“Titans”, “Transformers” and “Pioneers” are the names of the categories in which the medium-sized companies prize is awarded by the media, in which FOCUS online is also involved. Companies that have proven to be particularly resilient during the crisis were honored this weekend.

For Elon Musk, speed should not be the essential characteristic that he associates with Germany. At least not with local authorities. The Tesla boss, on the other hand, has had good experiences with German medium-sized companies. Goldbeck built the new Tesla factory near Berlin in record time.

It is one of the many reference projects of the construction and service company. The Goldbeck brothers took over the Bielefeld company from their father and developed it into a market leader for fast and sustainable construction.

That’s why Goldbeck received the “Transformer” award. According to the jury of the Mittelstandspreis, this category includes companies “that have changed radically without giving up their DNA”.

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The Bielefeld company is not only the largest construction company in German hands, but also one of the most modern in the world: in addition to the system construction with prefabricated elements, the digital tools with which construction projects are tackled are decisive.

Artificial intelligence was present early on with a hub in Silicon Valley on the US west coast

And even in the recession caused by the war, Goldbeck is still sending good news: The medium-sized company now employs more than 10,000 people at more than 100 locations. And it closes the 2021/22 financial year with record sales of more than five billion euros.

Like practically the entire industry, the East Westphalians suffer from a lack of material and increased prices. However, Goldbeck was able to largely compensate for this with its design: Because the company prefabricates all the essential system components in its own factories, it orders the necessary raw materials well in advance and in large quantities via long-term partnerships.

“Our approach of building with a system has proven to be advantageous even in these challenging times,” says Jörg-Uwe Goldbeck. One is also confident for the coming months.

The company’s next big topic is sustainability. “From mid-2023, we want to be net CO2-neutral as a company,” says Goldbeck.

Sustainability also includes social factors: “We put trust before control, responsibility before paternalism and regional presence before centralism,” says Goldbeck. This creates freedom for efficient, creative and entrepreneurial work – and thus for innovative strength.

“In the context of sustainability, there are still many unanswered questions to which we find suitable Goldbeck answers, and levers that we have to set in motion.” But such tasks characterize the company.

“Tweaking has always been part of our DNA,” says the co-boss. Even the father of the two Goldbecks did not want to take over the family locksmith’s shop, but wanted to realize his own visions as a young engineer.

From his inventive and entrepreneurial spirit and based on the example of the automotive industry, the idea of ​​”unitized building with a system” arose. A revolution in commercial construction from which Goldbeck is still benefiting today.

Pioneers explore new things. They see a problem and want to solve it as simply and as well as possible. You are stubborn. And sometimes the result is so good that it solves many other problems at the same time, problems that have nothing to do with the original task.

And then the pioneer leaves the competition behind. Like Blickfeld from Munich – winner in the “Pioneers” category. As the jury of the award explained in this category, they “dared something completely new and won everything”.

Blickfeld founders Mathias Müller, Florian Petit and Rolf Wojtech wondered how robots and self-driving cars can better recognize their surroundings. They started in a basement in 2017, assembling prototypes under a microscope.

The company is now active worldwide and has just opened offices in the USA and China. And there are always new business areas. Little of the crisis field of vision. “Our sensors are being used in more and more applications in the areas of people counting, security and especially volume monitoring,” says Petit, the company’s CXO.

Demand is rising sharply, especially when it comes to measuring bulk materials. With Blickfeld’s solution, a small black box that emits and receives laser beams, including innovative software, mountains of copper concentrates are measured in Canada, camels are counted in Egypt, coasts in the USA are monitored.

The devices help to predict visitor flows at Frankfurt Airport and improve the protection of large areas. The US agricultural machinery manufacturer AGCO uses Blickfeld’s devices to make its vehicles more efficient.

And the Aachen University of Applied Sciences wants to use them in an assistance system that simplifies the maneuvering of freight trains. Blickfeld uses the so-called Lidar technology (Light Detection and Ranging/detection and measurement with light).

A laser beam is emitted and measured to see whether it is reflected back and how long the light takes to do so. When the laser scans an entire area, an image is created, a distance photo. The technology has been around for more than 40 years, and Blickfeld’s competitors have turned over 100 million euros with it.

But the three founders had one of those ideas that are revolutionizing an entire division. The fist-sized sensor measures the distance not just from one point, but from a maximum of several hundred thousand points – thanks to a patented mirror system.

The resulting point cloud provides a spatial image of the environment that is accurate to the second. Because the lidar sensors have a wide field of view, a few sensors are sufficient to cover large areas.

In order to be able to analyze the amount of data supplied by the sensor, Blickfeld has developed software that can be operated via a web browser. She can then calculate how much copper concentrate is stored in the hall, how many camels are in the desert or when it can get very crowded at which check-in counter.

Whether a human is moving towards a protected fence or just a fox has triggered the alarm. And, of course, the sensor recognizes objects lying on rails or blocking the way of an autonomously driving car.

The company now has 150 employees and the trend is rising. Petit is very self-confident when it comes to sales: “Our goal is to grow by more than 100 percent every year.”

The article “How a small black box helps to count camels” comes from WirtschaftsKurier.