DILO Armaturen und Anlagen GmbH, with headquarters located in the Lower Allgäu, employs approximately 300 people. After initially established in 1951, it entered the sulphur hexafluoride (SF⁶) business in 1967. Today, this medium-sized company is a world market leader in SF⁶-gas handling, also offering series-manufactured products as well as solutions custom-manufactured to specific needs. Production features a broad vertical range of manufacturing solutions, ideally suitable for providing a wide variety of customized options. Currently, DILO enjoys the competitive advantage in the market, focusing strongly on quality, innovation and reliability. In recent years, the company has experienced consistent growth. In addition to assembly of the devices, components and valves, in-house mechanical processing, sheet metal manufacture, and a welding shop are integrated into the location. Since 2019, with the addition of an in-house powder coating system, DILO is able to address almost the entire value chain.
Around the world, SF⁶ is used as an extinguishing and insulation gas in encapsulated medium- and high-voltage systems. It offers a number of benefits, given that it is neither toxic nor flammable and it does not have any carcinogenic, mutagenic or reproduction-endangering properties. However, it is one of the most potent of all greenhouse gases. For this reason, DILO has introduced its own “zero emission concept,” defining within it a technological circuit that allow all SF⁶ processes to be handled with great reliability and emissions free. Yet, due to the classification as greenhouse gas, research is being done to find an alternative insulation gas for electrical engineering. The results of this research will greatly influence DILO’s core business.
In 2011, Christian Scheller assumed the position as Managing Director at DILO. Facing the difficulties of a business emergency, he did not immediately initiate any change process – sales and business results have remained consistently good. Plans were in the making for the company to become more adaptable to enable it to respond better to disruptive events on the market. In addition, there was an increase in requests for customized solutions, which demanded more flexibility, a prerequisite for DILO’s current competitive advantage.
“In 2015, we initiated an operational suggestion system, but quickly realized that simply making selective changes was not enough. Time and time again, we encountered challenges that were impossible to solve using classic methods. Traditionally, DILO had been a company with a strict hierarchical structure, so our approach had to to target the corporate culture.”