Quality made in Bavaria
Tour the ROPA headquarters in Sittelsdorf in animated pictures!
In recent years ROPA Fahrzeug- und Maschinenbau GmbH in Sittelsdorf has been developed to the most important innovation centre in the manufacturing of machines for sugar beet and potato harvesting. About 450 employees are working at ROPA headquarters in Sittelsdorf, including 20 trainees. ROPA employs more than 60 people in research, development and prototype manufacture. For ROPA the objective for all development is: "Our aim is to meet the demands of economically and technologically advanced farmers and companies."
ROPA machines are in use in more than 40 countries around the world. In the sugar beet technology sector, ROPA is the world market leader. In potato technology sector, ROPA is now also regarded as the premium manufacturer, not least thanks to many technical innovations and unique features.
ROPA machines are in use in more than 40 countries around the world.
In recent years, a lot of energy and capital has been invested in the development of the key operational facilities in Sittelsdorf. Due to the increasing demand for high quality ROPA machines, new manufacturing halls have been built for production, research and development, and a new powder-coating plant has just started operation. Now the company's premises comprise 30 ha.
To ensure the best possible customer service and spare parts supply outside Germany, ROPA has established subsidiaries in France, Ukraine, Russia, Poland, and China where about 200 employees are engaged in customer service, spare parts warehouses and sales.
Immediately adjacent to the company premises, Hermann Paintner, the founder of the company, has built an innovative pilot biogas plant for generating green power and heat from sugar beets. The test plant is designed to test the fermentation properties of sugar beets.
Development and Design
Precision in Perfection
The Siemens Solid Edge Team has recorded some impressions of the development and design process at ROPA for you. Innovation and perfection are the guidelines in the manufacture of modern vehicles and mechanical engineering for ROPA.
ROPA employs more than 60 people in research, development and prototype manufacture.
Accelerating the development time
For ROPA the objective for all development is: "Our aim is to meet the demands of economically and technologically advanced sugar beet growers and companies."
One strategy for achieving this objective is based on the ability to use CAD programs suitable for design, which enables us to work with high-quality design drawings. When a software project included integration of a new CAD solution, the designers were faced with the challenge of finding a solution that would allow them to design not only machine components but also sheet metal parts. The software should also capable of generating accurate processes. The final choice was Siemens Solid Edge.
The implementation of the Siemens software allows ROPA designers to produce high-quality drawings of sheet metal parts in the CAD program. For example, the use of the program makes it possible to integrate the vehicle pipe system as early as the design phase and the drawings are automatically generated. ROPA is now able to meet all the requirements of modern mechanical engineering from simple sheet metal parts to major welded and machined assemblies.
A distinction for ROPA's new standards in coating of agricultural machines
The "besser lackieren. Green Award" is the only competition for industrial coating performance in German-speaking countries. It assesses the leading technological expertise in a practical and comparative manner and recognizes the outstanding best-practice solutions. In the category "In-house coating - painting department/paint shop with less than 50 employees" the award went to ROPA Fahrzeug- und Maschinenbau GmbH from Sittelsdorf.
This award is the "Oscar" in the area of excellent, innovative und sustainable coating technology
Investment in quality and sustainability
At the beginning of 2015, the family-run machine construction company ROPA from Lower Bavaria opened a new assembly center. About €30 million was invested in the assembly plant with upstream shot blasting and powder coating systems for the innovative machine construction according to the latest environmental and manufacturing standards. The goal was to optimize the quality of coating within the realm of technical possibilities and thus to set the new standards.
Therefore, a 12,000 m² painting center with shot blasting and powder coating units was built according to the highest standards. The new coating systems are designed for environmentally friendly solvent-free and emission-free powder coatings. Due to the high layer thicknesses of up to 120 microns, the baked coatings are much more resistant to mechanical stress and have significantly greater weathering and acid stability than do wet paints and dipping varnish.
The semi-automatic systems from Agtos and Rippert are dimensioned for workpieces up to 6 x 2 x 3 m (L x W x H) in the small parts plant and up to 10 x 3.5 x 4 m in the large parts plant. For the best paint adhesion, the machine components are blasted with steel balls and granules prior to coating, so that scales and corrosion will be safely eliminated. The blasting process creates the rough surface, to which the paint can adhere correctly, thus resulting in improved paint adhesion, especially on laser-cut edges. After blasting, the components are degreased, chemically cleaned, iron phosphated and passivated. After the electrostatic adhesion of the powder coating, the paint is baked at 200°C for one hour. The basic load supply with heating is provided via the company's own 550 kW biogas unit with sugar beet as the main substrate. Additionally, 12 Hargassner wood chip ovens, each with a nominal output of 200 kW (2.4 MW) each are installed for coating baking and heating in winter.
From the very beginning, the most attention was paid to create up-to-date and bright working places. Soundproofing, large light ridges and full-surface floor heating make a significant contribution to this. With the new building, the Paintner family managed to create a friendly and pleasant working environment for employees.
In 1972, Hermann Paintner, the founder of ROPA Fahrzeug- und Maschinenbau GmbH, designed and built the first self-propelled sugar beet harvester. Since then the family company has become the leading specialist in machines for harvesting, cleaning and loading sugar beets.
ROPA is now the leading manufacturer of machines for harvesting sugar beets and potatoes, not only in Germany but also throughout Europe and the rest of the world.
For ROPA the objective for all development is: "We want to meet the demands of economically and technologically advanced sugar beet growers and companies." There are more than 480 employees at the ROPA and PMB headquarters in Sittelsdorf. Including all the employees at subsidiaries, there are more than 700 employees in total. ROPA does business all over the world. Wholly owned subsidiaries were established as direct sales and service representatives in France in 2000, in the Ukraine in 2003, in Russia in 2005, in Poland in 2006, in Kazan, Russia, in 2008, and in China in 2018.
From farmers for farmers
The Paintner family still operate their farm in Sittelsdorf. They grow sugar beet, wheat, potatoes and canola on approximately 200 ha. Hermann Paintner has been farming in Ukraine since 2004. He grows sugar beets and grain on about 1000 ha of leased land south of Kiev. ROPA has a significant advantage with its own agricultural businesses. Employees have direct access to practical experience and have a better idea of the needs and requirements of machine operators. All developments are thus directed at the actual requirements and are simultaneously tested for their practical application. The land in Ukraine is also used as a company proving ground. The large structures allow new and updated designs to be tested in detail before they are released to the market. The company also conducts plant breeding and tests plant protection in Ukraine.