For more than 75 years, Drahtseilwerk has been one of the premiere names worldwide in the development and production of ropes for the shipping industry. Marketing manager Claas Seedorf explains why customers in the cruise business come to it for innovative rope solutions, and staying ahead of the competition.

Could you please give us some background on the company?

Claas Seedorf: Drahtseilwerk is part of Vom Hofe Group, which includes seven companies all together. We were founded in 1934 and are the inventors of the ATLAS mooring rope, as well as being a wire rope manufacturer.

We reinvest the money in buildings and machinery. The rest goes to our charity, an institution for handicapped people. Our production methods are in keeping with the precept of an industrial factory: custom designed and partly handmade – economically manufactured on industrial production machinery.

Our production plant in Bremerhaven, with its highly skilled team of specialists, has been producing rope solutions ‘made in Germany’ for over 80 years. As a member of the Vom Hofe corporate group, we apply the know-how from the entire network in developing innovative and customised system solutions of the highest quality for our customers.

What are the key products you provide to clients in the cruise industry?

We mostly deliver our second mooring rope DURA Float and ATLAS rope to the cruise industry in different colours – but it depends on what the client wants.

What are the benefits of using your ATLAS rope?

ATLAS always exceeds the expectations the customer has for a mooring rope. Most mooring ropes are just braided, while ATLAS is woven like a wire rope. 60% of it is made up of yarns, while the rest is made up of plastic wires or monofilaments. The plastic wires give the mooring rope its shape, while the yarns contribute to its high breaking load. It’s so popular that there are plenty of copies being sold around Asia but what we’re producing here is the original.

In what practical ways has the company benefitted from the expertise of the Vom Hofe Group?

We’re able to turn our membership of the wider Vom Hofe Group into an advantage, drawing on technical expertise across the corporation in addition to its key infrastructure assets. For example, we have a wire mill in the group that allows us the freedom to buy within the group as well as on the European free market. That saves on price and delivery time, which we pass straight on to the consumer.

Could you talk a little about your focus on R&D?

We hope to develop new products combined with customer needs. We’re also dedicated to continuing our legacy of research and development, and that means consistently paying attention to precisely how we can adapt our mooring ropes over the next few years, and listening to what the market requires from us.

Where do you see most of your sales occurring and where do you see demand growing?

Two areas of wire ropes and mooring ropes are growing – one is the cruise industry and the other is harbour applications.

What would you say you bring that your competitors can’t?

We have around 80 years’ experience in the industry – not many other companies can make the same claim. We blend a unique pool of practical knowledge in the development, production and application of our products.

Our highly skilled specialists are familiar with the material requirements for wire ropes and mooring lines whatever the ambient conditions, and for all different kinds of application – right down to the smallest detail. The valuable experience they have gained over decades is incorporated directly into our development and manufacturing processes.

As a result, we are capable of producing durable wire ropes and mooring lines of the highest quality. Our customers benefit from our highly qualified consulting service staff and reliable cooperation throughout the entire service life of our products.