Interview with BARTEC CEO

Dr Martin U. Schefter

Originally published in the Easy Engineering Magazine 20. 2. 2024.

In the interview, Dr Schefter touches upon innovative BARTEC solutions and products, the topic of hydrogen, but also shares his vision for driving digitization in hazardous areas with the announced launch of BARTEC SP9EX1 Smartphone and BARTEC SC9EX1 Smartscanner in the Q2 of 2024 and by acquiring Extronics, the Wireless Real-Time Location Systems specialist. 

BARTEC CEO Dr Martin U. Schefter

1. A brief description of the company and its activities.

BARTEC is a leading global provider of hazardous area safety and security solutions, products, and services. With its advanced technologies and performance-oriented teams of experts, our company helps renowned customers from a wide range of industries and regions to secure working environments, meet legal requirements, and improve productivity. Founded in 1975 in Bad Mergentheim/Germany, the company is, with approximately 1,300 employees specialised in explosion protection and safety technology that sets global standards - always committed to the BARTEC purpose: Protecting what is most important, which is something we uphold in our every solution and product.


2. What are the main areas of activity of the company?

Our products and solutions provide our customers and their working environments with comprehensive protection against explosions and ensure the safety of the people and the environment. The focus is on the highest quality and functional safety. We rely on our expert teams to provide our customers with individual specialist advice and develop customized solutions for different hazardous zones. With this unique combination, we strive to make the lives of people and the environment safer and offer comprehensive explosion protection - worldwide.


3. What's the news about new products/services?

BARTEC listens to its customer: through continuous customer surveys, we have a comprehensive understanding of our customers' needs and offer a consistently performance-oriented service. We support our customers in the various phases - before, during, and after the sale. This enables us to build close relationships. Each of our employees is an expert in his or her field of activity and thus contributes to BARTEC's success. We create efficient, flexible, and safe solutions from a single source: with innovative, globally certified products; with one of the broadest product portfolios on the market; with proven solutions, a global service and sales network, and customer-specific developments.


4. What are the ranges of products/services?

BARTEC addresses solutions for different requirements, and we are proud to have a broad portfolio of products that can ensure next solutions:

  1. Mobile worker: Mobile working in hazardous areas is a focal point of our
    comprehensive range of solutions.
  2. Wireless Connectivity: Our wireless connectivity solutions include Wi-Fi access points for Zones 1 and 2, as well as antennas and gateways that
    create the conditions for safe, easy communication in potentially explosive atmospheres.
  3. Smart factories: Smart factories and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) will continue to dominate industry for the foreseeable future.
  4. Turnkey trace heating: BARTEC’s trace heating solutions secure supply lines, transportation methods, and production processes in a variety of industries.
  5. Analysis and measurement: We offer a complete range of analysis and measuring technology solutions, including online analyzers, sample preparation systems, and analysers houses, as well as on-truck systems.
  6. Lighting and electrical infrastructure: Our specialized lighting and electrical infrastructure solutions bring light into hazardous areas.
  7. Energy distribution: At BARTEC, we design and produce customer-specific solutions for industrial energy distribution in hazardous areas.
  8. Automation and machine control: Automation and machine control in hazardous areas is one of our most important engineering fields.


5. What is the state of the market where you are currently active?

BARTEC is active in several important industries, such as oil and gas, chemical, pharmaceuticals, in the energy sector, in manufacturing and logistics and in the sector of generation, conversion, transportation and storage of hydrogen. With more than 50 of our branches and a very large partner network, we are represented all over the world with our solutions.


6. What can you tell us about market trends?

We have seen a significant increase in the digitalization of the process industry during the last few years: Smart phones and tablets are commonly used to do maintenance, Wi-Fi is available almost everywhere, and data is used to optimize processes and work tasks. Knowing that the hazardous areas usually follow these industry trends, we believe that the time is now to help our customers to benefit from and implement these available technologies – as a trusted partner!

As the demand for sustainable and clean, new energy solutions grows, we see in parallel a significant demand for safe hydrogen solutions. To accompany our customers with technical expertise and the right applications in the best possible way, BARTEC is already positioning itself for this change in the new energy sector. As a facilitator, enabler, and trusted partner, BARTEC supports our customers in safe energy production, transport, and industrial consumption of hydrogen. Most of our products have already been certified for the use of hydrogen for many years. We have the experience with hydrogen applications in the chemical and energy industries and 90 percent of the portfolio is already available for these applications. This means that all important products and system solutions from our various business units are already certified for hydrogen usage.


7. What are the most innovative products/services marketed?

Security and safety are at the heart of what we do, and we don’t cut corners in delivering against that promise. Focus needs to be firmly also on the end-user satisfaction to the products we create, from device to its accessories and lifecycle services. The digital market keeps evolving, and we keep pushing the boundaries of what the world has seen in the EX device market to earn our business and success every day.

We recently announced the launch of the BARTEC SP9EX1 smartphone and BARTEC SC9EX1 smart scanner, which will be available across our target markets, starting in Q2 2024. With more than 1000 dedicated components ensuring EX protection, the devices deliver a safe, powerful and yet a lightweight experience. With these two devices BARTEC empowers customers to reap the benefits of connectivity and digitalization – improving efficiency and productivity while ensuring safety and regulatory compliance. We are thus driving forward the digitalization of hazardous areas in a way never seen before in the industry.


8. What estimations do you have for the beginning of 2024?

Our big goal for BARTEC is to be at the forefront of digitalization within the hazardous areas. That is because I see a lot of growth potential based on interesting new business models in there which we will approach with our digital agenda.

As part of our digitalization strategy, we also made an important decision at the end of last year and acquired Extronics, the British Wireless IIoT and Real-Time Location Systems specialist. With this acquisition we have taken the next step for BARTEC to evolve into the world’s leading provider of digital infrastructure and equipment for hazardous areas. The combined portfolio will now be the most comprehensive in the market and allows our customers to implement industrial IIoT networks and mobile devices. I am very excited and full of motivation for BARTEC to become the world`s leading digital EX company.

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