Sven Grenzner
Building Bridges
19. December 2023

Hot Air Balloon? At an electronics company?

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Hot air gives a balloon the necessary lift, but ballooning is not for the faint of heart. It takes a lot of teamwork, communication and responsibility to get off the ground. The reward: a whole new perspective on the world and unimagined freedom. You have to invest a lot, but then you conquer a new dimension - experiences that I also have every day at Würth Elektronik.

Long before the invention of wings, propellers and tail units, brave men and women conquered the skies with hot air and gas balloons. In those days, it was quite an adventure - and also quite a dangerous one. In the meantime, the technology has matured: Air is heated inside a polyurethane-coated envelope made of tear-resistant nylon. This causes its density to drop, and the balloon begins to rise.

Together to the top

What sounds simple in theory requires a lot of experience and teamwork in practice. The huge envelope has to be spread out and first filled with cold air by a blower before igniting the gas burners. Balloonists have to get up early. Since the lift increases as the density difference of the inner air from the surrounding air increases, a hot air balloon has greater lifting power in the cool of the morning or in the evening before the sun sets.

Free with the wind

Once up, rider and passengers are rewarded with a unique experience: noiseless riding, driven by the wind. There is almost no wind in the basket, as it moves with the current. The balloon is steered by selectively rising or sinking to take advantage of winds that blow with different strength and in different directions, depending on the altitude. I have been a balloonist for about 20 years now, but the fascination is still the same as when I started.

Success in a team

I started at Würth Elektronik four years ago and was surprised how many parallels there are between ballooning and my job at the innovative company. If you want to reach high, you have to work together, and I experience that every day at the company. Teamwork is the key to success. It involves intensive communication, smooth, error-free collaboration, sometimes putting personal interests on the back burner, preparing the vehicle that someone else will then use to ascend, looking out for each other, showing appreciation, taking responsibility for others.

Freedom and passion

In ballooning and in business, the rule is: don't brace yourself against the wind, but recognize current currents and use them skillfully to get to your destination without the wind constantly blowing in your face. If things don't work out that way, better planning and getting up earlier are the order of the day next time. And if it works out, it's time to take advantage of the freedom and enjoy it. At Würth Elektronik, it's just like ballooning. You have to invest a lot, but you also get a lot in return: the freedom to find your way and a passion that can be felt throughout the company.

Do you now feel like taking a balloon ride with me? You can find everything about the extraordinary flight experience on my homepage.


Balloon Team - Sven Grenzner 

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