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Hofmann gets Kirsch for big mining push

October 25, 2014

Hofmann gets Kirsch for big mining push. Picture: Nic Ellis

WA's biggest family-owned engineering firm has bolstered its leadership ranks from the outside as it prepares for a deeper push into the mining sector

Hofmann Engineering says the appointment of German expatriate Stephan Kirsch as chief executive alleviates the growing workload on managing director Erich Hofmann and supports its ambitions to increase sales of major crushing and grinding equipment to mining industries

Mr Kirsch most recently headed a Henderson-based rival and customer, ThyssenKrupp Polysius Australia, which provides similar plant to the cement and mining industries

Hofmann was founded 45 years ago by German immigrant brothers John and Erich Hofmann, who is the uncle of the current managing director. It made its name turning out precision tools, valves and pumps, bearings, food packaging and aerospace parts, but in recent years it has focused on gearing for mineral processing plants and wind turbines

While many Australian manufacturing firms have struggled, Hofmann has innovated to remain competitive and followed its mining clients into new markets, opening oggices on the east coaast and offshore

John Hofmann, the company's chairman, still works from the firm's Bassendean offices

He said the trading environment was tougher but Hofmann was profitable and "putting our money where our mouth is, investing, investing, investing".

Mr Kirsch said the gruelling domestic conditions meant companies "had to adapt to new business structures".

"It's all about being inventive,"he said. "If you lean back and say, 'how hard is it out there', you won't make any progress."

-- Sean Smith

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