Pressure Pioneers Unite: WEH and baromax in Dialogue

In this interview, the two business partners, Anton Halbich (WEH) and Omar Hakam (Founder of baromax), discuss pressure dimensions and their collaboration.

It Just Fits

Mr. Hakam, you were looking for a company to take over your product range and scale the business. Why did baromax and WEH immediately click?
Omar Hakam:
There are several aspects that fit wonderfully. One is the technical aspect, namely WEH's experience with pressure devices, as the company has been successful in this field for many decades. The other is the human factor. WEH is a family-owned medium-sized company, which means there was also a quick mutual understanding on a personal level.

What else did you consider, Mr. Hakam?
WEH is agile enough as a medium-sized company, but at the same time, it is also large enough to truly scale the business. Also internationally. There's sales force behind it that is structured quite differently.

New Dimension in Pressure: What Does That Actually Mean?

Now we're reaching up to 10,000 bar. This is also new territory for the pressure experts at WEH. Could you please put this dimension into context, Mr. Hakam?
Hakam: This is best explained with examples: In the pneumatic field, we usually deal with 6 to 8 bar. That's familiar from workshops. In hydraulics, like those used in excavators, we're talking about ranges of 250 to 400 bar. If you want to cut metals, you need around 2,000 to 4,000 bar. Anything beyond that is truly specialized. Pressures of 10,000 bar are dimensions that in nature mostly occur only in geological formations.

Mr. Halbich, how do these ultra-high-pressure products fit into WEH and your portfolio?
Anton Halbich: Since the inception of the company, our focus has been on high-tech and engineering expertise at the highest level. That's why our slogan is "We Engineer Hightech!" Currently, we are strategically realigning ourselves. We see our future in pressure. More precisely, in the high and ultra-high-pressure range. Perhaps we'll have to change our slogan to "We Engineer Highpressure". And all that Mr. Hakam has developed with baromax fits very well with us. These two have truly found each other. Perhaps they were even looking for one another. In any case, they are now on a very good path together. WEH is reaching new dimensions with a maximum value of 10,000 bar, whereas we were previously at around 1,000 bar. This allows us to expand our existing customer base. And not just horizontally, meaning through components and perhaps later systems and even installations, but also vertically. That means offering new products in new pressure ranges. It's another area of expertise that we want to tap into after the first 50 years, starting from the 51st fiscal year, so to speak.

 And What Comes Next? Anton Halbich in the Interview

And What Comes Next?

Mr. Hakam will accompany WEH as an advisor. What is important to you about this?
Halbich: We have found a specialist in Mr. Hakam who will accompany us with great motivation in the coming years. Continuous knowledge transfer is important in this regard. From the first few months of collaboration, I can say that this is working very well. It's already a success story. We look forward to everything that lies ahead.

You are coordinating the next steps together. What will be the focus over the next few months?
Halbich: The focus initially lies in further product integration, and this approach is currently planned in two stages: We handle ad-hoc requests that come in at the moment, and simultaneously start integrating the product portfolio into the WEH world. In sales, we want to proceed in three stages: We start with direct sales, then involve our subsidiaries in the UK, France, and the USA, and afterwards, we expand through our distribution partners to the rest of the world. It's important to plan like this to avoid getting scattered. Of course, we are striving to further adapt the products, potentially for new applications as well.

Mr. Hakam, in future you will be concentrating more on your work as managing director of a company in the medical technology sector. What attracts you to this sector?
Hakam: It's a highly innovative field. Once again, we are dealing with a niche product. We are particularly strong in the area of spinal implants. The special challenge here is that a product must function in a body over a long period of time. It feels good to be able to focus on one area now. And thanks to the sale to WEH, I have the opportunity to keep baromax alive as well. And sustainably. As an advisor, I'll be there, seeing what becomes of "my baby". I look forward to it.