The history of rfks goes back more than 85 years, with the family company growing progressively and establishing itself as a reliable and innovative manufacturer for standard and special stamping parts on the local and international washer market.
As CEO, Carl Philip Schulte represents the expertise and the constant development of the family-owned business – now in its third generation. “Our rfks team consists of over 160 employees, including the 25 strong in-house tool shop as the core of the company,” explains Carl Philip. “We also have skilled personnel in all areas of operation through our forward thinking HR programme.”
With the aid of more than 45 high-speed stamping machines, from 20 tonne to 800 tonne press force, R+FK Schulte KG (rfks) is one of the leading European producers of washers according to DIN/ISO standards. At the same time the company supplies customised special parts for specific needs – all available in various material grades and surface coatings.
Diverse product range and coatings
“We as rfks stand for reliability, efficiency and a comprehensive service within our long-standing partnerships. What sets us apart from direct competitors is our versatility and know-how in both worlds,” emphasises Sales Manager Peter Schlütter. “We are competitive in
DIN/ISO standard washers, as well as being technically minded in demanding special parts according to customer drawings.”
Thanks to its own in-house tool design and tool shop, rfks can provide exclusive solutions for each customer – covering a comprehensive spectrum of thicknesses from 0.05mm to 12mm and of inside diameter from M0.8 to approximately M165.
rfks is also able to process all punchable material grades and offers a wide variety of hardnesses and surfaces for its products. “We can do this thanks to our long-term network of reliable and certified suppliers for heat treatments, including nitrocarburising, austempering, hardening and tempering, as well as surface treatments such as zinc, zinc nickel, mechanical zinc, hot-dip zinc, nickel, zinc lamella and phosphate,” highlights Carl Philip.
rfks’ customer benefits
A key benefit of customers working with rfks is the combination of its stamping and coining production – resulting in multifunctional features in one stamping part. Due to its own tool shop, rfks can also develop intelligent tool designs for stamping solutions.
“Fast and flexible project processing, by bundling all core competences, distinguishes the rfks team from other market participants,” reports Carl Philip. “We offer our customers a comprehensive service to manufacture the products according to their needs. For example, we can create customised proposal drawings by taking into account the technical functionality and usability of the product.”
Growth through constant investments
rfks has established itself at the forefront of the market through its ability to combine many years of know-how with constant new investments and process innovations – in order to manufacture the best solution for every customer. “In 2022, two new machines with 500 tonne press force and one machine with 250 tonne press force were added to our capabilities, which have enriched our versatile machinery capability and increased the overall in-house stamping capacity by more than 30%,” explains Peter. “Additionally, we have invested in a highly modern vibratory grinding centre.”
rfks has also looked to use digitalisation in order to continue developing. “In the age of pervasive digitalisation, rfks maintains a consistent monitoring of all phases of production for each part,” underlines Carl Philip. “Through the latest version of our ERP system, proAlpha 9.1, we profit from sophisticated system controlled logistics and excellent production planning modules – ensuring transparency and efficiency. In addition to that, we are implementing sustainability more and more into our everyday business and we are looking to take on environmental, social and governmental challenges in order to fulfil our responsibilities towards the environment.”
Will joined Fastener + Fixing Magazine in 2007 and over the last 15 years has experienced every facet of the fastener sector - interviewing key figures within the industry and visiting leading companies and exhibitions around the globe.
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