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PTO takes off ...

… with a new team and new energy


Ortrand (January 27, 2023). PTO Polymer-Technik Ortrand GmbH (PTO) is entering 2023 with new personnel and new energy. “Despite the omnipresent shortage of skilled workers and personnel, we succeeded in recruiting 16 new competent employees for the PTO team in 2022,” Managing Director Alexander Bergk is pleased to report. Further new hires are planned to cope with the good order situation. In addition, the company is making itself more independent in terms of energy supply with a new photovoltaic system.


PTO offers new colleagues good prospects
“The new colleagues will help us in the current heavy workload, but we are always looking for motivated employees. We offer them a diverse range of tasks at Po-lymerTechnik Ortrand and ensure good prospects for their long-term development with us,” says Alexander Bergk.


Production manager Stefan Blümel emphasizes the diversity and variety at PTO: “The new employees work in different areas of production. In order to be able to cover different areas of responsibility, they rotate again and again and thus constantly gain new insights.” As a manufacturer of elastomer and silicone-coated textiles for industrial and medical applications with around 190 employees, PTO is one of the most important employers in the Upper Lusatia region.

Group picture of the new colleagues with the management of PTO.
Photo: PTO Polymer-Technik Ortrand by Alexander Frenzel


More independence thanks to new photovoltaic system
In the meantime, PTO’s investments in renewable energy systems are showing their first visible effects: For example, modules of a new photovoltaic system have been installed on the roof of production hall 3, which is scheduled for completion by summer 2023. PTO will thus be able to cover around 400,000 kilowatt hours per year (kWh/a) from its own sources in the future, which corresponds to a share of around eleven percent of the company’s electricity requirements.

“The new plant not only gives PTO more independence in its energy supply, but also avoids the emission of around 195,000 tons of climate-damaging carbon dioxide (CO2) per year,” explains Christian Forkert, Head of Technology. In order to become more independent in the supply of energy and gas, further investments are in concrete planning at PTO. “As a supplier of critical infrastructure, energy supply security is of enormous importance for our manufacturing processes,” says Managing Director Alexander Bergk.

New photovoltaic bearings on the roofs at PTO
Photo: PTO PolymerTechnik Ortrand


Background: Measures initiated for production security
In order to ensure the greatest possible production security and thus also supply security, the HÜBNER Group has initiated several measures. These include investments in local energy storage solutions and alternative fuels in order to be able to produce with these redundant systems even in the event of possible supply bottlenecks.

The Ortrand site is of strategic importance for the entire HÜBNER Group, to which PTO belongs. PTO manufactures elastomer and silicone-coated textiles for the group of companies with 3,500 employees worldwide, which are used, among other things, in transition systems of rail and road vehicles. With its products for a wide range of industrial and medical applications, PTO makes an important contribution to maintaining many processes in critical infrastructure and public life.



Welcome to PTO

This year, the third-year students from the OSZ Schwarzheide visited us in Ortrand with their apprenticeship as process mechanics for plastics and rubber technology.

The young people were not only immersed in the wide range of applications of PTO’s products, but also gained a comprehensive insight into the raw materials used, the necessary machinery and the different technologies.

Stable energy supplies essential for production

Ortrand / Kassel (12 October 2022). The importance of a stable supply of natural gas and energy has been the focus of discussions taking place between the management of PolymerTechnik Ortrand (PTO) and local political figures. During a recent visit, District Administrator Siegurd Heinze (Oberspreewald-Lausitz district, independent), State Parliament Member Ingo Senftleben (CDU), District Director Niko Gebel (Ortrand District Office, CDU), and Maik Bethke (Mayor of Ortrand, CDU) were briefed about the current energy situation at PTO, which belongs to the HÜBNER Group. In addition, the SPD Federal Parliament Member Hannes Walter also visited the PTO company site in southern Brandenburg. Natural gas shortages or supply disruptions could have severe consequences for the company’s production activities, which in turn would affect the town of Ortrand, emphasized Ingolf Cedra, General Manager of the HÜBNER Group and PTO Managing Director Alexander Bergk.


“No natural gas, no production”
As a manufacturing company with more than 180 employees, PTO depends on a stable and also affordable energy supply. In this connection, natural gas is not only used for heating but also as fuel for the vulcanization process to produce textiles and elastomer profiles. These components are an important basis for the production of elastomer-coated fabrics and rubber materials that are then used in the manufacture of gangway systems for trains and buses.
“If there is no natural gas, there is no vulcanization. Without vulcanization, there are no coated fabrics. Without coated fabrics, there are no gangways. These three steps show that the current energy situation harbors the risk of endangering production activities at PTO – and thus at the whole HÜBNER Group,” emphasized Ingolf Cedra, General Manager of the HÜBNER Group.

The Ortrand production site has a strategic significance for the entire HÜBNER Group with its worldwide workforce of 3,500 employees. The products manufactured by PTO serve as components for the production at other HÜBNER locations. As a manufacturer of elastomer and silicone-coated textiles for various industrial and medical applications, PTO makes an important contribution to maintaining a wide range of processes in the critical infrastructure and in public life in general.


Measures initiated for continuity of production
The HÜBNER Group has already initiated a number of measures in an effort to ensure the highest possible certainty of production continuity. These include setting up redundant infrastructure elements for the use of alternative fuels. Systems for the generation of renewable energy are also in operation at HÜBNER locations; these will be significantly expanded in the near term. Additional new systems are also being installed.
PTO Managing Director Alexander Bergk points out how important it is to receive the necessary support from political representatives and the authorities. “It is our goal to become independent of possible natural gas supply bottlenecks as soon as possible. However, for the required investments we have to receive approval from the involved authorities. In this connection, we are in contact with all relevant authorities and political entities to emphasize the importance of energy supply security for our production processes as a supplier of a critical infrastructure segment.”

“Focused support is necessary from policymakers”
“We welcome the exchange with political decision-makers to find reliable solutions for the current energy situation and thereby to ensure the natural gas supply for PTO – an important supplier for both local and long-distance public transport as part of Europe’s critical infrastructure. The same is true for the HÜBNER Group as a whole. The current energy situation demands pragmatic and focused support from policymakers,” emphasizes Ingolf Cedra.
A further effect of the current energy situation are the significant increases in energy prices. These increases are having a direct impact on the business of the HÜBNER Group as well as PTO. “Competitive pressure has increased significantly. Price jumps in energy costs can no longer be offset through increases in productivity. This means that in comparison with global competitors we have to produce with significantly higher costs,” says Ingolf Cedra.


No EU stipulations regarding regional value creation
One result of the sharp price increases may be the loss of market share to global competitors – also directly in the European market. Ingolf Cedra explains: “These increases can mean that we lose orders and projects in our home markets because global competitors from outside of Europe can produce more cheaply, and in the European Union there are no stipulations regarding regional value creation.”

The General Management of the HÜBNER Group is currently in contact with many political actors regarding this issue. For examples, talks have been held recently in Kassel at the HÜBNER headquarters with Federal Parliament Members Timon Gremmels (SPD) and Boris Mijatovic (Greens) as well as with Hessian State Parliament Members Vanessa Gronemann and Karin Müller (Greens). Further discussions and meetings are planned.

Silikone made in Germany

Kassel / Ortrand (June 10, 2022). The HÜBNER Group is bundling its expertise in the field of silicones in the new Competence Center Silicone (CCS). A newly developed manufacturing system will thus make the production of silicone solutions more sustainable and environmentally friendly. The CCS is being realized together with PolymerTechnik Ortrand GmbH (PTO), which has been part of the HÜBNER Group since 2006.


It will be put into operation at PTO’s headquarters in Ortrand (Brandenburg) in the summer of 2022. In the new Silicones Competence Center, the HÜBNER Group will map the complete production process for silicones: from material and formulation development to compounding and the creation and packaging of products. “The advantage of our new Silicones Competence Center is that silicones for the HÜBNER Group’s products and system applications will from now on be manufactured directly and entirely in Germany. This enables a high level of production and delivery reliability. In addition, the new production system is significantly more environmentally friendly, allowing us to further reduce emissions containing pollutants,” says Ingolf Cedra, Managing Director of the HÜBNER Group.

High-quality seals for aircraft, buses, and trains Silicones – especially silicone profiles – are an essential component of sealing systems used in aircraft, buses, and trains, among other applications, and are produced by the HÜBNER Group. “The new production system enables us to respond even better to the versatile and individual design requirements of our customers. This is a decisive advantage, especially in the case of high-quality and demanding applications in aviation and in road and rail vehicles,” Alexander Bergk, Managing Director of PTO GmbH, makes clear.

Another special feature of the Silicone Competence Center is that the production system includes a vertical extruder with an infrared vulcanization line. Christian Rothe, head of the Competence Center Silicone, explains: “This enables the production of highly complex geometries and non-contact vulcanization. This enables us to produce a very good
surface quality for our silicone seals.”

In addition to seals, the Silicone Competence Center also manufactures various silicone product solutions that have very good resistance to alkalis, dilute acids and cleaning agents. These are used, among other things, in the electronics sector for insulation and in medical technology for respirators.

Visit us

We cordially invite you to visit us at this year’s TechTextil in Frankfurt am Main at booth 11.0 D76 from June 21 to June 24, 2022.

PTO presents itself at training fair

Last Saturday, the regional training fair took place in the Niederlausitzhalle in Senftenberg. PTO was of course also represented and was able to hold numerous discussions with interested parties to inspire them to take up an apprenticeship at PTO.

Picture: (from left): Oliver Hofmann (industrial trainer), Erik Helbig (PTO apprentice as process mechanic for plastics and rubber technology specializing in multilayer rubber parts), Dorit Schultz (human resources manager) and Mario Helbig (industrial trainer).

Competence Center Silicone

The implementation of the Silicone Competence Center at the HÜBNER Group company PolymerTechnik Ortrand (PTO) is currently progressing with great strides. In addition to the development and production of silicone compounds and coated textiles, the production know-how will be expanded in the future to include the manufacture of extrusion profiles.

The vertical extruder enables the production of difficult geometries as well as non-contact vulcanization and achieves a particularly good surface quality. The profiles now roll off the line vulcanized and including printing.

“Our strength is the production of individual silicone profiles according to the most diverse specifications of our customers. Whether small or large, simple or complicated profile cross-sections, voluminous or filigree profiles, large quantities or requirements of just a few 100 meters: with the new production system, we will be able to adapt production to the products and requirements of our customers” says Christian Rothe (Head of Competence Center Silicone) .

In the future, PTO intends to grow further in this area and make its technology available to additional industries and customers. “We are looking forward to realizing the complete process, from material development to compounding the mixture to creating the finished packaged products, all under one roof,” says Christian Rothe.

Change at PTO

Change at the top of PolymerTechnik Ortrand GmbH (PTO): Alexander Bergk will become the new managing director on January 1, 2022. The 39-year-old has already been working for PTO for twelve years, currently as head of the Quality Control and Purchasing department. Bergk is married and father of three children, he lives with his family in Niederlausitz.

“We are pleased that with Alexander Bergk we were able to gain a managing director who knows PTO intimately through his many years of affiliation and experience. We extend a warm welcome to him in his new role and wish him every success,” says Ingolf Cedra, the HÜBNER Group Managing Director responsible for PTO.

Although Alexander Bergk has been with PTO for a long time, the great variety of products still excites him: “We are literally in the thick of things! For example, in satellites flying through orbit, in streetcars rolling through Dresden and Cottbus, or even in the castle church in the Lausitz town of Lauchhammer, which recently celebrated its 275th birthday.” Because there, small bellows make the organ resound – with material from PTO!

“From Ortrand, we deliver all over the world. It makes me proud that our products occupy top positions,” says Bergk, who sees the achievements as an incentive to shape the challenges of the future together with the PTO team. In doing so, he relies on “brand awareness, innovative spirit, an active MatSol network, a healthy error culture and penetration of external markets.”

In the future, PTO’s business will be managed by two people. Alexander Bergk will be responsible for operations. “Our goal is to be able to complete the management tandem as soon as possible with another person who will then be responsible for the areas of sales and development,” explains Cedra.

The change in management also marks the end of Kirsten Schmaler’s tenure at PTO. The 60-year-old chemist will retire at the end of 2021 after 19 years with the company, twelve of them as managing director. On behalf of the HÜBNER Group, Cedra thanks the previous managing director: “With her extraordinary commitment, great personal dedication and often good gut feeling, Kirsten Schmaler has been instrumental in successfully driving PTO’s development.”

We welcome our two new apprentices

At the start of training in August, two more young people strengthen the PTO team in Ortrand.

Mrs. Johanna Berger starts as an industrial clerk. In the first 14 days she will get to know the production and thus the processes as well as the products, in order to then change to the purchasing department. Mr. Erik Helbig is starting his training as a process mechanic for plastics and rubber technology. He will also start in the production department.

This means that PTO employs a total of four trainees, including one industrial clerk and three process mechanics for plastics and rubber technology. The apprenticeships at PTO are versatile and experienced employees are available to assist the apprentices at any time.

In order to inform about the apprenticeships, PTO presents itself at various career information fairs. For this purpose, internships are also gladly offered in-house. “This always gives us the opportunity to get to know the young people and in return it is possible for them to get an accurate picture of the future working environment,” says Dorit Schultz (HR Manager).

SPORT FREI - PTO at the 8th Westlausitzer company run

On Wednesday, September 5, 2018, PTO started with a total of 20 runners at the 8th Westlausitzer Firmenlauf in Senftenberg. In the field of most sporty company on 5.1 km we took 64th place, but the focus was rather on the joy of running together in a relaxed atmosphere. For PTO, this was a successful participation, and further sporting activities will certainly follow.