apra-group and EMKA
A success story spanning over 40 years
The apra Group has been specialising in cabinet and housing technology for over 50 years. With its five subsidiaries, it supplies over 25 different industries worldwide and serves global trends such as laser, security and charging technology as well as cabinet systems for critical infrastructure such as energy-efficient data centre solutions. At its headquarters in Mehren in the Volcanic Eifel region of Germany and five other European locations, around 440 employees develop and manufacture a wide range of solutions made of sheet metal, aluminium, stainless steel, and plastic. One of the apgra Group’s particular strengths is its flexible housing design. In addition, the family-owned company offers customised housings both as individual items and in large series. This diversity is also reflected in the order volume. About 86 per cent of the orders are for newly developed or customised products according to the customer’s specifications. Whether combining traditional stamping and bending technology in metal processing, milling bending technology, and modern 3D printing in plastics – apra makes it possible.
But there are also components that apra sources from external companies, such as locking solutions, hinges and seals. Since the safety of housings plays a major role in cabinet and housing technology, the apra Group relies on EMKA in this area. The cooperation between the two family-owned companies has a long history. Not only have the founders been acquainted since childhood, but both organisations also pursue similar methods in their corporate philosophy: a wide in-house production and the perpetual refinement of their product portfolio.
Lockings, hinges & Co: apra relies on EMKA expertise
EMKA solutions have been used for over 40 years by the subsidiaries of the apra Group – first and foremost by apra-norm Elektromechanik GmbH in Mehren, Germany and apra-gerätebau GmbH in Chemnitz, Germany. Equipping control cabinets and server racks with locking technology has traditionally been EMKA’s most important business field. With its in-house designers and developers, the renowned world market leader from Velbert, Germany, has a great deal to offer when searching for new locking solutions. Another advantage is that EMKA offers complete locking systems because handles, hinges and seals are precisely matched to each other. This allows coordination processes to be accelerated and all cabinets to be opened and closed with the same quality.Many standardised and customised apra housing solutions for the industrial and network technology sector contain EMKA components. The products’ high potential for customisation corresponds with EMKA philosophy’s ability to be modified. Among the regularly used solutions is a complete locking system from EMKA. This is the swinghandle 1185 with the “apra” logo and a colour-matched handle. In combination with a rod control, flat rods and rod guides, this results in a complete locking system with 3-point locking. In addition, the family-owned company relies on EMKA hinges of the 1110 series, which can only be unhinged at a certain opening angle. This design makes it easy to assemble and disassemble doors and flaps within a few minutes.
To ensure that they also close tightly, the apra Group relies on vulcanised frames made of the 1011-12 sealing profile. EMKA mitre-cuts these to a precise fit and vulcanises the corners. This approach creates a homogeneous connection, and the seals made in this way do not have to be glued or placed around the corner as usual. The sealing frame can then be installed directly after delivery without further processing.
In total, apra purchases zinc and aluminium die-cast parts, handles, swivelling levers, hinges, quarter turns, locks, seals, and sealing profiles from EMKA. Because of the established partnership, these pieces are included in various apra Group items. Ralf Mayer, Business Manager at apraNET, is also aware of this: “Whether it’s the die-cast aluminium corners of a cabinet’s frame profile for audio and media applications, the vulcanised seal of a machine housing in industry, or the swinghandle of a server rack in the data centre sector – we use EMKA components everywhere”.
New challenges enliven the partnership
Countless collaborative initiatives have enabled EMKA to gain the reputation of being a dependable and enduring partner. Christian Herzig, EMKA’s Group Sales Manager, knows this status has been achieved above all through the constant optimisation of the company’s solutions: “We are constantly concerned with the question of how we can reduce weight and thus save material costs in the interests of our customers. We benefit from the fact that we process different materials in our production, such as steel, zinc and plastic, and are not limited to one process. These optimisation steps always follow the approach “quality before price” in order to always offer the best possible solution to the end customer. Nevertheless, EMKA has developed a sterling reputation for its dependable staff and punctual service and is now a trusted authority in the field of lockings, hinges, and seals. “EMKA regularly presents us with new ideas. This can be a new locking, but also constructive details such as an improved roller shoe that makes the locking system run more smoothly” Ralf Mayer describes EMKA’s contribution. “We can also be sure that if we have any queries, no matter what kind, we will get a response within a few hours”. The family-owned firms are striving to have a say in the future of cabinet and housing construction – they are already laying the groundwork for their next project.