The SEPA story – from the engineering office to the European solution provider for electronics cooling
The economic situation in St. Georgen in the Black Forest in 1990 is bad. The employer has financial difficulties and the development department is facing closure. Heinrich Cap is not prepared to “watch and wait”, he resigns and establishes himself as a self-employed engineer with his own engineering office. „I had many ideas and did not want to waste my knowledge and experience“, he recalls.
The first years are hard. Europa is suffering from economic crises. It is difficult to find customers. The electronics engineer, Heinrich Cap however has good contacts with Japan and the colleagues there are open and cooperative. A close and successful partnership emerges that still exists today. Nippon Keiki Works Ltd. is not only the manufacturer of the SEPA fans but also development partner and cooperates with SEPA on a close basis. Several jointly owned patents originated from this cooperation. The outstanding characteristics of the products,Silent, Efficient, Powerful, Advanced serve as the acronym for the company name. SEPA is successfully registered in 1998 as the trademark.
In the meantime, the economy is slowly but surely recovering. The first product is a SEPA MF40B12 fan in a heat sink for CPUs. Bigger orders follow – from the Austrian automotive supplier AVL and Siemens Regensburg. The automotive industry remains an important factor for several years but activities in this segment are curbed, simply because we wanted to avoid dependency, recalls Heinrich Cap.
Meanwhile, the economic success quickly results in an increased need for space and because an appropriate commercial property cannot be found in the Black Forest town of St. Georgen, the metropolis of Freiburg becomes the new company location in 2000. Expansion can now really make headway: the representation in France opens its doors, quickly followed by representations in Austria, Switzerland and several East European countries – SEPA leaves behind its regional borders to now become SEPA EUROPE.
Consulting activities are intensified at an early stage and customers are provided with tailor-made solutions for special cooling tasks by SEPA. The product range is persistently expanding: in 1995 further fan brands and fan accessories are included in the sales program. Dust and EMC filters as well as AC connection cables and ADC fans follow. The innovation peak is marked with the SEPA RaAxial micro fan – a combination of a radial and axial fan. The global novelty is presented for the first time in 2019.
Since 2004, Heinrich Cap the founder of the company is no longer solely responsible for managing SEPA EUROPE GmbH. His son Robert Cap joins the company and is appointed not only as a further managing director but also his successor in 2011.
Due to the permanently increasing product range and the diverse services, corporate growth continues to accelerate with the consequence that the space at the Freiburg site is becoming increasingly limited and the need to expand unavoidable. In 2014 the foundation stone is laid for the building of a new office and logistics building. One year later, concurrent with the 25th company anniversary, the company moves to the industrial estate Breisgau in Eschbach. This site provides sufficient space for enlargement so that we are well equipped for the future.
Alone by the doubling of the storage capacity the new, large company building provides more possibilities for SEPA EUROPE. The optimized processes in the warehouse ensure that the import of goods and despatch are now considerably more effective and SEPA EUROPE can offer its customers secure storage.
A further advantage is the enlarged and newly equipped laboratory. With its improved diagnostic possibilities, SEPA EUROPE can now react adequately to customer inquiries, whether with regard to the support and measurement for the project planning of new fan/heat sink applications or for the quality control of performance data.
In 2018 SEPA EUROPE is set to grow and is substantially extending the assembly segment. As a result several of the standard plug-in connectors can in the meantime be combined on the premises with the fans to achieve a ready-for-connection solution for customers. It is exactly this in-house solution that allows a flexible reaction to customer inquiries and in turn the production of a small quantity of ready-for-connection products.
The extensively modernized digitalization over the past 5 years rounds off the last innovations of SEPA EUROPE. The decision not to forget this issue has proved to be more than correct in this anniversary year 2020.
In conclusion Robert Cap looks to the future with confidence: „We are a great team, we have developed considerably over the last years and I am looking forward to the coming ones despite the new and tough problems that are currently facing the economy.“