Eucopet milestones from the years:

1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003

EUCOPET kick-off in Menden - 14. Nov 1997

EUCOPET kick-off in Menden "For Antonio Gulotta from the Italian partner Euroheat EUCOPET means >>common research and development with German precision, Italien fantasy and Irish dynamics."

EUCOPET kick-off in Menden "Taking the specially for EUCOPET created oil painting as an example Frank Wilson, managing director of the Irish partner Ceramicx Ireland, explains how he understands our co-operation: "EUCOPET is the frame for a manifold play of colours with living figures and faces"

With intelligent product and value-adding concepts superseding a Chinese competitor`s product - September 1998

With intelligent product and value-adding concepts superseding a Chinese competitor`s product Together with the second German EUCOPET partner KSG Gerätetechnik from Saxony and in close co-operation with an English customer, we developed a new heating element for hand and hair dryers: the multi-mica heater.

Within a short period of time, this product became a real "bestseller". We succeeded in pushing a Chinese supplier out of this business – an enterprise which had previously dominated the market for this type of product.

This example proves that, with intelligent design and value-adding concepts, low-tech products can be manufactured profitably even in highly industrialised economies.

German Federal Minister Bulmahn visiting EUCOPET on Hanover fair 1999 - 19.-24. April 1999

German Federal Minister Bulmahn visiting EUCOPET on Hanover fair 1999 "A special highlight: The German Federal Minister for Research Edelgard Bulmahn visited EUCOPET on the Hanover fair 1999. On the picture: Wolfgang Kaiser explains the aims of the project to Federal Minister Bulmahn."

Granting of the "Company of the Month" Award to Ceramicx Ireland - 12. Mai 1999

Granting of the Company of the Month Award to Ceramicx Ireland Despite its young company history (founded 1992), Ceramicx Ireland is already richly gifted with awards. With the granting of the "Company of the Month" Award on the occasion of the EUCOPET milestone meeting on 12 May 1999 in Ballydehob the Irish Technology Supporting Office Enterprise Ireland pays tribute to the exceptional innovation speed and the convincing development results of our Irish EUCOPET partner. Already earlier managing director Frank Wilson (on the picture with his wife Grainne) could receive the National Technology Award and the European Design Award.

Smallest nozzle heater ahead of its time - September 1999

Smallest nozzle heater ahead of its time With the smallest nozzle heater worldwide, namely for miniature plastic injection systems, we have impressively proved our innovation power in EUCOPET. In round cross-section the heater reaches 1,2 mm, in rectangular cross-section 0,9 x 1,6 mm. With these dimensions it can heat up nozzles down to 3,5 mm cross-section, which opens up brand new perspectives for the hot-runner construction.

Until we get this new micro-standard accepted in the market, until it is taken into consideration by developers and design engineers, many tests and lab-examinations will have to be passed. Highly innovative products are always one step ahead of its time, but they indicate the way into the future.

Aerospace heating elements from USA token over - Oktober 1999

Aerospace heating elements from USA token over With the take-over of the nozzle heater business from the US American heating element manufacturer BF Goodrich Rosemount Aerospace EUCOPET managed a considerable move.

While this take-over could not have strengthened our main business better, it allowed our former competitor to concentrate on its core business within the aerospace industry.

As an, according to aerospace standards strictly formalised and in parts overregulated company Rosemount eventually found itself unable to meet the demands made by the plastic industry regarding customer nearness, flexibility and innovation dynamics. EUCOPET has especially here its particular strong point and today integrates these "high" service attributes with the ever recognized high product quality. Since October 1999 Freek is responsible for customisation, innovation and supply of the American high-tech heaters.

Place 57 for Freek at TOP 100 NRW contest - 06. Dezember 1999

Place 57 for Freek at TOP 100 NRW contest TOP100 With the admittance to the TOP 100 most innovative companies in Nordrhein-Westfalen" on 6th December 1999 Freek has been granted a particular honour. Freek can count itself – to say it with the words of NRW Minister President Clement – to the pacemakers of the structural change, who distinguish themselves by innovation readiness, flexibility and dynamics.

363 companies in total took up the competition TOP 100 NRW which currently has its second all-German repeat. At the final contest "Best-of-TOP-100" Freek reached in a field of more than twenty market leaders in their industrial sectors such as Brill, Henkel or Miele an excellent 57th place.

Million DM order rewards innovation successes for infrared emitters - Februar 2000

Million DM order rewards innovation successes for infrared emitters In two separate infrared R&D projects co-ordinated by our Irish partner Ceramicx Ireland, we succeeded in achieving termination compatibility between ceramic long wave and quartz medium wave emitters on the one hand and in integrating the highly automated manufacture of short wave quartz halogen emitters on the other hand. By doing so, Ceramicx became the world's first enterprise that manufactures the whole spectrum of infrared emitters on its own. This outstanding demonstration of pooled R&D power in EUCOPET convinced one of the leading German manufacturers of thermo-forming and packaging machines to place a first million DM order.

EUCOPET presentation of results in Waldheim impress officials - 07. April 2000

EUCOPET presentation of results in Waldheim impress officials The final presentation of the EUCOPET project results at KSG Gerätetechnik in Waldheim on 07. April 2000 turned out to be a real "exhibition skating" of the participating companies. Apart from the representatives of our official project supporters EUREKA, BMBF and PFT many interested guests could inform themselves about accomplished technological, organizational as well as qualification and motivation-related achievements. A special interest was shown for the presented product developments and their market successes as well as the just in time released EUCOPET guideline "Chance Kooperation".

EUCOPET on the 11. Interparliamentary EUREKA-Conference (IPK) in the German Parliament in Berlin - 22. Mai 2000

Two days 72 delegates from 24 EUREKA member countries and the European Parliament discussed on invitation of the German Parliament the future of the EUREKA research initiative. "Only research and development can strenghten the competitiveness of European companies worldwide" explain Bodo Seidenthal, chairman of the 11. Interparliamentary EUREKA-Conference. "The small and medium-sized enterprises are an engine in the innovative process. But they do not yet focus the European and global markets sufficiently." EUCOPET showed the Members of Parliament in Berlin how to remove this deficit effectively.

EUCOPET in "Europamagazin" of ARD - 02. Dezember 2000

The successes of our co-operation caused the First German TV Station (ARD) to produce a 7-minute report about EUCOPET. After the first shootings at Freek's 50th anniversary in May 2000, they went to Ceramicx in Ireland and finally a second time to Freek. With such exact investigations it is not surprising that ARD-reporter Michaela May succeeded with her report an entertaining and apt portray of EUCOPET. The report was telecast in the programme "Europamagazin" on Saturday, 02. December 2000, 16:35h.

EUCOPET in Europamagazin of ARD

EUCOPET in Europamagazin of ARDKleine Unternehmen gründen grenzüberschreitende Netzwerke. 7-minute TV-report of Michaela May.
In: Europamagazin of ARD dated 02.12.2000watch video

EUCOPET heading for expansion with new partner in Spain - 01. Juni 2001

EUCOPET heading for expansion with new partner in Spain Freek announces once more the enlargement of the "EUCOPET cooperation" by Sanara S. A., Spain. Since 01.06.2001 we cooperate in the development, production and distribution of heating elements. At K-fair in Düsseldorf we present ourselves for the first time jointly to the public. In addition to the German manufacturers of heating elements Freek and KSG, the international partners Ceramicx (Ireland), Euroheat (Italy), Rosemount (USA) and Sanara (Spain) can be counted to the inner circle of the EUCOPET network.

"Joaquin Alum, managing director of the latest EUCOPET partner SANARA, framed by his colleagues and new partners Antonio Gulotta (Euroheat) and Wolfgang Kaiser (Freek) after signing the co-operation agreement in Barcelona"

Co-operation professional with our "KaiserMethode" - September 2001

With publishing our guide "Chance Kooperation" we already have revealed most of our co-operation knowledge we gained in EUCOPET. Apart from a general introduction into the subject "co-operation" and a detailed description of EUCOPET itself "Chance Kooperation" presents most importantly of all 9 working aids to approach, design, operate and maintain co-operative relationships. Based on this we now offer with our "KaiserMethode" active assistance for your own co-operation plans. Follow EUCOPET and you will be as successful with the "KaiserMethode".

Die "KaiserMethode" Chance Kooperation für kleine & mittlere Unternehmen (only in German language available yet)

Freek winner at "milestones" contest - 23. Februar 2002

Original extract from www.milestones.nrw.de (link no longer available):
Category: Turnaround, Group: medium-sized and small enterprises

Friedr. Freek GmbH, Menden: impressive market success by horizontal co-operation

Freek winner at milestones contest [1 / 2] Founded in 1950 in Menden as a single enterprise and converted into a Ltd. company in 1970, today Freek manufactures and distributes with 45 employees electric heating elements and heating systems for industrial and household appliances. The turnover in 2001 exceeded 5 million Euro.

As a typical subcontractor, specialized in niches, Friedr. Freek GmbH was confronted by considerable problems in the nineties: concentration on customers' side resulting in demands for price reduction, a larger performance spectrum and increased quality standards pressed the company hard. The dependance from the stagnating 'white ware' industry and missing monopoly characteristics led to a 34% decline in business from 1993 to 1996.

As a way out the management looked for an intensified co-operation with other small enterprises with a similar need of action. Yet, merger and acquisition were ruled out. In 1997 Freek initiated the horizontal R&D co-operation EUCOPET, which is meanwhile joined by five carefully selected international partner companies. Main target was the mutual completion of resources and abilities, especially for joint Research & Development followed by the promotion of innovation power and the orientation towards export markets. The co-operation proved to be most successful. New products became money-spinner, among them heating elements for hand and hair dryers. With this example Freek and its co-operation allies showed that it is possible, with intelligent value adding concepts, to produce even Low-Tech-products in highly industrialized markets profitably. A Million-order deal for Infrared-heaters followed.

The intensive exchange in all relevant technological and organisational matters as well as the exploitation of synergy effects paid for all parties involved. Apart from new products, lasting process improvements in administration and production have been achieved. Together with extensive marketing all partners achieved visible improvements in turnover and outcome. Since the foundation of EUCOPET Freek celebrates great sales successes. The export rate "jumped" almost from a "standing position" up to 35%, upward tendency. The number of customers increased tenfold. From 1997 to 2000 the turnover grew by more than 130%. All co-operation partners succeeded in catching up with the sector's world-wide market leaders and partially even in overtaking them . Already in 1999 awarded as a particularly innovative company by the initiative TOP100 NRW, Freek offers a large part of its gained co-operation know-how in seminars and publications to other interested parties.

Milestones company image

Milestones company imagewatch video

The best co-operation 2003 - September 2003

The best co-operationTo support the specific foundation of co-operations between small and medium-sized companies the competition "the best co-operation - production with success" awards a prize to co-operations which distinguish themselves through excellent achievements.

The winners of this competition are determined by a high-carat jury. The jury consists of representatives of industry and science, who have far-reaching experience in the field of co-operation.

The best co-operationWe -as main co-ordinator of our repeatedly awarded co-operation EUCOPET - are happy to be a member in this jury.


  • The representatives of science:
  • Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr. h.c. mult. Hans Jürgen Warnecke
  • Präsident der Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, München
  • Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr.-Ing. E.h. H.-P. Wiendahl
  • Institut für Fabrikanlagen und Logistik, Hannover
  • Prof. Dr.-Ing. Günther Schuh
  • Lehrstuhl für Produktionsystematik, Aachen
  • The representatives of industry:
  • Dr. Herbert Jochum
  • Faller KG, Waldkirch
  • Prof. Jörg Sennheiser
  • Sennheiser electronic GmbH, Wedemark
  • Dr. Tom Sommerlatte
  • Arthur D. Little, Wiesbaden
  • Dip.-Kfm. Stefan Felsch
  • Deutscher Industrie- und Handelskammertag
  • Stefan Koenen
  • Zentralverband des Deutschen Handwerks
  • Stefan Kaiser
  • Friedrich Freek GmbH, Menden