In the German "Factory of the Year" competition, Dr. Fritz Faulhaber GmbH & Co. KG claimed the top prize in the "Excellent Small Series Assembly”" category for 2018. The jury was convinced above all by the continuous quest to improve processes, the strong automation and the synchronisation across all production locations. The awards ceremony will take place on 21 March 2019 during the 27th "Factory of the Year" conference in the Forum am Schlosspark in Ludwigsburg.
The "Factory of the Year" competition is the most tradition-rich and toughly contested benchmark competition, in which manufacturing companies from all industries in Germany that have at least one factory and one business division as well as over 100 employees can compete. More than 2,000 companies have participated since 1992. For FAULHABER, the category win is confirmation of the special production capability with respect to the complexity and wide variety of customer orders and the corresponding necessary volume flexibility in production. "It is our philosophy to always be technologically ahead by a nose length. We are pioneers, we design drive solutions that are unique with regard to their precision and reliability in the smallest spaces and move us to the limits of what is micromechanically possible," emphasises CEO Dr. Thomas Bertolini, "and to do so on a customer-specific basis with a batch size as small as 1."
Ten to twelve new products daily
For the optimum drive solution comprising motor, gearhead, encoder, electronics and accessories, customers have more than 25 million possible variations available with FAULHABER. "Ten to twelve new products that have never been produced in their given form are created every day," says Hubert Renner, Head of Production. Nevertheless, all orders are handled with the goal of shipping within two weeks. "For this to happen, we employ a site-synchronous production method in which the drive components are manufactured for specific orders in parallel at five different locations in Germany, Hungary, Romania and Switzerland and then mounted," reveals Production Manager Jan Patrick Schindler.
Production capability and innovative strength
In addition, nearly all employees are involved in the continuous improvement process: more than 2,000 improvement suggestions made by staff are implemented every year. "We first set goals that appear to be unachievable and work hard to determine how we can realise them," explains Hubert Renner. In the competition audit, A.T. Kearney thus certified that the drive specialists have a commendable process-oriented organisation structure in which the synchronisation and automation are operative value drivers of the plant. This also impressed the jury of experts, which awarded FAULHABER the Factory of the Year in the Excellent Small Series Assembly category. This verified production capability combines with a great innovative strength, which is reflected not least of all by again being named a "TOP 100 Innovator." The FAULHABER headquarters in Schönaich nearby Stuttgart can, for the third time, again count itself among the innovative elite of small and mid-size German enterprises. In the independent selection process under the direction of Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Franke, the company convinced the jury, in particular, in the Innovation success category. Motivated by the two awards, FAULHABER will, in the future, continue to focus on the active integration of staff, the optimization of procedures, processes and structures as well as on customer satisfaction.
Two-day conference in Ludwigsburg
With the "Factory of the Year" conference, held from 21 to 22 March 2019 by SV Veranstaltungen GmbH together with A.T. Kearney and trade publication Produktion, the 27th round of the annual benchmark competition concludes. During the two-day event, the directors of the winning plants will present their solutions. For Dr. Fritz Faulhaber GmbH & Co. KG, Hubert Renner will discuss the topic "Production on demand – order-based production in the context of location-synchronised production and high variant diversity." Emotional highlight of the two days in Ludwigsburg is the awards ceremony on the evening of 21 March 2019.