Oliver Schickling places the steak on the grill, which has been heated to over 450 degrees Celsius. A sizzle, some smoke - and then the typical, irresistible smell of roasted meat: Mr. Schickling inhales, smiling. Not only because he enjoys grilling, but above all because he and his brother Philipp are passionate about supplying around 8,000 customers from all over Europe with Schickling grills every year. "We have made it our mission to build the best grills in the world," he says, adding enthusiastically: "Our grills are designed to bring people joy. They also have to be affordable for anyone who is looking for quality and functionality - but cannot or does not want to exceed a certain budget.”
The parent company - Schickling GmbH metal construction in Visbek, Lower Saxony - offers the ideal conditions for the construction of gas and charcoal grills. Mechanical engineer Philipp Schickling works in the family business there. But his brother, Oliver Schickling, who studied economics, wanted to start something of his own. “We recalled that our father used to build grills for the family and the idea of making something that would bring people joy was always in the back of our minds,” says Oliver. In 2014, the brothers founded the Schickling-Grill company, starting a success story that continues to this day: BBQ fans rave about the quality of the popular grills on internet platforms. Oliver Schickling believes there are several reasons for the success of his products: "Our grills are made of three different types of high-quality stainless steel. That's why they are rustproof, durable and made-to-last.” Another reason is the modular system that is exclusive to Schickling-Grill. With the help of an online configuration tool, every customer can assemble “their very own” grill - click-by-click - depending on their individual requirements and needs. "We have several basic models and a variety of extras, such as grill lids, base cabinets or turbo burners. These features can be implemented immediately or added on over the lifetime of the grill," explains Oliver Schickling.
Metal construction specialist and passionate inventor Philipp Schickling is mainly responsible for the product development and production of the grills. “I look at what is technically feasible and how it can be designed and manufactured economically,” he says. Then the Schickling brothers manufacture the components in their parents' company, using state-of-the-art machinery such as 2D and 3D laser cutting systems, laser tube-cutting machines, marking lasers, press brakes and swivel bending machines - all from TRUMPF. "We use this machinery to manufacture the approximately 2,000 parts that our grills require across the entire product range," explains Philipp Schickling.
About 230 tons of bending force are required to bend the double-walled stainless steel grill lid, and the machines shape the grill's front panels with 38 bends and 50 tons of bending force. A laser tube-cutting machine from TRUMPF first cuts the tubes for the gas grill burners to exactly the right length and then uses the laser to make 144 holes of different diameters in each burner rod. These rods provide the gas flow that heats the grill grate evenly when the grill is in operation.
"The machines do a great job and the existing infrastructure enables us to produce the grills inexpensively, quickly and with the best quality," says Oliver Schickling, proudly tapping one of the boxes in which the Schicklings ship their grills - in individual parts and ready for assembly by the customer. “Sales come almost automatically when we do good work,” he says. And that is exactly what the brothers do, because it's even more fun for them than grilling itself: building grills that BBQ aficionados can design as individually as their menus.