Interview with Robert R. Wachendorff

Meeting the needs of the global market, Wachendorff has developed over 1500 different customized encoders. Quality, expertise and tailored solutions are reported to be the company’s keywords.

  • Interview with Robert R. Wachendorff
    Interview with Robert R. Wachendorff

IEN Europe: Mr. Wachendorff, could you give us an overview of your company and products?

Mr. Wachendorff: We are a medium-sized, owner-managed corporate based in the beautiful Rheingau district, situated 45 minutes away from the west of Frankfurt/Main. The quality, customized and personal service and the long-term collaboration with our business partners are the keystones of our constant growth.
The company specializes in the design, development and manufacturing of incremental and absolute encoders and measuring systems for use in the most extreme conditions.
Alongside our comprehensive standard range of encoders, systems and accessories, we also develop customized solutions to meet customer's specific needs.
Additionally, right now we have over 1500 different types of customized encoders in use worldwide. We have worked together with our customers to come up with many clever and unusual solutions. By choosing us, customers can be sure of having an experienced partner on their side, who is able to design the right product to fit the application perfectly.
The optimum combination of electronics, optics and mechanics makes our encoder one of the most robust and reliable devices on the market. High levels of protection, an extended temperature range and durable electronics enable our products to be used in even the most demanding industrial and off-site applications.

IEN Europe: Since you company operates also outside Germany, which differences can you find in the various European markets? 

Mr. Wachendorff:
I like the different mentalities, the different languages and especially the fantastic various food and beverages in every single country in Europe.To ensure the best solution, a face to face relationship with the customers is essential. We have been working with distributors for ten years. Our partners consult their customers, find the right solution and the best product for their needs and give them the best after-sale service.
European customers are as price and technology oriented as we are here in Germany. They are all serious partners with high requirements on quality and performance from the products they need.

IEN Europe: Decision-making abilities and customized service is the key points of your activity. How do you guarantee the safety of your products?

Mr. Wachendorff: First of all, we are certified DIN ISO 9001 and 14001. Yet this is just the base of our success, which also lies in having some of the most reliable and rugged encoders in the world.
Additionally to the standard tests, we do some extra testing in our in-house laboratory. For example IP tests also for oil or salt mist, vibration, shock, temperature, sun beams, humidity.

The vibration testing:
One of the most important type of test is for vibration and shock. Using our modern shaker, we test each type of encoder for at least 300 hours for vibration values and 1000 times for shock values in all axes. This results in rugged and long-lasting encoders. For each encoder, all the larger component parts as well as the cable connection to the PCB are glued.

The temperature testing:
The products specifications are combined information. We test our encoders so that they continue to comply with all the specifications throughout their working life. This implies a conscientious design and a careful selection of components and materials, followed by a comprehensive testing in our climatic chambers and other type-approval testing facilities. Our encoders are used in vehicles and aircraft. We also test compliance with MIL specifications.

Testing to ensure the protection class: The optic, magnetic and electronic parts of our encoders are protected against rough environmental conditions. We use the water chamber to test and ensure the highest protection against humidity and water with high pressure. In our special dust chamber we ensure the resistance against dust (e.g. Arizona dust). Our intensive long-term testing ensures reliable use over the years under harsh conditions.The production line: We have one of the most State-Of-The-Art production in Germany. Our product features make us flexible on the delivery time, the different types of products we can offer and also the reliability on small or high volumes. Our LEAN-Q production philosophy follows Poka-yoke, KaiZen, Kanban, Supermarket. Paperless production is a key point?. As a result of our work, we are the only company that proudly provides a 5-YEAR-WARRANTY on our encoders.

IEN Europe: Which are the main features the mobile machines market requires to your products?

Mr. Wachendorff: Beside many ISO, SAE and EN standards, every mobile machines producer adds his own experience in the various applications. As we are one of the first companies providing encoders to this industry we analyzed all the requirements and created more than 25 additional Wachendorff requirements. One of our most significant equipment to ensure the special demands of the mobile market is the HALT chamber. Here we test encoders until a part fails, in order to improve the part for longer lasting.

The simulated stress on the encoder's parts is similar to the condition of use in the field over the years.

Wachendorff's encoders working in the Alps as well as in the desert and in these environments they prove their resistance against pressure and temperature changes.

With our latest absolute encoders WDGA with patented EnDra®-Multiturn-Technology, we offer the solution for off-site applications. The EnDra®-Multiturn-Technology needs no gear and no battery:
It´s free of wear and maintenance.

IEN Europe: What does the encoder configuration service consist of? How do you arrange it?

Mr. Wachendorff : More than 1500 Wachendorff's individual serial solutions are in use around the world. Our vast experience in customer technical support will help the customer find a solution to his current task. Professional advice on the product application is provided free-of-charge! Development-accompanying and extensive design tests ensure the reliable and long-lasting application (as can be proved) in many industrial branches and mobile working machines in the roughest environmental conditions. This guarantees reliable and long-lasting applications under the most exacting on-site conditions. Software-controlled manufacturing ensures the complete traceability of each individual device.

IEN Europe: How are you carrying out R&D on your products and the development of other solutions for the next future?

Mr. Wachendorff: Machines are becoming faster and faster, compact and precise. In order to ensure a long service life, the machine manufacturer requires more information and therefore more sensor technology. This has to be as close to the process as possible and keep the levels of accuracy always high. Over the last few years Wachendorff has precisely progressed in this direction. We provide considerably smaller sensors with a high resistance to environmental effects and with a very high resolutions.

The modular set of the Wachendorff encoder helps our customers choose a component that can be optimally integrated into their machinery concept, and this plays a significant role in terms of time, quality and cost. We use the latest technologies in our newly-developed products and we have a long term relationship with universities and colleges. A team of designers is constantly working on new intelligent products to answer the ever-growing demands of the global market. Based on the solid broad foundations of our 35 years of experience, we create the expertise and motivation that help us constantly expand our range of innovative encoders. For example, we have integrated the I/O-technology into an absolute encoder with EnDra® technology while maintaining a compact installation space.

This enables machine and system manufacturers to reduce the cost of installation and wiring significantly. We will provide more features, datas and Ethernet-based buses to fulfill the global need for more datas to improve the industrial production, summarized with the terms IoT (Internet of things) or industry 4.0.