From its modest beginnings, WECO struggled and prospered and, in some cases, faced challenges. To recover from financial losses, WECO needed to reinvent itself. It is a company based on the pride and respect of its employees, and in no way was WECO about to give up. To meet global competitiveness, WECO needed not only to regain profitability, but to turn into a global entity, becoming “ONE” WECO.
Under the leadership of its new CEO, Mr. Heiner Kammann, WECO began to globalize and unify its subsidiaries. It increased its competitiveness, centralized business intelligence, unified its independent subsidiaries, and collaborated with its regional offices. It became ONE WECO, a sales and engineering company.
WECO took advantage of economies of scale for raw material procurement and conducted an expansion project in the Czech Republic, where our high-volume 302 to 327 series were manufactured until closing down in 2017. Mr. Kammann established a global headquarters in Canada, first with a factory on the western tip of Montreal Island in Baie-D’Urfé, and then moved to Kirkland in 2012.
Mr. Kammann returned WECO to profitability by eliminating redundancies and aligning it with its established markets and customers. From this point, Bernard Pinet took over in 2010 and expanded on Mr. Kammann’s vision, creating a solid and engaged executive team and turning WECO into a customer-centric organization until his retirement in 2020. Now, Mr. Michel Alary takes over the role and continues to move forward with our new vision and mission. Collaboration in all facets of the company is now evident and we are now a truly global organization.
Improvements in manufacturing resulted in consolidating the factories in three facilities: Hanau, Canada and Tunisia, which relocated to a new and larger premise ready for future growth. This resulted in the closing down of the manufacturing activities in Brazil and Czech Republic.
WECO not only created a customer-oriented organization, but also expanded its product range by acquiring the German company Metalluk in 2017. WECO acquired all tooling, production machinery and drawings and integrated the products into its own portfolio, branding it as our Series 308. This line of multi-tab connectors allowed WECO to increase its penetration into the automotive/transportation market as the product is geared to motorhomes for power distribution. This market has grown significantly in the past few years as more consumers are reverting to an easier life and camping by buying new motors – a positive effect from the current pandemic situation.
Further advances were made in the automotive market with WECO developing a bespoke solution using a pin header based on our patented floating pin technology, which is used as a connection between the transmission and control box in new SUV models. It took nearly 2 years of intensive engineering work with the first samples leaving Hanau in 2019 and this year a fully automated production process was brought online to support the customers’ needs.
Security in public and private places became a normal way of life. Monitoring the flow of people through a metro and public transportation network has generated BIG DATA that helps cities efficiently manage their infrastructure safely and securely. Interconnecting a myriad of devices requires reliable and easy-to-install connectors in the field; here the WECO 950-NLFL and 971-SLR-SMD series are in high demand, specifically in devices such as smoke detectors, emergency lighting and alarm control centers.
WECO’s competitive edges found their way into many new and modern building projects worldwide, such as, for example, the Vodafone office in Portugal, which integrates Fire and Security Systems that include WECO connectors
With a hundred years of existence, WECO is built on the dedication and responsiveness of its teams of employees, each of whom contributes to the family on a daily basis. Proof of this dedication, and one that has made WECO proud, is the longevity of its employees. Even if it would still take another three years until WECO’s true centennial, a centennial could have already been celebrated in September 2018. Two brothers, who punched their first timecard in September 1968, celebrated their 50 years of service to the company that year. WECO honored the two jubilarians with a celebration.
We, the employees, are now “WE” at WECO. WE all contribute to the success and WE are the pulse of the company and for that, everyone at WECO appreciates your dedication and your work. It is with great pride that WECO thanks you for being part of this journey, a journey that will continue into the next century.
WECO’s pride and longevity is undeniable in its products and the people who design and assemble them. This was evident when a poster advertising our products at our first exhibition in Hannover in 1954 appeared on ebay 63 years later in near perfect condition! It was sold in 2017, but unfortunately WECO was not aware of it and it was too late to buy it. Its new owner is certainly displaying it with pride.
Just like the poster, WECO prides itself on having the best employees building the best products and preparing for the next century.