13 June 2017
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norelem – the inside view

​Paul Mulvey – business development manager, norelem UK – has recently allowed FAST Magazine some intriguing insights into the company's operations and development, in an up-close-and-personal Q&A

norelem has a proud history of supplying flexible standard parts, systems, and components for mechanical engineering and plant construction. FAST Magazine finds out more from Paul Mulvey – business development manager, norelem UK

FAST: How long has norelem been established in the UK and what were the reasons for setting up a subsidiary in Birmingham?

Paul Mulvey: We have been serving international markets from our headquarters in Markgröningen, Germany, for many years now. The UK has always been important for our business. It’s a country that norelem has operated in for a long time and we have excellent relationships with our customers. We established our Birmingham UK office in 2015 to develop these relationships even further. In addition, we are taking advantage of the UK’s fast-growing mechanical engineering expertise.

Implementing a norelem structure for the UK was a logical step. We offer customers the opportunity to purchase directly from our Birmingham office. This enables us to service the UK and surrounding markets more efficiently and rapidly, delivering enhanced customer-centric solutions.

What is norelem best-known for in its home market, and what do you want it to become known for here in the UK?

norelem's philosophy is “You have the ideas, we make them happen.” At its core, norelem supplies a range of quality products with high availability (98% of all parts from stock), as well as delivering technical support to our customers. However, we also see ourselves as an innovative partner for our customers. We work closely with designers and engineers from a range of sectors to help them convert our products into efficient solutions for everyday use. We act as a single, reliable partner for businesses large and small, providing our solutions and engineering expertise to deliver support throughout the design process, turning ideas into reality. This is what we have built our global reputation on and we are already known to many UK customers for this very reason. From our UK office, we will be delivering the same high level of service, partnering with innovative businesses and making ideas happen with our extensive range of products and engineering knowledge.

How many different products are currently available through the norelem catalogue?

norelem supplies more than 33,000 standard products relating to standard machinery and operating elements as well as automation components. Ninety-eight per cent of these parts are available from stock and we deliver on-site technical support for most of our products. This high level of inventory enables us to provide fast and reliable delivery times, with orders reaching us by 3pm being dispatched on the same day. The total number of products available through our catalogue is always being augmented as we remain as responsive as possible to our customers. By forming partnerships with the businesses we work with, we can anticipate future product demand and continue to expand our range accordingly.

What is the idea behind the BIG GREEN BOOK?

The BIG GREEN BOOK is both our ideas catalogue and a reference book and has become the norelem trademark. More than just a standard product catalogue, the BIG GREEN BOOK represents everything norelem stands for – combining product information, specifications and technical information with best practice references, advice and guidance. The BIG GREEN BOOK is structured logically and with the customer in mind. Our product groups are clearly organised and information, including dimensions, drawings, fits, tolerances and standards, is clearly displayed. We see norelem as an enabler of great ideas, and the BIG GREEN BOOK is our unique tool with which design teams can turn their ideas into reality.

Is technical and/or application advice available from the Birmingham office?

Absolutely! Our UK office exists to deliver both sales and technical support, as the two go hand-in-hand for our business. This is why we offer free CAD data to customers and even work with them to design solutions in general. We have built a global reputation around our combination of high quality components and design expertise and expect our Birmingham office to become as well known for this service as our global headquarters already are.

What are the key market sectors for norelem?

Given the large product variety we offer, we serve all markets in the areas of mechanical engineering, fixture construction and special engineering. In the UK, we have a strong focus on the automotive and aerospace markets as these are cornerstones of UK industry. We also supply products to private customers and to educational institutions, fulfilling every order regardless of the minimum quantity. We see our partnership with education as a key enabler of our success to date. We are constantly surprised and inspired when we see some of the great projects that our customers and young engineers are implementing with our products. These student projects range from camping trailers for e-bikes to a measuring plate for concentricity measurement of a camshaft through to the development of a gear milling machine.

Does the company offer 3D CAD facilities to UK engineering teams?

Yes! CAD data for all our products can be downloaded for free from www.norelem.co.uk and is also available on DVD, from cadenas.com and traceparts.com. Our website has been set up to make it quick and convenient to order norelem products, send enquiries, check delivery times and to request technical advice. In addition, we offer flexible shopping cart features and ERP integration.

Our BIG GREEN BOOK and product brochures can also be downloaded from our website for free.

Is it true that norelem UK actively supports engineering universities? If so, how do these relationships work?

We partner with engineering universities all over Europe to help nurture young engineering talent and turn the ideas of tomorrow into reality. One university project we are actively involved in is the European Formula Student Team initiative, working with university pupils to supply norelem products and expertise to help them manufacture their own single seat racing car. This is an initiative we are working on with the University of Birmingham and the University of Hertfordshire, and it’s a project we have been supporting for many years now in Germany. Our partnerships are aimed at helping university students gain hands-on experience of design engineering, working closely with business specialists in this field. We support these projects, in addition to running our own norelem Academy (www.norelemacademy.com), which combines talent development, training and workshops under one roof. It brings together our core competencies in supported projects, training and workshops, and enables us to inspire and develop future engineering talent. These projects are run by our managing director Marcus Schneck, who believes that the engineering industry is stronger when it has links with the educational sector. Not only do these initiatives help norelem to inspire and nurture the next generation of engineers, but it gets them used to handling professional mechanical engineering equipment, thus preparing them for a long-term career in industry.


Brian Wall

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