search

In Luxembourg, we still create other things than in the banks, insurance and similar sectors. Pierre Thein, CEO of Hein

Founded at the end of the 19th century in the South of the country, Hein has become, in just over a century, a major international player in the sphere of industrial equipment for bakeries. A know-how driven by a process of permanent innovation in all possible areas.

Hein – Innovation combined with tradition

It was in 1882 in Bettembourg that Nicolas Hein (left) founded a small ironmonger business.

It diversified over the years and produced its first bakery ovens in 1906.

Hein quickly became specialised in complete facilities for bakeries and confectionary and went through the first half of the century without further ado.

It was from the end of the 1950s that, under the leadership of Ferd Hein, the company entered a period of permanent innovation.

It deposited, for example, a patent for kilns, making assembly and disassembly quicker and easier. A simple idea, a priori, but a great step forward for the profession.

2 to 3% of turnover reinvested in R & D

The year 1960 marked a major turning point in the life of the company, with a move to Strassen which was, at the time, still a very rural area, in contrast to the very dynamic environment of Bettembourg.

At that time, Hein mainly exported to neighboring countries, but also to the Belgian Congo (some of these furnaces are still in operation) and to Greece, thanks to a good local distributor. In 1974, it was the turn of Raymond Hein, great-grandson of the founder, to become the number one, continuing the already well-established innovative approach.

As of 1998, his son, Ferdinand, had taken over the reins.

“Too often, the word innovation is overused. This is a very wide subject! ” recalls Pierre Thein, the director of Hein since 1998 who identifies four pillars supporting the process. The first concerns a dozen or so products standing out from the competition.

With the support of Luxinnovation and the Ministry of the Economy, the company reinvests between 2 and 3% of its turnover in research and development. A multi-pronged approach rewarded with innovation awards.Then innovation comes into the process, with, in particular, a total overhaul of the entire production system between 2009 and 2011 for an investment of more than 8 million euros, without interrupting production in course.

In June 2012 as fate would have it, as soon as this exercise was over, a gigantic fire, the exact cause of which is still unknown, destroyed more than 12 million euros worth of equipment and ovens awaiting delivery. An event that pushed Hein to reinvent itself, with the support of its insurance company which strongly supported the company with quick help and intervention from specialists.

Hot and cold 

The company’s innovative activities extend beyond its historical niche of ovens and it has also specialized in the “cooling” segment, with appliances allowing optimum preservation and freezing / thawing of fresh products under very precise and adjustable temperature conditions.

This business arm now accounts for one third of the group’s turnover.Innovation, finally in the area of marketing, to remain competitive on a world market. “To do this, we have to have a good business sense and adapt our position in the target market, depending on whether we are already very present or expanding.”

The regular publication of infomercials in specialized magazines allows us to gain a very targeted visibility. In addition, since one is never better served than by oneself, for the last three years Hein has been co-publishing, with three German partners, the “Nr 1” magazine aimed at a high-end clientele.

Between 300 and 400 ovens a year

Among the latest inventions of Hein: a wood oven and storage cell “Flexbaker UV” that allows the baker to pre-cook 80% of his range of bread and keep it for several days, without risk of it drying out thanks to a moisture management system and mold-free thanks to integrated UV lamps.

Today, the company run by the 5th generation of the family (with Ferdinand, Raymond’s son, who came into the business in 1994) produces between 300 and 400 ovens a year and achieves a total turnover of more than 35 million for the whole group, almost exclusively abroad.

“We are very proud to be able to convey a positive image and special know-how of Luxembourg abroad. We enthusiastically support the Let’s Make It Happen initiative.”

 

Hein in brief

Creation date: 1882

Shareholding: Hein family

CEO: Pierre Thein (51) and Ferdinand Hein (50)

Number of employees: 230 (including 100 in Luxembourg)

2016 revenues for the group: More than 35 million €

 

Luxembourg business success stories

Other success stories

At the time of the company's creation, we already had the vocation to make Luxembourg shine abroad. Bob Kneip, Founder KNEIP

Read more

Luxembourg is the ideal location for a forward looking project such as Mercury. Rich Kramer, CEO and President of Goodyear Group

Read more

The vast majority of Panelux’s production is generated through frozen products produced to be exported all over Europe. Patrick Muller, co-CEO Panelux

Read more

We want to be the world leader in interactive windows Olivier Raulot, founder INUI Studio

Read more

Accumalux is covering over a third of the European market and a significant part of the global market. Charles-Louis Ackermann, Chairman Accumalux

Read more

Following the acquisition of Komet, we are now the world’s 5th largest company in our sector. Jacques Lanners, Chairman of the Executive board, Ceratizit

Read more

The Paperjam media brand has grown to become a powerful and unique ecosystem in Europe Mike Koedinger, Founder and Chairman of the Board, Maison Moderne

Read more

In Luxembourg, fiber connectivity is excellent, the price of electricity is attractive and know-how in the world of data centers is undeniable Xavier Buck, Founder, DCL Group

Read more

Working in Luxembourg makes a huge difference. In a big country there is a tendency to focus on the national market, but the cross-border expertise available here has been a great help in developing solutions for international applications. David Naramski, partner Nowina Solutions

Read more

Why did we do better than others? Because we had a clear vision of what we wanted. Georges Lentz, Managing Director Brasserie Nationale

Read more

The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is a European country that values ​​entrepreneurship, offering a very protective legal framework for both individuals and businesses, a dynamic economy and a very modern infrastructure. Pierre Van Wambeke, Founder and CEO SeeZam

Read more

We are a European company with its roots in Luxembourg Bert Boerman, CEO Governance.com

Read more

In my opinion, there is no better place than Luxembourg to start a business. Robert Glaesener, CEO Talkwalker

Read more

I feel a certain pride in having supported the migration from mechanical technologies to digital processes Charles Kieffer, founder CK

Read more

We wanted to make discretionary management more widespread in order to make it accessible to as many people as possible Geoffroy de Schrevel, Founder and CEO of Birdee

Read more

Telematics solutions combine computer science, telecommunications, electronics and vehicular and transport technologies. Dr Raphael Frank, Co-founder Motion-S

Read more

Luxembourg’s supportive ecosystem contributes to innovation and development of cutting edge technology driven companies like us. Michel Witte, CEO IEE

Read more

Luxembourg is an ideal platform to serve the European Digital Single Market that is now under construction. Yves Reding, CEO EBRC

Read more

Even though today Paul Wurth is an international group with two thirds of its employees located outside Luxembourg, it still happens that our products are identified as 'Technology from Luxembourg'. Georges Rassel, CEO Paul Wurth

Read more

I’m confident about the future. It is difficult to launch a new social network at international level, but I think we have what it takes. Olivier Raulot, CEO ARTNOLENS

Read more

Luxembourg is a very diverse and open platform that allows new talent to establish themselves successfully on both a professional and a personal level Karim Michel Sabbagh, CEO SES

Read more

If it weren’t for the Start-Up Development team we would not even have known about this competition, Luxinnovation has helped us in numerous other ways as well. Charles-Antoine Beyney, CEO Etix Everywhere

Read more

Luxembourg’s international dimension and the quality of life on offer are both very appealing, and what’s more, the country has a stable economy and a proactive government that supports innovative companies. Patrick Rahme, co-founder and CEO, All Square

Read more

In Luxembourg, the proximity to the government is important and the concept of trust too. Roger Assaker, Founder & CEO, e-Xstream Engineering

Read more

We have developed the most efficient and comprehensive mobile payment infrastructure in Europe Raoul Mulheims, co-founder Payconiq

Read more

Luxembourg grew up at the same time as us Fernand Heinisch, Directeur-gérant associé, Voyages Emile Weber

Read more

Doctena has been actively supported by both Luxembourgish and international shareholders from the outset. Patrick Kersten, Founder and CEO, Doctena

Read more

Luxembourg is fertile ground for developing a variety of commercial activities. René Grosbusch, CEO of Marcel Grosbusch & Fils

Read more
Fermer