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Free for the best production in Austria: Fabrik2024: Endurance test with two finalists

Free for the best production in Austria: Fabrik2024: Endurance test with two finalists

Well lubricated control rings

At contract manufacturing company GW St. Pölten Integration Betriebse – an industrial company with around 580 employees, three-quarters of whom are people with disabilities – the lean culture is “organisationally very well established”, says Christian Mosbock. He is a CIP expert and production specialist for the company, which operates in the fields of electrical, metal, signage, printing, advertising technology, GW Services and textiles. “The control circuits work,” says Mosbock. In terms of maturity, he sees the company as a good four on a five-stage scale.

The crux of the matter when dealing with the central element of CIP, says Mosbock, is, of course, “never complacent about quality, sustainability and building efficiency.” He has been with the company since 2011 and knows the history well: Due to the economic crisis in 2008, GW St. Pölten lost some key customers, which led to a decline in sales. The resulting suffering led to a change process in the company with regard to lean management and processes. CIP proposals are now presented digitally across all departments. “An absolute success story,” says Mosbock. What the Lower Austrians also do well: process management and integration into the customer’s value chain, such as Kanban agreements or order fulfillment directly at the customer’s site. Elsewhere – for example, when it comes to high-quality chair upholstery – order processing is more individual. “The range extends from ordering via EDI connection to paper forms.

Where do we stand?

Participating in the Factory Award aims to position oneself and set a benchmark with other companies. “Where are we and what potential have we not yet exhausted?” says Mosbock. The Lower Austrians, who live in the 5S region and enjoy a very stable position in the metal sector, have proven their ability to adapt several times. During the Covid times, the production of protective masks based on a value stream was quickly established in the textile business in order to secure jobs and compensate for the decline in sales. And after a sharp decline in sales for a major customer the previous year – they supplied curtains – a new range of services was quickly established: “We now produce high-quality upholstery materials for interior designers and furniture manufacturers,” says Mosbock.

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Digitize – and get jobs

One focus is the use of digital technologies. Before being introduced, they are examined for the impact of implementing digitalization solutions on the employment of employees with disabilities and the opportunities this creates. Our motto is “Support employees, not replace them.” Full automation is therefore not a target path to strive for. “We were thinking about introducing driverless transportation systems more than once because we wanted to keep the forklift driver job,” says Mosbock. On the other hand, digital dashboards are in production so that suggestions for improvements can be made in keeping with the spirit of GW St. Pölten.

“We strive for paperless production here,” says the lean expert. The company wiki contains a management manual and process instructions, can be updated quickly and without bureaucracy and keeps the workforce up to date with information and news via blogs. A word about operational sustainability. The photovoltaic system has been commissioned at the Gmünd site and is being planned for the St. Pölten site. The newly installed compressor system is currently being expanded to include heat recovery. Also on the way: numerous improvement projects related to energy efficiency, sustainability and resource conservation.