With his more than twenty years of experience in the technical distribution of power generation systems, Heinz-Joachim Herrmann fulfilled his wish to become independent by founding AVS Aggregatebau Vertrieb Service GmbH in 1986. His courage was rewarded, and the young company quickly gained a foothold in the market. Newly designed mobile power generators found a new customer base, and played a significant role in the success and growth of the company. Over time, AVS became established as a reliable manufacturer of power generators, and had secured some significant orders and customers. These ties continue to exist to this day.
In 1985, the original company of Heinz-Joachim Herrmann’s former employer found itself in financial difficulty. The South Germany branch in Munderkingen, which he then ran, was affected. Following a failed attempt to rescue the company, the Munderkingen branch, too, faced closure. Heinz-Joachim Herrmann had long expressed the wish to start his own enterprise, so he made use of this new situation by becoming his own boss. The idea was to start a “sound, dignified and reliable South German company.” On 01/01/1986, his wish became reality: AVS Aggregatebau GmbH, based in Ehingen-Stetten, was launched with a staff of twelve, mainly recruited from the former branch, fulfilling contracts rescued from the insolvent firm.
1992 New assembly shop
After expanding the office building in 1987, the logical consequence was to build a new assembly shop five years later. This had become vital due to numerous orders and the size of units. Special feature: underfloor heating. What seems somewhat unusual for an assembly shop resulted from some genset test runs and the energy generated in the process, which was converted to heat in an accumulator and deposited. Along with the old shop, a total of 2,450 m2 was now available.
1993 Purchase of a construction machinery business
The premises of AVS was at the time located on the grounds of the construction machinery business of shareholder Wilhelm Messmer. In November, the latter offered to sell the rented factory and office building along with the entire grounds to the remaining shareholders. The offer sounded good, so they accepted.
1996 New office building
The first decade of AVS was over. The company progressed well and was successful within this decade, although nobody predicted this at the launch. The majority of the employees who were honoured for their ten years of work for AVS are still at the company today. Due to steady expansion, the old office building had become too small, so the decision was made to erect a new one. The two-storey office building had an area of 600 m2, and was opened in May 1996. Even then, due to wise forethought, the statics had been calculated to allow for a further storey.
2003 Demolition and new construction
Back in 2000, it had already been decided to expand the assembly area. Due to restructuring, the shop rented from the construction machinery business was no longer required, and the lease was terminated. Because of the low ceiling, the shop could not be used for the production of power units, and therefore the decision was made to demolish it and replace it with a new building. The plan was to use the new shop, with an area of 1,400 m2, for steel construction, repairs and painting. In the process, a staff building measuring 200 m2 was erected between the shops, housing a common room and sanitary facilities. .
2007 Succession plan
The succession plan was devised early on, and consistently prepared over the years. It was a foregone conclusion that the founder’s son, Steffen Herrmann, and his son-in-law, Benedikt Meßmer, would take over the management of the company. In 2002, both were given general power of attorney for the respective fields (Technology, Sales and Operations, and Materials Management and Accounts.) It was a logical step when, in 2007, the second generation took over the management.
Launch of AVS BHKW GmbH
Long beforehand, the CHP market had been entered upon. As early as 2001, the first AVS CHPs went into operation, and were now part of the product range. In 2007, after a long period of planning, the CHP operations were carved out and a separate company was decided upon. Now, AVS BHKW GmbH was founded.
2007 New building
The order situation, development of the company and the forecast for the years to come were very good. Consequently, production had reached its limits, and expansion was absolutely vital. In August 2007, construction began, and after about four months, the new assembly shop, warehouse and two new test areas went into operation.
On the roof surface of the new building and of the existing shops, photovoltaic panels were installed, 207 kW of which was fed into the public grid.
Additionally, a plant oil CHP with an electrical performance of 50 kW was installed. The module, manufactured in our own shop and incorporated into a twenty-foot container, is used to supply our own needs. The CHP feeds electrical energy into the public grid. The thermal energy which ensues in the cooling water and exhaust gas is part of the base load of our heating network. The oil-fired boiler is only utilised when the basic supply of the CHP is exceeded.
2013 Foundation of AVS Central
An anonymous call in November laid the foundations for the Service and Sales branch in Guxhagen, also nicknamed “AVS Central”. A team of former service employees of a competitor asked if AVS would consider a startup. Because Guxhagen near Kassel was an attractive location, we decided to start the branch. Soon, a suitable office building and assembly shop were found. Today, the sixteen-strong team caters for customers in northern Germany.
2016 Thirty years of AVS
The company celebrated its thirty year anniversary with a leisurely barbeque for all the staff. We were happy to honour and distinguish our earliest members of staff.
2018 6000th order
In 2018, we had another cause for celebration. The 6000th order, a drive unit of a mobile crane, was placed. The 6,000 orders included around 8,000 units and CHPs manufactured at our Stetten plant.