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Company Profile…IGEBA celebrates 40 years

| November 1, 2022

A company tour, technical discussions and the presentation of a prototype: IGEBA from Germany celebrated its strong values at its 40th company anniversary that went to the heart of all those attending – and will certainly stay in people’s minds for a while.

There were goose bumps in the ballroom in front of the mountain range of the Alps when Frederick Heng stood up at the anniversary celebration and came to the front. It is clear to everyone; IGEBA has a special and enduring relationship with its customers, because Frederick Heng is customer No. 1 and still enjoys doing business with the company from the very south of Germany.

Left to right: Alberto Sabatini, Iris Bongartz, Frederick Heng, Yiwei Heng partners since day one.

40 years ago, Singapore-based Heng ordered 25 fog machines. Production location: Weitnau in the Allgäu region of Bavaria, Germany. Destination: Singapore in Asia. For 40 years the Heng family company “Agrotechnic” has sold up to 1,000 IGEBA units every year through its companies in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Myanmar. Agrotechnic is one of many international companies that appreciate and successfully sell under own brand Agrofog the equipment of the German specialist.

In more than 100 countries, pest controllers, farmers, horticulturists and disinfection specialists work with the fogging machines, which can do practically everything: cold and warm, high up or close to the ground, purely electric or with an engine. IGEBA’s product range extends from small to large, from stationary to mobile, from proven to newly developed.

The customers for these products, no matter where they are in the world, have one thing in common: “They are all application professionals” says Jürgen Stark, the company’s technical manager who heads up the company’s research and development department. If there is a problem anywhere, he solves it – either remotely, with his team, or in person on site. “We don’t let anyone down – anywhere.”

In order to constantly improve IGEBA equipment, the company’s employees always have an open ear. The team will develop a solution to a client need or even an entirely new product to meet the requirement. For example, the Unipro40-T, whose nozzles can be cranked up to a height of 4.30   m using a telescopic arm. “This device is specially designed for high-growing plants in greenhouses. With it, the fog lays over the plants from above,” explains Jürgen Stark, looking at the humming device with its nozzles at a dizzying height.

Adaptability is just one of the strengths that the company, which employs around 30 people, can look back on in its impressive corporate history: “With foresight and perseverance, the founders managed to establish themselves in the market and have survived to this day,” reported shareholder Nicola Borkmann about Otto Locher, Paul Bongartz and Bernd Preuss, who had to survive building fires and other setbacks.

They founded the company 40 years ago with the idea of producing equipment of the highest quality. In 1982, they started with some tools, appropriate materials and equipment parts. The result was the TF30 – a portable hand-held fogger. Today, compared to the new developments, the TF30 looks like an exhibit in a museum. But the concept behind the new models is the same: “We listen carefully to our customers,” says Alberto Sabatini (CEO), explaining the origin of every innovation at IGEBA. “And then develop products in good cooperation.”

This could also be felt in every corner of the birthday celebration. The exchange among customers, the presentation of the Italian trade partners, the talks about market development, the disinfection business and the co-operation with governments – every topic found the right listener. The goal of the event – to network and develop.

“Connection and exchange are important values that we at IGEBA have been cultivating for decades,” said Alberto Sabatini. During the factory tour and in the presentation area, IGEBA employees were attentively engaged in discussions – and with a whole range of nations. “Together, we speak ten languages in the company. This, of course, helps to understand customers’ problems precisely so that we can react to them correctly,” he said.

Partners for decades – left to right: Enzo Capizzi, Massimo Tidone, Mario Di Leva, Francesco Nicassio from COPYR S.p.A. Italy.

Not all the representatives with whom IGEBA has been working reliably for decades were present at the anniversary. But business partners from Germany, France, Italy, Poland, Russia, Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Venezuela, Israel, Turkey and from Singapore did not miss the opportunity to congratulate the team at IGEBA personally and even expressed their appreciation publicly on social media channels.

“Our clientele is much larger,” Alberto Sabatini explained, and in his speech his thoughts were with all those who were unable to attend. Grateful for the many connections built over the years that developed into strong relationships, he said, “There is almost not a country in the world where we are not present.” Even major film productions use IGEBA’s equipment, he said quoting the filmmakers, “Because you can count on the reliability of this company.”

The event was a mixture of a network meeting, symposium and family celebration and seemed like a great reunion among friends. A meeting of people pulling in the same direction – with a common desire for the best quality.

“Every piece of equipment that leaves our factory is tested,” promise the makers of the machines – and they have been for four decades. As you tour the long company buildings, you can see where the confidence in functionality comes from; IGEBA makes most of the components itself.

Large machines spit small parts into large baskets but in other departments, employees manufacture various parts themselves: sawing, machining, turning, welding, punching, pressing, forming, assembling. At IGEBA, four decades of knowledge and experience go into every single step, from forming the inlets to final assembly. The inspiration for this often comes from the customers themselves: Sadik Volkan Biner from Istanbul (Turkey), who has been working with the German company for 25 years, confirms this: “IGEBA is always looking for good solutions to its customers’ problems.”

IGEBA TF-F160/150 HD High-Performance Thermal Fog Generator

For its anniversary, the company presented the prototype of a specially developed fogger designed to free horticulturists from a major problem. Inspired by a customer, IGEBA invested a lot of money and time into the design and construction of the first test device which we will be reporting about in the future.

The company’s objective: “Service for people and plants”. With this sincerely meant goal IGEBA celebrated with employees, shareholders and companions a big component of its solid success story – and its future. Because at IGEBA, the focus is always on the customer. Whether pest control, disinfection, plant protection or food protection. Alberto Sabatini thanked his guests and concluded personal stories about individual encounters, completed bets and impressive sales results.

The speeches of the shareholders and founders revealed the secret of their success to the guests: “The critical feedback of our customers brought us forward bit by bit – and in the end to where we are today. That’s why we want to give something back,” announced Alberto Sabatini – and opened the big raffle. The gifts in the IGEBA bags, however, were not to stay with the owner of the raffle ticket number – but in line with the philosophy of the company – to be “swapped with a friend.”

Regional delicacies, handcrafted items and liqueurs changed tables – accompanied by laughter and genuine joy. In the lively turmoil, Frederick Heng recalled how it all began: “40 years ago, I flew from Singapore to Germany to meet the founders.” At that time, Frederick Heng was already dealing in fogging equipment. “I wanted to see what kind of pioneers were behind the device I had seen in Singapore.” The meeting developed into trust. And then a deep friendship that can still be felt today. “We have been to Germany many times and we always like to come back.” His conclusion: “40 years ago, I made a decision that I have never regretted.”

All photos: IGEBA
Author: Stefanie Boeck – Journalist, Isny/Germany.

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Published in International Pest Control – September/October 2022 issue


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Category: Company news, Company Profile

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