85 Years of Flottweg – Two Big Anniversaries in Sales and Testing
On Tuesday, August 25, 2020, a large joint celebration was held for two Flottweg veterans – Dieter Ploß and Klaus Ertl – who combined, have worked for the separation technology specialist for 85 years. A small ceremony was held in their honor to commend their long-term commitment and excellent professional achievements.
It is 8,609 km as the crow flies from Vilsbiburg in Lower Bavaria to Akutan in Alaska, where Flottweg machines are used in fish factories. For Klaus Ertl, it was a journey “to the end of the world” to ensure the smooth start-up of the system. “Leaving was just as much an adventure as getting there. We were ready to go but had to stay there for another 2–3 days because the weather made it impossible for planes to take off. The only other option was to take a fish troller from Akutan to Dutch Harbor. In bad weather, with waves that felt like they were 18–20 meters high. However, we thought it was better to risk the journey by ship to Dutch Harbor and get back to civilization than be stranded out there,” says Klaus Ertl, recalling one of his most exciting business trips during his time as a test engineer.
Klaus Ertl kicked off his initial career in 1980 by training to become a machinist. He first began working in the Testing department and then later switched to the Sales department “Biofuels and Oils“. In 2006, he then became a manager and was involved in the great bioethanol boom in the years following thereafter. During this boom in 2007, the department alone generated record sales of almost 60 million euros. The success did not go unnoticed: Ertl was appointed deputy sales manager in 2010 and then sales manager a year later. Klaus Ertl still holds this position today and is a shining example of how it is possible to develop and advance at Flottweg SE.
Dieter Ploß’s professional career is equally impressive. He also began by training as an apprentice but in the year 1975. After spending some time in repair and plant construction, Ploß began working as a test engineer in 1984. Test engineers are responsible for implementing process engineering in a company and carrying out field tests. Ploß still fondly remembers this time: “I was traveling a lot back then in Southeast Asia. After a long flight, it often took over ten hours to drive through the jungle in a jeep to a vegetable oil production plant. The monsoons were often so strong that it was impossible to get through the streets. We sometimes had to get out and swim the last few meters. It was only afterwards that I realized what exotic animals were also waiting for me in these huge “puddles”. That was the end of that. Looking back, however, I have a lot of great memories.“
He was promoted to head of the Testing department in 1993 and still holds this position with great passion and commitment. The department is now made up of 15 people, and many young colleagues have gone through Dieter’s excellent schooling and moved on to another role in the company.
Both Klaus Ertl and Dieter Ploß began their first professional steps as apprentices. Now 40 and 45 years later, they both hold senior management positions within the company. Just further proof of the career prospects at Flottweg SE.
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