Vacuum technology “Down Under“ Scitek and VACUUBRAND – a strong team in Australia

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Scitek visiting VACUUBRAND (from left to right: Daniel Kind, Tobias Schappeler, Carsten Ruth, Christian Ehret)
Scitek visiting VACUUBRAND (from left to right: Daniel Kind, Tobias Schappeler, Carsten Ruth, Christian Ehret)

Products from VACUUBRAND are in use all over the world. Customers of Scitek Australia have been using our diaphragm pumps, complete pumping units and vacuum networks for many years – and now are also trying out the new screw pump. Managing Director Tobias Schappeler visited us in Germany. In an interview with Carsten Ruth, Sales Director of VACUUBRAND, he reports on the concrete advantages and areas of application for vacuum technology.

Tobias Schappeler has many years of experience with VACUUBRAND, first as a sales employee at VACUUBRAND itself and then as distributor in Australia and New Zealand. Technically versed and with degree in commerce, Tobias has many years of experience in building and managing sales structures and sales teams. Today he is managing director of Scitek Australia. In his free time Tobias likes to explore offroad in his four-wheel drive.

Carsten Ruth has been working at VACUUBRAND since 2005. He holds a degree in chemical engineering and has broad experience in the fields of chemistry, analytics and material science. Through a combination of technical background, application knowledge and customer experience, Carsten has built up a high level of expertise in vacuum technologies. Today, he is operational sales manager at VACUUBRAND in a global team. Carsten is very interested in the diversity of international cultures and enjoys culinary delights from around the world.

What is your connection to vacuum technology?

Tobias Schappeler: I have been involved in the world of vacuum technology for over two decades. I now run Scitek Australia – a distribution company for vacuum technology. Scitek has developed very nicely over the years. Today we have 21 employees. Our product range is built around vacuum technology.

It is a huge advantage that I have previously worked for a manufacturer. During that time, I was responsible for various sales areas at VACUUBRAND, such as Eastern Europe, Asia and Australia. On my business trips "Down Under" I made contacts and friendships. My experience on the manufacturer side is still very helpful today in dealing with our customers and business partners. One already knows many questions and requirements. It is always fun to see how products from VACUUBRAND support our users. We offer a wide range of services such as free “health checks" or diaphragm and valve changes on site. Our customers are very satisfied with our service.

Why is the collaboration between Scitek and VACUUBRAND unique?

Carsten Ruth: The special aspect is that Scitek, as a distribution company, places a major focus on the VACUUBRAND product line within its portfolio for the laboratory sector. This also includes numerous activities such as customer seminars, on-site service or trade show appearances. This proximity to the customer is an important key to success for us in Australia.

What also stands out is Scitek's exceptionally large product and application knowledge. This stems from the continuous exchange between the two companies as well as internal training initiatives. In addition, we have a very good personal basis and see each other several times a year: We invite people to visit us here in Wertheim, we visit Scitek in Australia and we also meet at the major trade fairs such as ACHEMA or analytica.

Where do customers use VACUUBRAND products?

Tobias Schappeler: Our customers have been using numerous VACUUBRAND products in various designs for years. From the small diaphragm pump ME 1C to complete pumping stations such as the PC 3001 as well as the local vacuum network VACUU·LAN.

Some customers are already successfully using the new VACUU·PURE screw pump. This is particularly interesting for freeze drying systems and Schlenk Lines. In addition, the new technology is a good alternative in physics applications, where hydrocarbon and particle free vacuum is needed.

Die Schraubenpumpe VACUU·PURE® 10C an der Gefrietrocknungsanlage eines Kunden von Scitek.
The VACUU·PURE® 10C screw pump on a Scitek customer's freeze-drying system.

Are there any applications at your customers that have particularly excited you?

Tobias Schappeler: One very demanding and exciting application is radiocarbon dating. This method is used to determine the age of carbonaceous materials and rocks. Here it is enormously important to avoid backflow of hydrocarbons into the complex gas system. For this purpose, VACUU·PURE is perfect.

In general, our customers' main arguments for the new screw pump are high chemical resistance down to the fine vacuum range of 10-3 mbar as well as the fact that the pumps are maintenance free for life.

What common goals do Scitek and VACUUBRAND share?

Carsten Ruth: In the past, we have already very successfully implemented solutions together in laboratories in the chemical and life sciences industries. These include, for example, modular VACUU·LAN networks or high-quality technologies such as VARIO pumping units with adaptive speed control. We would like to expand these projects in future as well.

In addition, we are exploring further market segments. For example, we are opening up new areas in physics and analytics with innovative product developments such as the VACUU·PURE screw pump. Our overriding goal is ultimately to make optimum use of the synergies of both companies with their collective expertise. I look forward to further cooperation for the successful development of our companies.

We would like to thank Mr. Tobias Schappeler and Mr. Carsten Ruth for the interview.

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