Udo Bernhardt writes nearly 50 years of FRITSCH history
Udo Bernhardt, a long-standing employee of FRITSCH GmbH & Co. KG was given a warm send-off in November for his retirement. He can look back on nearly 50 years of FRITSCH history. During this time, the technical draughtsman was instrumentally involved in many innovations. Arguably the most important development of his career was the fully automatic pretzel twister. Working during his free time in his garage at home, he invented a machine that revolutionised the baking industry.
“There are three keys to Udo Bernhardt’s success,” FRITSCH Managing Director Frank Gabriel said during the send-off. “One is his inexhaustible drive to find a solution. You hear people say, ‘Udo will have an idea at any time: while eating, while sleeping and, of course, even on weekends.’ Another key is that his understanding of dough and how it behaves is exceptional. If this were horse riding, you would call him a horse whisperer. Furthermore, his relations with our customers were always excellent.”
Udo Bernhardt worked at FRITSCH for nearly half a century. His father owned a bakery. Therefore, he grew up in the industry, and handling dough has always been a part of his life. On the 1st of September 1972, he started his training as a technical draughtsman and, after this training, he was given a position in the engineering office. There were eight drawing boards, and an equal number of colleagues, working there at the time. Today, the Engineering department has more than 50 employees.
While working, yet only shortly after his training, Bernhardt gained his qualification as a Mechanical Engineer, which allowed him to provide FRITSCH with extra support during a time when staff was short. His professional training armed him with extensive knowledge that put him in a position to manage the Research & Development and Design of Line Machines departments with great success for many years.
At first, Bernhardt worked above all on the development of dough rolling machines. Then, he started developing solutions for the medium-sized and industrial sector, for example the first croissant machine “Croissantomat 2000”. Many innovations for FRITSCH were to follow, such as sheeting lines and diverse coiling systems. His most innovative development, however, is surely the “MULTITWIST” pretzel twister.
“I had fun at work every day. The daily drive to be better than the competition kept me constantly moving,” Bernhardt says, looking back at his time at FRITSCH. There is a quote from a customer etched forever into Bernhardt’s memory: “Every machine is good, as long as it never comes into contact with the dough.” And yet, the passionate inventor still managed to impress that customer with his innovative technology.
Don't miss the story about his most popular invention MULTITWIST!