Hot price for a cool chest refrigerator

Memmingen The electronics company KATEK Memmingen GmbH (formerly Steca Elektronik) has received an international award for refrigerators and freezers for its energy-saving chest refrigerator powered by solar energy. This award recognises the company for ‘setting new standards in energy efficiency and climate friendliness’. Compared to conventional chest refrigerators, this prefabricated unit consumes 30 percent less electricity. “We have also made it our mission to use a powerful natural refrigerant that does not damage the ozone layer and has virtually no impact on global warming”, explains Karola Sieger, Head of Marketing at KATEK Memmingen GmbH.
The attractively priced chest refrigerator is called the Steca PF 166-H. It is an off-grid appliance that is mainly used where there is no power supply. This includes parts of Africa or in Brazilian fishing villages, for example. Or even in garden sheds with no electrical connections. The housing of the chest refrigerator is made by Liebherr, the electronics are made by KATEK Memmingen GmbH. “The PF 166-H only requires 60 watt hours per day”, says Werner Gut, head of the Solar & Energy division at KATEK Memmingen GmbH. The winning product uses a variable speed compressor. Automatic speed adjustment of the power can reduce and save energy and therefore emissions, explains Gut. The appliance is sold through special dealers. The ‘hot’ award that this cool chest refrigerator received is called the ‘Global Leap Award 2019’. This is an initiative from the Efficiency for Access Coalition and CLASP, an international not-for-profit organisation that specialises in energy efficiency and market development of appliances.
KATEK Memmingen GmbH is active in two business areas: Firstly, in the complete order manufacturing of electronic assemblies, devices and systems, and secondly in the solar and energy sector. Components from KATEK Memmingen GmbH are used, for example, by the automotive industry (LED interior lamps in vehicles), medical technology (electronics for analysis devices) and battery manufacturers. “At the moment, every relevant energy storage provider uses our components”, says Jürgen Hölzle, Team Leader Production Processes Technology. Core products include printed circuit boards on which electronic components are automatically itemised - some of them so small that they can only be seen under a microscope.
As with virtually every other industrial company, the shortage of skilled workers and the recruitment of young talent also poses a major challenge at KATEK Memmingen GmbH. Currently, 37 young men and women are completing a technical or commercial training programme at the company. In order to retain these trainees over the long term, there are plenty of activities on offer, including skiing trips and excursions. And the amount of holiday leave is also above the industry average according to Karola Sieger. The professional outlook for these young people is promising. KATEK is on its way to becoming the European market leader in the development and production of electronics.
KATEK Memmingen GmbH recently received the IHK Special Award 2020 in Berlin for its ‘agile training concept’. And in a survey of Germany’s Best Employers, KATEK Memmingen GmbH was awarded a rating of ‘very high employer attractiveness’. The company, which is geared for growth, will soon take over the electronics production of the Huf Group (electronics/sensor technology) in Düsseldorf with 152 employees, following examination and approval by the German Competition Authority.
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