GIS Factory Visit11th February 2016

We had the wonderful opportunity to visit GIS headquarters in Switzerland which is also their main manufacturing plant, located about an hour outside Zurich in Schötz.

GIS is a manufacturing plant run with passion and dedication to design and produce only the highest quality hoists that reflect the traditional Swiss manufacturing reputation.   Day 1- 'Business, not pleasure' ....not entirely true!!

After a short flight from Birmingham International to Zurich, GIS arranged a day trip to the top of Mount Titlis for a birds eye view of the area (literally, at over 3000m high!!) and to see some of their hoists in action in extreme climates.

Several gondolas are fitted with four 1.5Tonne GIS GCH electric chain hoists which are primarily used throughout summer months to transport goods, fuel and even cars to the top of the mountains (yes we have a picture to prove it!), myself and James (of Lift Turn Move- the UK's GIS importer) were kindly given a tour and explanation of all the processes taken to get materials to the top- very interesting indeed!

Once we arrived at the summit the view was stunning, to our unexpected surprise we were then showered with snow by a helicopter that appeared out on no where (as it seemed) which was also being used to transfer goods. This really was a little more pleasure than business- being at the top of a mountain on such a glorious day- I guess the Swiss make business a pleasure! :-)

Above: Mount Titlis gondolas fitted with GIS GCH hoists for transporting goods to the top of the mountain


View from the top- should have brought my skis! Stunning.


Left to Right: Myself (Will Dunn- LES), James Porter (Lift Turn Move) and Urs (GIS)


Day 2- The GIS factory tour

On the second day of our stay we were collected and taken to GIS HQ for an overview of the company, products (existing and new/prototypes) and a full tour of the production process. We learnt a lot about the new GPM model which is already on the market up to 250kg, a really innovative and powerful hoist which we will soon be displaying on the LES website. 

The passion each employee we met has for the business and the product is unmatched to that of any similar company I have visited in the UK, a dedicated research and development team are constantly innovating and creating future GIS products which is key to business growth and to stay one step ahead of the competition. 


The factory tour began with a visit to the machining area where several apprentices were working along side fully qualified technitians machining gears and components while some are made by hand, others are in 24/7 production by huge automated CNC machines. (GIS employs around 20 apprentices which really supports the local community)

The hoists are assembled by hand, firstly the robust aluminium case is heated so that it expands slightly to enable the technitians to fit the stator which once cooled fits extremely snug- the precision and build quality is only the best. Then the gears, brake(s) and clutch are fitted along with electronics such as contactors (no sensitive PCB's), a little lubrication is added to the gearbox, everything is checked and then a full overload test is performed while the slipping clutch (overload protection) is set. Once the engineer is satisfied and the hoist has passed the test the gearbox is fully lubricated, cases are fitted, load chain is inserted if applicable and the hoist is then packed ready to despatch to their list of global customers. The process is simple, streamline and efficient, typical of premium Swiss production lines.



I would like to thank James and the team at LTM for giving me the opportunity to visit and also Urs, Ivan and Erich at GIS for their hospitality- it was a pleasure and I hope to return some day. For now, it's back to business with new opportunities, better knowledge and further visions with GIS products.