In conversation with
With a passion for the special: In this interview, RSG Managing Director Sandra Mügge-Dewey (Dipl.-Ing. Mechanical Engineering) talks about the art of engineering, the challenge of producing high-quality special parts and why quality is also so important behind the scenes.
Mrs. Mügge-Dewey, RSG is a family business with tradition. Was it always your wish to join the management?
When I took over the management from my father in 2005, it was an important step for me. Like my husband, Roland Dewey, I am also technophile. We are both graduate engineers, for us know-how plays an important role at all levels. Management and operations management do not only take place in the office at the computer. A good cooperation in our teams is essential for us, because only if we all join in the work, we achieve our goals and produce high quality. My husband designs tools that we use to manufacture our products and spends a lot of time in production. The company benefits from the close interaction between the “Technikum” and production.
This is what we call our toolmaking shop; next to production and administration, it is the heart of our company. This is where our products are created. Every single one is carefully thought out, with a high demand on functionality and durability. Thus, every product is a piece of engineering art.
We never wanted to produce uninspiring mass-produced goods and we have always remained true to this path. This fills us with pride; we identify with every single piece and its genesis. This is not simple copying or production off-the-peg - on the contrary.
When you talk about engineering, you mean ...
To find the best solution for our customers through innovation, which includes new ideas and modern technical possibilities.
For example, when we receive an order to develop and produce a cutting tool for a kitchen appliance, we don't just make blades. From the vision of the finished appliance to performance characteristics, all requirements and the most diverse criteria are examined from all sides. Only when we have considered all the details and found the best solution does production begin. This is a creative and at the same time essential process that remains exciting every time until the end. When the finished product perfectly fulfils its purpose, we have found the best solution.
Your cutting tools are part of larger appliances and equipment?
Yes, exactly. If you use a blender, a food slicer or a food processor at home, you will most likely use one of our tools. The market for kitchen appliances is growing, cooking and healthy preparation is a big trend. That's where we come in. High-quality brand-name appliances depend on the best quality, after all, the eye eats with the food and sharply cut ingredients look much more appetising. If the recipe calls for fine grating or thin slices, for example, then the appliance must be able to do just that. After all, it's not just about the attractive picture of the meal for the Instagram account; cooking times also depend on the correct size of the ingredients. Taste and appearance must be right.
However, you will not read the RSG name on the kitchen appliances.
It's a different story with the cutting tools, many of our customers insist on the branding. "RSG" and "Solingen" are a sign of quality! After all, cutting tools perform an important function. Blades may not be in the spotlight, but important things almost always happen behind the scenes. We are proud of the quality of our tools and carefully select which kitchen appliances come into consideration. After all, the overall concept has to be right, even if it is ultimately the inner values that matter. Our cutting units are the heart of the kitchen appliances.
So RSG is the professional for the hidden values?
Not only. In addition to blades and cutting tools, we produce laboratory instruments and consumables for laboratories. Quality is an essential criterion in this sector as well.
Another area of expertise are design stainless steel products of high complexity and aesthetics, e.g. for fully automatic coffee machines. In addition to function, the focus is on appearance; after all, the appliances should cut a good figure in the kitchen, dining room or gastronomy. Since we are driven by a passion for innovation, we develop new ideas and special stainless steel parts worthy of a patent for and with our clients.
Household and professional knives from Solingen enjoy a high reputation - the location stands for the highest quality. In developing our "Dimension" series, we pursued an ambitious goal and dared to change our perspective: a knife handle should adapt to the hand, not the other way round! Harmonised handle sizes guarantee optimal handling, predominantly with smaller models an unbalanced ratio makes use difficult. As with all our products, we combine functionality and appearance in the "Dimension" knife series. Well thought-out proportions and position of handle and blade guarantee a good feel and provide safety when cutting.
Is RSG a perfectionist when it comes to stainless steel?
Yes, I can only confirm that! When you think of stainless steel, you think of RSG. Our manufacturing processes include all decisive work steps; punching, vibratory grinding, grinding, shaping, hardening, electropolishing as well as joining and assembly processes are carried out directly in the company. The strength lies in the detail work; this is the basis of our claim to quality and perfection.
I am also proud of our qualified team of experienced and junior staff. They do a great job. Be it in the procurement of the diverse stainless steels and raw materials, the controlling or the personal advice given to customers by the sales department.
How do you achieve these consistently high quality standards?
Experience is the key word. We can rely on both the know-how and the motivation of our employees. RSG is a family business with well-trained and satisfied employees. Tradition and innovation are important to us and we know how to combine the two. Long-standing, loyal employees with a wealth of experience and young, motivated employees develop new ideas together on the foundation of our values. Our junior staff likes to come from our own ranks; we train in a targeted manner and invest time and energy in our teams. Solingen is our home and our future.