"At the age of 67, I am now retiring from management and operations," said Günther Schilling, managing director and owner of Schilling Engineering GmbH, as he handed over the reins to his two daughters, Ute and Gaby Schilling. The entrepreneur had chosen the 25th anniversary staff party as the festive setting for the official farewell.
Pioneer in cleanroom technology
25 years ago, Schilling Engineering was founded as a start-up company in Günther Schilling's private home. At the time, cleanrooms were far less established than they are today. Nevertheless, the need for particle-free environments was great, and the ambition of the enterprising man from Baden led to the first tinkering in his garage at home. Günther Schilling had worked in the CD industry in Switzerland for many years and had developed cleanroom automation for disc production. He brought this experience to Schilling Engineering GmbH, which was founded in 1998. Soon a fully automated GMP-A sterile production cell was successfully delivered to a German pharmaceutical company. A year later, Europe's first room-in-room cleanroom system was awarded the Rotary Innovation Prize, paving the way for the rest of the success story.
"In my 25 years at Schilling Engineering, I have been able to realise many of my visions, which have been very well received by the cleanroom technology industry. Günther Schilling summarises and explains further "Our innovations have established us in the market and we have grown steadily".
As a groundbreaking innovation, he cites the CR-Control control system from 2007, which enables central and intuitive user guidance of cleanroom and air conditioning technology via touchscreen. The company also pioneered the development of the energy-efficient CleanCell4.0 cleanroom system with intelligent networking and comprehensive user-oriented control in 2017. The launch of a cleanroom kit for easy self-assembly in 2022 was another innovative response to market needs.
Equipped for the future
Today, the "garage company" has become a medium-sized family business that is one of the leading specialists in cleanroom technology in Europe. Around 80 employees work at the company's modern headquarters in Wutöschingen. From initial consultation to detailed design, manufacture of components, assembly at the customer's premises and turnkey commissioning, all steps of a cleanroom project are in the hands of the medium-sized company.
Even after his retirement, the outgoing managing director does not have to worry about the future of his company, which was awarded the Grand Prix of Medium-Sized Enterprises by the Oskar Patzelt Foundation in 2020 for its innovative achievements and social commitment.
In July 2023, his twin daughters Ute and Gaby will take over as sole directors.
The two industrial engineers have already been part of the management team since 2019. They have a combined Master's degree in industrial and mechanical engineering and have several years of professional experience in international companies. They have divided their tasks in the management of Schilling Engineering. Ute Schilling is responsible for technical project management and Gaby Schilling for controlling.
Günther Schilling is pleased to be able to continue to rely on "family continuity" through the commitment of his two daughters: "This is not always a matter of course in family businesses. I am happy and proud that Ute and Gaby will lead our company safely into the future and that jobs will be secured in the long term.
The twins are excited about taking over the company, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary: "We thank our father for his great support, for the many years of handing over with his profound knowledge and for his trust. Now we feel well equipped and look forward to the tasks ahead.