Seeger Präzisionsdrehteile GmbH : history
Machining forward foot rests for motorcycles: from Choppers to Heavy Vehicles
To go into production of forward foot rest kits for motorcycles is something only a passionate biker would do, someone who caught the "chopper virus" when seeing the classic film, Easy Rider. The name "chopper" stands for modified motorcycles with forward foot rests, long front wheel forks and high handle bars, on which you can sit upright when cruising down country roads. At the same time, Wilhelm Seeger recognised the business potential of the chopper boom. That's why he established a company in 1981 bearing his name, in order to produce those very foot rest kits. Even at the beginning of the 1980s, there were very few choppers you could buy off the lot – neither from Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki, and nor even from Harley-Davidson. So motorcycle aficionados had to roll up their sleeves and modify their standard models.
Wilhelm Seeger has fond memories of that time: "For nearly all standard motorcycles, we developed kits with which the foot rests could be moved forward by 50 cm or more. To this day, consumers and dealers can order these TÜV-certified, i.e. street-legal, products from us. The best period for these trend products was between 1985 and 1995. At that time, Seeger earned roughly one million DM in sales per year with five full-time employees. For Wilhelm Seeger, however, it was in fact a part-time job. Because as head of production for a large company, he remained loyal to his job up until the end of 2005. Only then did he devote all his efforts to his own company.
1980: productivity becomes a top priority
Seeger's company continued to develop over the years. Initially, Seeger also took on turning jobs as the extended workbench of various companies. When Wilhelm Seeger's employer decided in the 1980s to outsource the turned parts from 3 mm to 40 mm for reasons of cost, the first series orders followed. Seeger emphasises: "We had to face off against the competition, and we were not awarded the business based on my relationships, but rather due to quality and a competitive price." He attributed the latter to the minimal administrative costs, which even remain a high priority today at Seeger Präzisionsdrehteile GmbH (Seeger Precision Parts Ltd). Of the 85 employees, only 1.5 persons are employed in administration, the others work in production.
1989 - Today: Highly reliable and easy to operate CNC control
Thanks to the good value for money that Seeger was able to offer, the orders increased. And with those orders, the precision turning specialists from Salem, a town on Lake Constance, always invested in the right machine. Wilhelm Seeger explains his strategy: "We calculated each individual order and submitted a bid. After being awarded the business, we ordered the machine on which we could produce the part most economically."
Conventional curve and turret lathes stood in the production facility for the foot rests and initial commission orders. In 1989 Wilhelm Seeger ordered his first CNC machine – with a FANUC control. A well thought-out decision, after all, he knew all the CNC providers from his main job. His reasons were the following: Already back then, FANUC controls were considered utmost reliable and easy to operate – which also proved true throughout the years at Seeger Präzisionsdrehteile GmbH (Seeger Precision Parts Ltd).
In 2010 Seeger Präzisionsdrehteile GmbH had a staff of 85, achieving revenues of EUR10.5 million. For 2011, at least EUR12 million in revenues are anticipated.