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Elegantly coated in gold: the 33,333rd XtraTilt represents yet another milestone. Photo credit: HKS Dreh-Antriebe GmbH

The golden XtraTilt was ceremoniously presented to (from left): Kathrin Henle-Bee, Gerhard Henle, and Tobias Gnann by Dirk Struppe, Andreas Ritter, Marcus Ohl, and Günter Höhn at the Wächtersbach site. Photo credit: HKS Dreh-Antriebe GmbH

The presentation of the anniversary model also symbolizes the many years of cooperation between HKS Dreh-Antriebe and Henle Baumaschinentechnik. Photo credit: HKS Dreh-Antriebe GmbH

Highly advanced production facilities and innovative advances keep the continuously growing HKS company future-oriented. Photo credit: HKS Dreh-Antriebe GmbH

Elegantly coated in gold: the 33,333rd XtraTilt represents yet another milestone. Photo credit: HKS Dreh-Antriebe GmbH

Elegantly coated in gold: the 33,333rd XtraTilt represents yet another milestone. Photo credit: HKS Dreh-Antriebe GmbH

The golden XtraTilt was ceremoniously presented to (from left): Kathrin Henle-Bee, Gerhard Henle, and Tobias Gnann by Dirk Struppe, Andreas Ritter, Marcus Ohl, and Günter Höhn at the Wächtersbach site. Photo credit: HKS Dreh-Antriebe GmbH

The golden XtraTilt was ceremoniously presented to (from left): Kathrin Henle-Bee, Gerhard Henle, and Tobias Gnann by Dirk Struppe, Andreas Ritter, Marcus Ohl, and Günter Höhn at the Wächtersbach site. Photo credit: HKS Dreh-Antriebe GmbH

The presentation of the anniversary model also symbolizes the many years of cooperation between HKS Dreh-Antriebe and Henle Baumaschinentechnik. Photo credit: HKS Dreh-Antriebe GmbH

The presentation of the anniversary model also symbolizes the many years of cooperation between HKS Dreh-Antriebe and Henle Baumaschinentechnik. Photo credit: HKS Dreh-Antriebe GmbH

Highly advanced production facilities and innovative advances keep the continuously growing HKS company future-oriented. Photo credit: HKS Dreh-Antriebe GmbH

Highly advanced production facilities and innovative advances keep the continuously growing HKS company future-oriented. Photo credit: HKS Dreh-Antriebe GmbH

HKS is celebrating another milestone: the production of the 33,333rd XtraTilt

HKS Dreh-Antriebe GmbH has been well-known in the industry as a specialist for compact hydraulic and pneumatic actuators for more than 50 years, and in that time it has managed to bridge the gap between traditional values and continuous modernization. With his wholehearted dedication and inventive spirit, company owner Günter Höhn has played a significant role here, and recently he celebrated another milestone in the company’s history: Gerhard Henle, Managing Director of Henle Baumaschinentechnik, a HKS partner for many years, and Authorized Company Officers Katrin Henle and Tobias Gnann were invited to Wächtersbach in the state of Hesse for the ceremonial presentation of the 33,333rd XtraTilt. Henle Baumaschinentechnik GmbH, a mid-sized, family-owned enterprise located in Rammingen, is a prominent manufacturer and supplier of attachments and equipment in the area of construction technology. The company supplies attachment buckets for all sorts of individual requirements as well as mechanical and hydraulic quick couplers and special attachments such as grippers and claws to customers in all of the German-speaking regions. A highlight of the ceremony was the presentation of the 33,333rd rotary actuator, coated in gold especially for the occasion. At the event, HKS also introduced its new Managing Director Andreas W. Ritter, who is inheriting a diverse legacy. He would like to move the company forward with down-to-earth values as well as future-oriented ideas.

The XtraTilt rotary actuator designed by HKS is already in its eighth generation on the market and, over time, development has made it even more robust and reliable and increased durability. The special deflectors of the XtraTilt series prevent dirt from entering, which protects these models right from the start, making them maintenance-free. To celebrate the production of the 33,333rd XtraTilt, HKS decided to present the recently developed BVC 85 – a model that had to pass some difficult tests in advance: The first prototype was released to a number of recipients, including the Henle company, where it has already received a good response. Altogether, according to Günter Höhn, ten of these actuators have been given out, and the recipients are “expressly invited to break it” – Höhn reports that, up to now, only one of them has managed to do so, which clearly emphasizes the quality and robustness of the material. “We invested a great deal in our development work and the new model in the XtraTilt series has the same features, but is up to 30 percent lighter. But such developments have to be made step by step and must not take place in sudden lurches. Optimization processes take time and with the BVC 85 we spent that time,” says Dirk Struppe, Head of Sales at HKS Dreh-Antriebe.

Lighter, yet more robust

The total weight of the anniversary model is about 16.8 kg. Moreover, the XtraTilt BVC 85 has a rotation angle of up to 2 x 90°. The static torque of up to 2000 Nm remains constant in the linear direction at 210 bar. According to Dirk Struppe, this design improvement made the BVC 85 not only smaller and lighter, but also more robust. It is suitable for use with mini-excavators of up to 1.8 tons – according to Günter Höhn, they are working on recategorizing the BVC 85 because it “can withstand even more than the specification indicates.” “We come from a background in industry, which uses different measurement standards. That’s why we know for sure that the 85 model can do more than what is specified for the 1.8 ton weight category.” Dirk Struppe notes that a special feature of the XtraTilt, its maintenance-free system, not only increases working speed, but also significantly decreases damage and reduces the operating equipment and materials used because the operator does not need to maneuver or move the excavator nearly as often, for example. Moreover, the system is compatible with the most common excavator models and most quick couplers – whether mechanical, hydraulic, or fully hydraulic. The standard XtraTilt is the 180° version. By customer request, 100° and 140° versions are also available.

New Managing Director introduced

The continued advancement of innovations such as the XtraTilt models at HKS in the future as well requires a reliable helmsman. Now Andreas W. Ritter has taken the wheel at HKS. He introduced himself at the ceremonial presentation of the 33,333rd XtraTilt: “I am, as they say, still wet behind the ears in this new role and I’ve used these initial weeks and months to put together an accurate impression of the company.” A mechanical engineer, Ritter has previously worked as a production manager and business consultant – in the automotive industry and for an engineering industry supplier, among others. “Based on my previous experience, I am familiar with both large and mid-sized companies. But regardless of its size, a company must never stop advancing its development. That is a continuous process, which is my aim here at HKS as well. That includes automating things where it makes sense – but with any increase in efficiency, people must always be the central focus.” Managing Partner Günter Höhn agrees, adding: “For me, those who become unnecessary in the course of such optimization processes are basically the best employees because they approach change openly and go along with it – and it is precisely these people that characterize a future-oriented company.”

“Both young and old can learn from each other”

At the same time, Günter Höhn insists that despite all of its progress, the company should never forget its roots, but instead, blend the two together: “I started at a time when both customers and providers searched for and actually found each other without the Internet, the yellow pages, or telephones,” says the man who managed the companies of the HKS Group and advanced their development for more than 50 years. “Without a doubt, I am the obsolescent model here: I know the production chain inside and out and I am familiar with each screw holding this company together. At that is exactly what I have always considered important. But I also know that these are changing times, that there is a new Zeitgeist in which people approach things differently and raise new questions. It is crucial that these generations meet each other in the middle: Both young and old must understand that we need each other and that we should see learning from each other as a great opportunity.”

Successful on the market for 50 years

And the success story of HKS Dreh-Antriebe proves him right: The company has been on the market as a manufacturer of hydraulic rotary actuators, actuators, and TiltRotators for more than 50 years, and today it has sales partners in more than 20 countries with a foreign revenue share of more than 54 percent. “For more than a half century we have been developing, designing, producing, and distributing compact actuators for rotating and pivoting loads for customers in a myriad of sectors – all over the world,” says Günter Höhn. The owner sees a great advantage in the company’s production depth of nearly 100 percent and in the fact that almost everything comes from a single source. “Another unique selling point is reliability,” reports Gerhard Henle, a customer of many years who deals with HKS products on a daily basis. “The XtraTilt has simply proven to be robust and durable and it demonstrates that quality comes through in the end.”