Bühler and Bühler + Scherler join forces | Bühler + Scherler AG

A passion for engineering 

For nearly four decades, Bühler + Scherler, which emerged as a joint venture in 1984 from the Zurich engineering firm Scherler AG and Bühler, has established itself as an electrical competence professional on the global market. More than 120 employees now work for the St.Gallen-based company under the motto “Ingenious with passion”. Their expertise covers electrical planning, electrical installation, building automation, and energy consulting. 

Scherler and Bühler have been working together as Bühler + Scherler AG since 1984. In its almost 40-year history, the company, which does not only handle cables, has undergone many changes. Until ten years ago, Bühler accounted for half of the order volume for Bühler + Scherler.  
Due to growth and economic development, Bühler still generates a third of the volume today. The other two thirds are shared between Bühler’s end customers and external contractors. Thomas Bischofberger, Managing Director at Bühler + Scherler, explains that “part of our strategy is to demonstrate our competitiveness outside Bühler as well.” With its broad portfolio of products and services, Bühler + Scherler achieves this with ease.  
Erwin Rüdisühli, Head of Industry and Process, has the impression that “the great widespread knowledge of Bühler + Scherler in people’s minds is that we only lay the cables from the control cabinet to the motor and sensor.” But this is not the case, because electrical planning through to implementation with all its complex processes and energy supply are just as much part of Bühler + Scherler’s core competencies as energy consulting and building automation. 


On the road with heavy baggage 

The “engineers with a passion” from Bühler + Scherler were already traveling around half the globe to Bühler construction sites decades ago. Back then, they carried bulky suitcases filled with planning sketches and heavy folders. There were fruitful planning meetings in advance, after which the complex plans were drawn up on the drawing board with ink and a razor blade. Nowadays, Thomas, Erwin and their employees travel with just a laptop and have access to the whole documentation. Erwin says, “It’s such a relief because you can work from anywhere in the world and download everything.” You used to get one telex a week while you were on site, but now everyone gets nervous if the site manager is not immediately available by phone. 


Troubleshooting like a needle in a haystack 

A few weeks after starting at “Beratende Ingenieure Scherler” in 1984, Erwin, a trained electrician, stood in front of a 22-meter switch cabinet for a mill in Algeria. The enormous size and complexity were frightening and impressive at the same time. His task for six months was to train the future operators on these machines so that they could go on site to carry out electrical troubleshooting.  
In the years that followed, he worked his way up to sales. In 1992, he had the opportunity to establish a subsidiary in London and manage it for six years. Sales is in his blood, and he has developed a passion for it over the years. 


Opening an account impossible 

The coronavirus years were particularly challenging. For a project in Indonesia, for example, there was an online team meeting because flying was prohibited. Three men sat at the end of a table wearing masks – connected via the cameras on the screen. The conversation was like “flying on blind”, as Erwin wasn’t sure whether the other person had understood him and agreed due to the lack of facial expressions.  
Sales negotiations during this time were an enormous challenge. Thomas also has special memories of this time. In the 33 years of his career, the pandemic was extremely nerve-wracking. After two years of preparation, Bühler + Scherler set up a branch in Brazil and the lockdown came just as it opened. All employees were sent home, but not everyone was immediately able to work remotely. Although the business continued – with some difficulties – they were unable to open an account with a local bank for advance payments and settlement of invoices. “Bühler was extremely cooperative and very supportive,” says Thomas. 


The value of face-to-face connections 

The world of work has changed a lot over the last few years. But Thomas, Erwin and the Bühler + Scherler team always manage to adapt. Maintaining a personal network has become more difficult than it used to be. “As there are more changes in a larger company, the employees responsible often don’t even know that we exist and what we offer,” says Erwin. Thanks to the many years of cooperation with Bühler, Bühler + Scherler offers comprehensive know-how about Bühler machines and systems. Thomas is convinced that both Bühler and Bühler end customers can benefit from involving the company from the outset. In this way, the right course can be set to optimize energy consumption and flow. Bühler + Scherler are specialists in the electrical processes of buildings and industrial plants and offer comprehensive knowledge in the areas of food hygiene, food safety, and the prevention of dust and gas explosions. 


Rising energy costs as a change in trend 

“You can feel that energy prices are exploding all over the world. Five years ago, nobody cared how much electricity their systems were using,” says Thomas. This is why the energy consulting and building automation business is currently growing rapidly. However, only a very small proportion of the opportunities offered by alternative energies are being exploited.  
Bühler + Scherler have been active in energy consulting since the beginning and can draw on a wealth of experience. “In practice, only a fraction of the potential of building automation is used,” says Thomas. The Bühler CUBIC, for which Bühler + Scherler was responsible for the electrical installations and building automation, is just one example of what can be achieved when technology is used.  
“A successful project means a satisfied customer to whom we were able to deliver high quality and also earn something in the end,” explains Thomas. Bühler + Scherler has founded subsidiaries in Brazil, India and the USA in order to be even closer to its customers. Over 120 employees at the Swiss sites and the global subsidiaries work day in, day out to meet the needs of customers.