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Then as now – More sand. More gravel. More success.

This year, under the motto of ‘Heavy Birthday’, Stichweh is celebrating 100 years of the company’s existence. What started, soon after the end of the First World War, as a metal working business specialising in the repair of agricultural machinery, among other things, grew consistently over the subsequent decades and developed into what is now an internationally successful provider of extraction and refinement systems for sand and gravel.

Over the decades, the range of sand and gravel extraction machines and systems for the world market was developed at the Stichweh company – or more precisely SMT Stichweh as it is known today – into a highly diversified portfolio consisting of complete systems, drag scrapers, bucket wheels, log washers as well as screening machines. In addition to this there is a large range of jigs – these have been jointly developed with Stichweh’s US American partner Snoby Separation Systems LLC.

There have been many milestones on this 100-year journey. One of these marked the delivery of drag scrapers for the extraction of gravel that was used, in the 1930s, for the construction of the Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburg. Another very important milestone manifested itself in the market launch of Stichweh bucket wheels, in 1962. The international focus at an early stage was also conducive to the expansion of the company. Thus, in 1960, already more than 60% of the orders were exported to, among other places, Switzerland, Austria, France, the Benelux, Denmark, Bulgaria, Venezuela, Canada and Thailand. In view of this, it is hardly surprising that Stichweh, as a global expert, is today present on all five continents. Experienced field service staff as well as local representatives and partners ensure that everything runs smoothly – from the planning stage right up to the commissioning of the machines and systems that have been ordered.

The systematic further development of classic extraction units with the Stichweh label happens via the head office in Thüste and specific partnerships worldwide with a view to enhancing the efficiency of these units in their long-term use.

Tailor-made screening machines as well as jigs with even greater precision

Jigs – such as those provided by Stichweh as part of the cooperation with Snoby Separation Systems – are a valuable addition for the further optimisation of the classification of sand and gravel, especially since the question as to whether a jig or a screening machine would be the better choice for the processing of sand and gravel does not have to be an ‘either-or’ decision. A screening machine separates according to particle size while a jig separates according to density and weight by means of a pulsating current that lifts the material and, immediately afterwards, it sorts itself according to its density – light particles rise to the top and heavy ones sink to the bottom. Ultimately, the choice of apparatus will depend on the subsequent use of the material. For instance, in order to obtain a very high-quality material for concrete manufacturing, screeds and industrial floors it is advisable to combine the capabilities of both machines to create the perfect duo consisting of a screening machine and a jig.

The following example symbolically stands for many uses. First of all, the raw material – which will have been extracted using a scraper – that has a grain size of 0-200 mm is placed in the screening machine in order to separate sand 0-2 mm from oversized grains >32 mm. However, after this stage, the desired target fraction of 2-32 mm is frequently still contaminated with carbon constituents and other light impurities. This is where the capabilities of the jig come into play – this apparatus separates all the impurities from the useful grains so that, in a further screening stage, this pure material can be classified into the desired fractions, which are frequently 2-8, 8-16 and 16-32 mm.

The entire quality chain from a single source

At Stichweh, in each case, the practical requirements form the basis for the development of the most efficient solution in accordance with all the design rules and the norms for the interactions between the components including the mechanical and electronic control options. To make the solution succeed as expected the Thüste-based company operates according to a ‘trusted workflow’ – this means providing consistent advice and support from the conceptualisation of the solution right through to its implementation and making enhancements to it.

Ultimately, each deployment entails quite specific requirements as regards the extraction conditions, material properties and performance objectives. The requirements that are individually determined for each given situation constitute the basis of the briefing for the in-house design department. At the implementation stage Stichweh’s fitters – who operate worldwide – play a key role. They work on call directly on-site and ensure that the units or complete systems supplied run smoothly. In the course of this the fitters use the most modern means, such as fault reports from machines being sent directly to the smartphone of the machine operator who can then react right away and take appropriate action.

The full service offering of this respected manufacturer is particularly valued when it comes to the further development of the deployment of a machine. As Stichweh has all the technical documentation it is possible for it to carry out further developments, retrofittings and restructurings from a single source. The availability of documentation and data is equally important in the event that spare parts or repairs are needed. In order to provide operators with the best planning certainty and functional reliability Stichweh guarantees toproduce and deliver essential elements that have to be individually configured in the minimum time. For the subsequent delivery of spare parts that are in stock the service promise applies – this means that all parts that are ordered from Germany by 12 noon on a working day will be with the customer, in more than 90% of all cases, on the next working day already. More information is available at

In addition, on our website, you will find plenty of advanced solutions, news and information about the anniversary year. With that in mind – Heavy Birthday.

Certainly not old-style – Modern scrapers are high-tech extraction units, such as this 170-tonne KS 1000 SH 2 R with its huge bucket capacity of 10 m³ and an output of up to 400 t/h.

Screening and jigging – For many applications the optimal concept is a combination of the qualities of screen classification and density separation.

Strong focus on service in all phases. Consistent advice and support from the conceptualisation right up to the regular deployment of an investment and the fast fitter service as and when required are two sides of the same coin.

Founding father Fritz Stichweh would probably not recognise ‘his’ enterprise today. Although he would indeed be proud.

Photos: Stichweh

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