160 years of BvL: Tons of experience hard at work
Bernard van Lengerich Maschinenfabrik can look back on a long and storied company history - and invests heavily in the future.
Beaming red – that is the trademark color that uniquely identifies every mixer wagon made by Bernard van Lengerich Maschinenfabrik GmbH & Co. KG (BvL) in Emsbüren. Normally, that is. Because the feeding equipment professionals released the limited “BvL Black Edition” this fall - a mixer wagon adorned nearly in all black. There is good reason behind this: The manufacturer of agricultural machinery from the Emsland region is celebrating another round birthday - their 160th. As a family business operating in the fifth generation, BvL is distinguished by a wealth of experience that shows in all of their innovative technology and high-quality machinery. At the same time, the Emsland company's guiding principles also reflect a strong focus on customer orientation / keeping the customer excited - which is exactly what they are trying to do with this special edition.
Products customized and made exactly as ordered
Close to the customer, the general motto behind every BvL product: “Made for me” - that is the title of the latest campaign launched by BvL Maschinenfabrik. It encapsulates the standard BvL has set for themselves: Making products, especially mixer wagons, in a way that is guided by the customers’ requests and the specific requirements of their business. This principle is immediately apparent in the large variety of mixer wagon options - be they mixers with one, two or three augers or external loaders, stationary mixers, self-loaders or self-propelled mixers. However, the principle is also reflected in the extensive and widely varied selection of equipment options with its discharge options and optional accessories or such highly advanced feed management systems as the V-DAIRY Feeder TMR. This principle follows a building block concept - exactly as it should. Because this is the only way for the customer to create “their” machine with the expert advise they are given by BvL. “We constantly work on taking our product selection to the next level - with a strong focus on the market and, first and foremost, on the needs of our customers. We aim to create solutions that help facilitate the day-to-day routine on the farm”, declares Managing Director Bernard van Lengerich, explaining the company’s credo. One aspect he points out as particularly important in this regard is the selection of mixing augers for BvL mixer wagons. “While our standard mixing auger covers a large number of typical feeding applications already, we also offer augers that are tailored to special requirements. This makes our machines suitable for all areas of application. One example is our Compact Feeding mixing auger, which has been designed specifically for moist and sticky feed rations with long mixing times.
Expanding on foreign markets
Besides the feeding technology incorporated into the aforementioned mixer wagons, the product range of BvL Maschinenfabrik boasts other cutting-edge technology such as unloading equipment with the widely known silage block cutters, bedding technology, biogas equipment and digital products such as the V-DAIRY Feeder TRM feed management system. The company has come to generate nearly 70 percent of their machinery sales abroad - a trend that has accelerated rapidly over the last ten years, as Bernhard van Lengerich reports: “The markets abroad create opportunities and challenges alike. This is due to the fact that agricultural businesses require technology, including feeding technology, that varies from region to region and with the specific agricultural structure. This is why a strong and competent distribution network that operates close to the customer world-wide is imperative for us.”
Operating in the global marketplace is markedly tougher this year for many industries, as the corona pandemic has made it necessary to call off many trips abroad. “The corona pandemic has made us face many daunting obstacles for months now. Thankfully, we have managed to accomplish much in very small groups or even digitally. However, our team is desperately missing the essential face-to-face contact with the customer - be it at trade fairs or directly on their premises”, details van Lengerich.
One group - three divisions
Forming a management team with his cousin Bernard Sievering, Bernard van Lengerich is controlling the fate of the BvL Group in the 5th generation. Employing a staff of nearly 400, the group comprises two additional divisions apart from the agricultural machinery unit (BvL Maschinenfabrik):
The smallest division of the group is the electrical engineering unit BvL Elektrotechnik. Operating as a regional trade business, it covers a wide variety of services in the areas of electrical installations, security technology and building management systems.
Established over 30 years ago as a subsidiary, the surface technology division has attained distinction by its enormous growth. “O-Tec”, as it is referred to internally, has risen to the position as largest provider of industrial cleaning systems and offers customized solutions on the leading edge and a service and sales network with branches in more than 19 countries around the globe.
New building with cafeteria and modern offices
The company’s new cafeteria has been a favorite meeting place for all BvL employees since the beginning of the year. Named “Anno 1860” as a nod to the year of the company's founding, the cafeteria invites the staff to stop in for breakfast and break for lunch or to gather in small groups for a meeting. “The cafeteria's offerings are highly popular and very well received, albeit it somewhat limited right now on account of the corona crisis”, rejoices Bernard van Lengerich. The cafeteria was part of the new construction BvL finished early in the year, which was implemented as an energy efficient building with dramatically reduced energy consumption. Aside from the cafeteria, the new building primarily houses modern and spacious offices and meeting rooms on three levels. “These new digs are part of our preparation for the future, as office space has become scarce across all divisions due to the growing number of staff members”, relates van Lengerich. Preparing for the future remains a priority at BvL Maschinenfabrik. Digitization in agriculture continues to be a main focal point - whether it involves new and further developments in feed management or other types of “aids and tools for feeding” offered in the V-CONNECT segment. All measured by the standard of providing a service that is customized, exciting and customer-oriented.