This past week I had the opportunity to visit the facilities of PF Freund in Wuppertal, Germany. Freund specializes in the production and distribution of hand tools for roofers of the slate and sheet metal variety along with many others. The company was started well before 1900 and was given a new direction around the 1980’s when Hans Dieter Sanker got involved in the company. My dad formed a relationship with Hans and Freund back in the late ’80’s and we have been business partners ever since. I spent the day with Hans and he showed me around the company and the area.
The first point of interest when getting to know this area in Germany is that slate is used in a much more dramatic fashion than here in the states. Here is an example of a residence and a restaurant. Click on the pictures for a close up view.
This is the reason why 10x as many slate hammers are sold in Europe when compared to the United States. It’s fascinating to see not only the amount, but that every slate is hand formed to a scalloped design. Slate is everywhere.
Inside the company I was able to see the professional work environment and attention to detail of Freund. There has been a lot of thought towards the organization of their inventory and processes involved in the hundreds of tools that they are selling. Here are a few pictures I took while inside the company.
I also took a few videos of some of the processes involved in finishing a slate hammer.