Frey AG Stans: 50 Years with Technology
It is the products from FREY AG Stans that set cable transport systems in motion. Established in Stans, Switzerland, 50 years ago, the company is a world leading manufacturer of cable transport control systems made to move people using technology.
Slowly, the vehicles of the cable transport system are leaving the stations. “These are the moments”, says Martin Niederberger, sales manager and member of the board at FREY AG Stans, “moments that are hard to describe in words, when the vehicles first start moving during commissioning of a cable transport control system.”
This is the point in time when the solid mechanical construction is brought to life by the electronic components and systems designed and assembled by the engineers and workers at FREY AG Stans. No aspect of this strong feeling has changed at all since the company was established.
Nor has anything changed about the fact that FREY AG Stans control systems are synonymous for safety and reliability. Whether for aerial tramways, funiculars or gondolas, the control systems made in the Swiss canton of Nidwalden are used in all kinds of installations around the globe.
Performance defines market position
Currently, FREY AG Stans has about 100 employees. When the company was established 50 years ago, they were two of them. According to its owner and Chairman Peter Frey, the company has enjoyed continuous growth since then.
“FREY AG Stans has achieved its current market position due to its superior performance“, Peter Frey is convinced.
At the end of the 1960es, the recently established FREY AG Stans faced stiff competition from big names such as BBC and MFO. With every round of reorganization in these big corporations, the small company from Nidwalden was able to gain market shares.
“The strategy to fully rely on the segment of cable transport control systems can in retrospect be termed a stroke of luck”, Peter Frey is positive. “A large order for a heavy load hauling cable transport system in Indonesia at the start of the 1970es opened the doors for us to our worldwide main business activities.”
What began then as a two-man company has over the past five decades developed into a manufacturer of control and safety systems for all kinds of cable-propelled transport systems with national as well as international significance that is healthy in every way.
Employees are most important asset
Chairman Peter Frey calls the fact that Frey AG Stans is successfully pursuing business opportunities in more than 40 countries now first and foremost a great achievement of all employees. “The performance they deliver in their everyday work is tremendous. They have significantly contributed to the enormous technological transformation of the past 50 years and will not stop now”, says Peter Frey.
One of the challenges they are facing on a day to day basis its o keep pace with the galloping development particularly in industrial electronics. “A cable transport control system remains in operation for 20 years and customers expect us to be able to provide spare parts over the entire period and secure maintenance and availability of the installation”, says general manager Hansruedi Schleiss, adding: “This is why we frequently think twice about using the most advanced components and systems.”
Each installation is unique
Whatever the system, cable transport lines still move people or material from A to B. Accordingly, the primary purpose of the control system – reliable and safe control of the drives and failsafe transmission of safety signals - has not changed a bit, either.
What has changed, however, are legal and environmental parameters. According to general manager Hansruedi Schleiss, a lot of things have become “more complicated and more complex and involve more red tape”. Even the most trivial installation now requires a compliant, duly certified control system. The more complex a system, the more diverse are the requirements to a control system.
The amount of data that is permanently exchanged during operation has risen dramatically over the past years; Aside of the many safety functionalities, this is owed to elevated customer expectations with regard to additional information and Automation.
Developing the latest control system generation, FREY AG Stans has resorted to a high degree of modularity. Even so, every control system will be unique now and in the future..