On the pipe lines
Lisega is a specialist in the production and supply of pipe supports used in major plant engineering, offshore installations and construction projects.
Due to their versatility, the company’s products are also suitable for use in chemical and petro-chemical installations, thermal power plants, incineration plants, sugar factories and various other facilities where liquids and gas are transported by pipes, particularly at high temperatures.
Its vast product portfolio consists of software supported by modular systems, in which over 8000 standardised components are systematically arranged for the pipe support technology sector. Lisega, which employs 750 people, has subsidiaries in six countries, is represented by a sales network spanning 50 countries and has annual sales of more than 100 million euros.
The history of the company dates back to 1964, when the founder, Gerhard Liesegang opened a small office in the centre of Hamburg. After successfully negotiating a challenging first five years in business, the company’s prospects began to look up at the start of the 1970s. By implementing a competitive pricing structure and breakthrough application technology, Lisega was able to open a new production in Zeven, which was seen as an ideal location given it geographical position between Hamburg and Bremen.
The growth of the nuclear power industry drove the company forward through the 1970s, with Lisega becoming one of the first pipe support providers to produce a quality assurance programme that met the requirements and quality demands of the sector. The company continued to develop and received its first certification of the Quality Management Manual in accordance with the American ASME-Code in 1977. The following year saw the organisation’s global presence increase as it established its first foreign branch in Bondoufle, France.
By the end of the 1980s the company was established as a bona-fide multi-national organisation, having created further branches in North America. In 1989, Lisega recorded a turnover of $25m and had risen to a leading international position, boasting a world market share of more than 20 per cent. Although the beginning of the 1990s was tinged with sadness due to the sudden death of the company’s founding father Gerhard Liesegang, the company continued to progress by opening offices in Beijing and London, thus securing a foothold in the significant British and Chinese markets.
In 2001, Lisega added pipe supports for cold and cryogenic applications to its product portfolio. In order to ensure state-of-the-art products Lisega has redeveloped and reorganised this business line. More than 40 years of specific manufacturing and field experience from highly qualified specialists was incorporated and as a result the company now offers the complete range of insulated pipe supports for all types of cold and cryogenic piping application under the brand name HIPAC. Typically, these include processes involving the production, distribution and transportation of liquefied gases, including methane (LNG), propane, butane (LPG), ethylene, oxygen, nitrogen and ammonia.
The present day operations continue to uphold the Lisega philosophy of product innovation and far-reaching acquisitions. The company’s current president and chief executive officer, Hans-Herlof Hardtke, has continued to instil a commitment for quality throughout the company. “As our source of motivation, the pleasure of success stands at the forefront at Lisega. The standard we set ourselves in this respect is a leading position in the international market, the essential pre-requisite is maximum client satisfaction through optimum benefits – this calls for consistent top performance. As this is achievable only by total specialisation, we concern ourselves exclusively with the field of pipe supports,” he comments.
The components of the pipe supports are designed for longevity and maintenance-free use and meet all necessary international standards and regulations. The Lisega products display functional principles, and the technology is fully patented while equipment is researched in great detail, highly developed and is historically proven within various sectors of industry. Consistent research and development ensures constant adaptation to current requirements, detailed improvements and increased usability.
Commenting on the advances the company has made, Hans continues: “The foundation (of the organisation) is provided by a fully matured product programme and is distinguished by a high level of quality, as well as being simple to apply. Over 8000 standardised support components are thereby arranged in a genuine modular system. Above all, the advantages of standardisation make rational series production possible.”
Hans is also convinced that the improvements implemented across the Lisega organisation have benefited its vast customer base. “It is the gains in efficiency from the whole concept that have allowed us to reconcile advanced product quality, short delivery times and favourable prices. Further client benefits arise from specific application advantages in the areas of planning and installation,” he states.
The close working relationship between the company and its clients is also integral to the success of Lisega. Commenting on the company’s aims and affiliations, Hans observes: “For specific solutions (for the customer), we have often gone down new paths. Our customers have frequently contributed new ideas, we welcome this type of working partnership and are very grateful for it. In the best spirit of the goals laid down by the company, we strive not merely to satisfy, but to delight our customers. This is the aim our activities are orientated towards, and the whole organisation is concentrated on smooth order processing.”
It is this dedication to satisfaction that has seen the company double its turnover over the past three years, and has seen Lisega make the market leading position its own. Its reputation, and indeed its balance sheet is set for further enhancement in the next year as Hans and his team of directors have targeted 50 per growth in production – a target that will require a significant investment in both machinery and further employees should it be reached.
But with the oil and gas industry experiencing a prolonged period of buoyancy, it would seem more than achievable. Through its values of superior product quality, customer satisfaction, concise company culture and co-operative management style, Lisega has developed a modern formula for success in a thoroughly competitive niche market, while upholding the principles of the late Gerhard Liesegang.
Products: Pipe supports for the offshore industry