Published 16/4, 2015

Germany is one of the world’s trendsetters in concrete cutting and drilling. Its trade association, Fachverband Bohren und Sägen, is the largest in Europe with the membership of almost 700 companies. Carving out a niche in a market as saturated as this is a formidable task indeed but SSB Fidan has solved it. Or rather, they have drilled their niche out. Andrei Bushmarin reports.

It is said of Germany that almost in every garage and woodshed you can find someone who tinkers and dabbles with pieces of machinery trying to come up with something new. What is even better is that Germans’ engineering talents are matched by their entrepreneurial spirit. SSB Fidan based in Mering embodies this admirable combination.

Let your sapling grow
Adnan Fidan is a German of Turkish descent with a long track record in concrete drilling and sawing. Best ideas come from the field and this is where Fidan hatched his. Having to perform a lot of drilling work during his tenure as a pipe-laying contractor, he knew it was small details that could make a big difference. With a companion, Fidan established SSB Fidan in Augsburg in 1989 primarily as a contracting firm, but also with the view to providing professional cutters and drillers with accessories they might need. The seed was sowed, and Fidan, which means sapling in Turkish, started to grow as a company.

K50 concrete screw - the first product
Before starting up a core drilling system, it must first be fixed properly on to a wall or the ground. So Fidan’s first product was a special anchor for core drilling rigs. The patented concrete screw K50 represented a new generation of anchors with a combination thread. Designed to cut itself into the concrete, it did not require using wall plugs. Boasting high load-bearing capacity, the screw was reusable, withstanding up to 50 applications depending on the material. With the product in place, the next step was to find a partner with a reputation in the business that would help with promotion and distribution. Dr. Schulze was one of the first to embrace the K50 idea and was instrumental in its promotion in the early stage.

Here comes the bestseller
The K50 concrete screw proved to be a success, its sales underpinning the company’s growth. Soon other German companies Heger Excellent Diamond Tools, Diamassa and Frank Nozar Diamantwerkzeuge followed Dr. Schulze’s example and also began selling it. However, the breakthrough product, which fast-tracked the company’s development, was invented about three years ago. Called the water retention ring, it was designed to contain water and slurry on wet drilling jobs. The device uses the negative pressure of a commercial wet or dry vacuum cleaner to attach itself onto a horizontal or vertical surface in the drilling area. By using the WSR, contractors minimize the contamination of the site, protect operators and equipment from slurry and debris and considerably save time required for cleaning the workplace afterwards.
Bolstered by the WSR success, the SSB Fidan brand started to gain recognition outside Germany. The number of countries to which SSB Fidan supplied it and other accessories grew to ten, with established names like Dutch Meijer Tools and ZBM Rotterdam, French Diamant Evolution and Swedish Diaflex becoming the company’s partners. It also added extractor B15 and flange nut B15 for safe and easy hoisting of large slabs of cut concrete to its product portfolio.

We will rock the industry this year
Despite the political and economic turmoil in Europe and never-ending price war in the concrete sawing industry, SSB Fidan is very upbeat about this year’s prospects. The company anticipates a significant growth in contracting work and sales of accessories. There is a raft of new products in the pipeline as well. These include a modified water retention ring for serial and overhead core drilling jobs, a special base plate to fix core drilling systems on rough and uneven surfaces and a next generation of the K50, which is stronger and safer than its predecessor. With these new products, SSB Fidan is looking to considerably expand its international customer base in the short to mid term.

Join our Newsletter