Twenty years of WINTERSTEIGER Sägen GmbH: Investments, internationalization, and innovative spirit

20 Jahre Sägen GmbHInterview with CEO Stefan Hengelhaupt

WINTERSTEIGER Sägen GmbH, previously Banholzer Sägen GmbH, has been a member of the Austrian WINTERSTEIGER Group for 20 years. The company develops and manufactures saw blades for wood thin-cutting machines (Ried) as well as for joineries, sawmills, the food industry, and much more besides. Additionally, the two subsidiaries SERRA in Rimsting and HEMA in Frickenhausen are also supplied with saw blades for a broad range of applications.


Regarding the history of WINTERSTEIGER Sägen GmbH, how has the site changed over the last 20 years?

Just a year after the takeover by WINTERSTEIGER, we moved into modern new premises covering 5,000 m2 on the Arnstadt Nord industrial estate. We invested around 2 million euros and expanded our manufacturing facilities by around 50%. In 2018 we expanded our factory by a further 7,000 m2. Even after investing roughly 500,000 euros every year ever since, we are once again pushing our capacities to the limit –

which is why the next major construction project is already in the pipeline. The planning officers have already approved our preliminary plan to expand our workshops by 4,500 m2 over two to three phases of construction. With planning permission having already been granted by the responsible planning office for Phase 1 of the construction project covering 1,400 m², we are currently reviewing when would be the optimal time to get the spades in the ground.


Pandemic, supply chain bottlenecks, inflation: What has helped the company to get through these turbulent times?

Firstly, we can be thankful for our broad product portfolio. This is a huge advantage, as in addition to thin-cutting saw blades, we also make blades for narrow and log band saws, joiner saws, saws for the food industry, and saws for the metals sector. With so many different strands to our business, we can remain flexible in the face of constantly changing market conditions.


We are also well placed on the international stage with over 90 % of our products being sold for export. If one market or region experiences a slowdown for whatever reason, we are able to reorientate ourselves relatively quickly and compensate for any pending downturns. As part of the growing "World of Woodtech" within the international WINTERSTEIGER Group, we are in good hands.

In 2018, the existing plant was expanded
Constant expansion of the machinery
In 2019, Stefan Hengelhaupt succeeded Matthias Hengelhaupt (from left) and has managed the company ever since

In addition to WINTERSTEIGER in Ried and the automation specialists VAP-WINTERSTEIGER in Mettmach, who else makes up the World of Woodtech?

We have SERRA Maschinenbau GmbH in Rimsting, who make the stationary and mobile sawmills that use our band saw blades and for whom we also service the saw blades.


Outside of the timber sector – our "Beyond Wood" area – is HEMA Maschinenbau GmbH. Based in Frickenhausen near Stuttgart, HEMA produces very special mechanical saws for lightweight materials such as insulation or for the interior fittings of trucks and trains. We have to repeatedly build up and maintain our expertise in sawing processes for non-wood applications too in order to offer the appropriate solutions.


The customers of SERRA and HEMA provide us with valuable feedback about how our saw blades are performing in other sectors. This proximity to the customer is very important for the ongoing development of our products. In the World of Woodtech we all benefit from each other, allowing us to keep up with constantly changing customer requirements.


What spurs your company on?

We are passionate about innovation and never stop in trying to improve and refine our products. Last year we introduced the new X-Run saw blade to the market, which boasts a longer service life. Our customers greatly appreciate the fact that we never allow our product range to stagnate. We also have some exciting things in the pipeline for 2024, but I'm afraid I can't reveal them now.


The start of June also marks our 20th anniversary. With a workforce of 65 people in saw production we remain a friendly, family company, and together we are looking optimistically towards the future.

Saw blades for band saws Saw blades for band saws...
frame saws ...and frame saws are produced in Arnstadt
New innovation X-Run saw blade New innovation X-Run saw blade