The festive season is just around the corner, so it’s the ideal time to pause for a moment and look back on events in 2017. We’re also signing off for a short Christmas break.
Back at the very start of the year, we reported on a spectacular extension. The Piepersberg site, which opened in December 2016, is our new sales and production centre. Combining a storage and production area of around 21,000 square metres with 2,800 square metres of office and showroom space, it’s highly impressive and its main aim is to provide an even better service for customers. Whether opting for standard delivery or electing to pick up their orders themselves, customers benefit significantly from the pooling of expertise at one location and excellent transport links.
Pioneering vinyl pressing and underground laser
Vinyl records are a real collector’s item for many music fans, so the “Pioneering vinyl pressing” blog proved particularly popular on Facebook. Following a retrofit to modernise an existing record press, item pluspartner Irmler from the German region of Lower Saxony successfully tackled the challenge of building a machine from scratch. The new press combined decades of tried-and-tested record technology with heating cycles controlled electronically using a PLC and state-of-the-art drive technology. Due to its sheer size, everyone was talking about the European XFEL – the world’s largest X-ray laser – but we had a special reason for a trip into the 3.4 kilometre long tunnel complex. Our Profile X 8 is a successful part of the mobile cleanrooms used there for assembly and servicing work.
Lean production in practice
Lean production methods are firmly established in industry, but further information is still required. We took a closer look at the PDCA cycle with the aim of making the continuous improvement process (CIP) even clearer. The lean concept can be implemented with a kind of checklist using the four process steps “plan”, “do”, “check” and “act”. Our interview with Stefan Armbruster about Karakuri Kaizen provides a seamless link with this practical aspect. The lean expert underlines the benefits of low-cost automation. Automating straightforward, repetitive tasks takes the strain off employees while also boosting value creation. Götting KG’s automated guided vehicle system for SMEs is a fascinating example of how our Karakuri intermediate store can be put to good use.
Digitalisation provides key impetus for the world of work
“The item Machining Tool – the fastest route to the finished profile” was an excellent example of the extent to which digitalisation simplifies work processes. Time-consuming steps used to be inevitable for anyone requiring profile technology with the associated connection processing. With the item Machining Tool, however, all individual steps are combined in one overarching process that includes 3D view, project documentation and ordering.
Symbiosis of form and function
The second half of the year provided not one but two examples of the versatility of our Profile Tube System D30. The first comes from our own workshop, where our innovation department built D30 racks suitable for homes on a trial basis. The second is the task faced by renowned Spanish designer Tomás Alonso of developing pop-up stores for the Rapha cycling sport brand. A material was needed that combined extremely high quality and flexibility with stylish aesthetics. Alonso found the ideal combination of form and function he was looking for with the Profile Tube System D30. The black version of the profile, internal fasteners, wooden elements and black-and-white photographs reproduce the atmosphere of a cycle race.
We hope that this year, too, we’ve been able to offer you interesting blogs about solutions, applications and people from the world of item. We’d like to wish all our readers, customers and partners a very happy Christmas and a great start to the new year! We’ll be back on 10 January next year with our first blog for 2018.