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Siemens A&D Electronics Manufacturing Plant in Erlangen is "Factory of the Year 2006"


Nuremberg, Nov 23, 2006 - The overall winner of the competition for the title “Factory of the Year / Global Excellence in Operations” comes from Erlangen. The Electronics Manufacturing Plant in Erlangen (Gerätewerk Erlangen GWE) of Siemens Automation and Drives (A&D) took 1st prize. Composed of representatives from the management consultancy company A.T. Kearney and ’Produktion’ magazine, the jury cited the efficiency of the GWE resulting from the exceptional mobilization of the employees as the reason for their decision. According to the jury, the basis for success is a good management system in the form of “holistic production” and a highly effective program for continual productivity growth and improvement of the cost situation.

The GWE management will be given the award as overall winner of this year’s competition entitled “Factory of the Year / GEO” at the end of March 2007 at a congress in Nuremberg. The competition has been held annually since 1992 by the management consultancy company A.T. Kearney and ’Produktion’ magazine. In the past, the A&D electronics works in Erlangen had already won several awards. One outstanding success was in 2004 when it was overall European winner in the “The Best Factory / Industrial Excellence Award” contest organized by the INSEAD School of Management in France and the Faculty of Production Management of Germany’s WHU (Wissenschaftliche Hochschule für Unternehmensführung) School of Business Management. The electronics works is the only factory to have won both these awards as overall winner.

For the factory, the success of 2004 was not taken as an occasion to rest on its laurels, said GWE factory manager Josef Röhrle, but was seen as an encouragement to make further improvements. “It is not the least expensive factories that survive but those which can react flexibly to the requirements of the market and customers”, emphasized Röhrle. In preceding years, he continued, the factory was consistently adapted according to lean principles and permanently aligned to customer needs. Production, said Röhrle, is adjusted according to demand, using the just-in-time method, and only that is produced which has already been actually sold.

According to Röhrle, resource management is becoming more and more important. “We try to identify and eliminate any kind of waste.” This, he said, is not a management process from top to bottom but can only be successful in the long term if the employees are involved in the process from the very beginning. This, he continued, begins with the design of the workplaces and extends as far as the organization of work sequences and procedures. Röhrle described the next steps to be taken: “In the coming months, we want to further intensify shop floor management and transfer the lean principles to the administrative area”.

The “Factory of the Year/GEO“ contest has been held each year since 1992, organized by management consultancy company A.T. Kearney and ’Produktion’ magazine as a cross-industry benchmark competition. The aim of the contest, according to A.T. Kearney, is to identify and honor outstanding achievements of companies in the manufacturing industry. In industrial circles, the ”Factory of the Year/GEO" award is re-garded as one of the most prestigious benchmark competitions for manufacturing com-panies.

The Electronics Manufacturing Plant in Erlangen (GWE) is part of the Motion Control Systems (MC) Division of the A&D Group. Siemens A&D MC supplies automation systems and services for machine tools, crane installations and production machines. The Electronics Manufacturing Plant in Erlangen has over 900 employees who produce CNC controllers and drives in the power range from 0.7 kW to 1.5 MW for these applications. The customers come from various sectors of industry, including machine tools, robotics and special machines as well as mechanical engineering for the packaging, textile, plastics, printing, pressing and wood/glass/ceramics/stone industries. The products, however, are also used in general motion-control applications such as converting and handling or in industrial crane installations.

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Reference number: AD MC 200611.1408e


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