MÜHLTAL/ISTANBUL - When Wirthwein AG took over a total of 70 percent of the Turkish company Farel Plastik A. S. on January 1, 2015, Serkan Toprak still had no idea about the career opportunity that would arise for him. It was quickly established for the Wirthwein Group that has been owner of RIEGLER GmbH & Co. KG in Mühltal since 2005: One of its own employees should set up the site near Istanbul - one with Turkish roots and inter cultural competences like Serkan Toprak.
Currently 30 years old, Serkan Toprak is also "home grown" at Riegler. He obtained his school leaving certificate in 2002 and then started a three years toolmaker apprenticeship in Mühltal. "After my retention as employee, I passed through various positions in toolmaking", says Toprak. In the meantime, he is a deputy department manager. The basis for this is part-time IHK further training for metal master craftsman that he completed at the beginning of 2015.
RIEGLER FROM MÜHLTAL - A PART OF THE WIRTHWEIN GROUP
Since 2005, Riegler GmbH & Co. KG with its three sites in Nieder-Ramstadt and Ober-Ramstadt has belonged to Wirthwein AG, a family-managed company from the area of plastics processing and interior finishing.
The headquarters of the group of companies is located in Creglingen in Baden-Württemberg, a town with just under 5,000 inhabitants in the Franconian characterized northeast of the federal state - directly on the border with Bavaria.
The Wirthwein Group is largely unknown although its customers include enterprises with worldwide reputation.
In the year 2007, Wirthwein AG took over the former "Scheuch-Gelände" in Nieder-Ramstadt where films had previously been produced - as a result, the manufacturing capacity of the Riegler subsidiary could be doubled.
The Wirthwein family company founded in 1949 has around 3,650 employees at 20 worldwide locations and has sales with these of just under EUR 500 Mio. per year - the Wirthwein Group made investments of around EUR 18 Mio. in the year 2016.
In addition to medical technology, the group is also active in the automotive, rail, energy, domestic appliances and interior finishing business areas - this large diversification enables the exchange of know-how and creates high flexibility, for example for the construction of the injection molding tools.
The production sites of the Wirthwein Group are located in Germany, Poland, USA, China, Spain and Turkey.
Riegler GmbH & Co. KG was founded in 1946 and with its around 300 employees has sales of around EUR 40 Mio. (apd/tm)
"Toolmaker is a very difficult occupation where you must be able to deal with technical drawings", is how Toprak describes the attraction of his activity. "The toolmaker must be very sensitive to feel the thousandths of millimeters". However, the thing in his occupation is the opportunity to be able to assess his own work: "And thereby seeing how the tool that I built myself functions and contributes to the production".
And that is exactly what Serkan Toprak has been doing in the meantime in Turkey. "I was approached in advance about the planning by Wirthwein in Turkey by my manager", says Toprak. "Thereby, there was of course also the question whether I could imagine myself working there and being involved in setting up the toolmaking". Toprak could - and so after a short stay in May 2015, he finally packed his suitcase five months later and moved to the home country of his parents.
"I am currently the leader of a team of ten people in toolmaking at Farel", says Toprak about his activity. "I coordinate the maintenance and repair orders of the injection molding tools and support the restructuring of the toolmaking". Thereby, his daily tasks also include the training of the team and operating the machining tools. Varied work.
However, everyday life at his new place to live is a little different than in Germany. "The working hours here are very long", says Toprak. "I work eleven hours every day that of course affects my leisure time". There is not much time left for hobbies. Nevertheless, Toprak tries to use the time outside work to get to know Turkey better. Some of his relatives still live there.
"However, my family lives in Germany", says Toprak and describes the greatest drawback of his career stage: his two small children. Namely, he cannot see these frequently. "It is very difficult for me to be here in Turkey without my children", he adds. "Fortunately today, there are Skype and the social networks".
He summarizes the differences to Germany the life being as a whole more stressful and less leisure time and fewer holidays. "And of course the refugee crisis plays a large role here", says Toprak. "There are very many refugees here and I am very shocked to see all these poor people".
He expects to still be stationed in Turkey until March 2017 before he returns to his family and also to Riegler in Mühltal. "My stay here can of course also be extended or shortened in special cases", concludes Serkan Toprak. "One can never know what life brings".