth?

(!) H. W.: Basically, I have to say that it's great that AGTOS has a high production depth. From the development of the hardware and software to the production of complete plants, we do almost everything ourselves. 

When it comes to software in particular, I was initially impressed by the fact that AGTOS has all the expertise in-house. Software engineering is a big issue. We offer our customers reliable software that we adapt ourselves for customer-specific projects. This enables us to guarantee exceptionally high quality, which is a unique selling point for our machines, which are usually in use 24h/7d. 

(?) MFN: What developments have you noticed on the customer side?

(!) H. W.: Our customers who purchase shot blast plants have higher demands right from the start. Advice on application technology is playing an increasingly important role, from specific applications to customised machine solutions. In our technical centre, we can test many scenarios in practice or, alternatively, we enable our customers to have their requirements illustrated with a blast pattern simulation.

We can then derive the customised machine solution for our customers from these results.

Furthermore, efficiency and productivity are playing an increasingly important role. Today, values such as quality and reliability are taken for granted. 

(?) MFN: That sounds good. How will you present your technologies this year?

(!) H. W.: We will be presenting our products to our customers at various trade fairs this year. 2024 will be an exciting year as far as trade fairs are concerned. We will be presenting AGTOS at Euroguss in Nuremberg in calendar week 3. 

In March, we will be at STOM-TOOL in Kielce, Poland. In October, we will round off our trade fair presence with Euroblech in Hanover. We will be exhibiting our latest wire mesh conveyor shot blast plant at the trade fair, which will once again feature a number of technical innovations. You can look forward to it. Our sales team will also be supporting our partners at various trade fairs abroad.

(?) MFN: Mr. Walkenhorst, we would like to thank you very much for your time and the interview. We remain excited about the fascinating world of wheel blasting.

For Information: 

AGTOS Gesellschaft für technische

Oberf lächensysteme mbH

Gutenbergstr. 14, 48282 Emsdetten, Germany

Tel. +49.2572.96026-0

E-mail: info@agtos.de