Integrated processes deepen partnerships
Industry 4.0 just a vision? Not for the Hannover-based Jäger Group. The networked smart factory is already a reality at this supplier's production sites. Supplier firms, sales and customer support are all connected, as are manufacturing and high quality services. The result is shorter innovation cycles and increasingly individualized products.12 Sep 2016
One example: a leading global manufacturer of semiconductors works closely with Jäger Gummi und Kunststoff with the shared goal of optimizing warehouse inventory and batch sizes. Inventory replenishment is eliminated and capital commitment reduced. The motto is kanban – a production process that is guided exclusively by actual use of materials, and able to respond very flexibly to fluctuations. It works.
Ulrich von Tippelskirch, Managing Director of Jäger Gummi und Kunststoff, knows why his company was able to respond so quickly to the new Industry 4.0 requirements: “Flexibility and adaptability in rapidly changing markets – these have always been Jäger strengths.” Now attention to resource efficiency and a certain robustness are added to the mix. This creates excellent conditions to jump at new opportunities, rather than delaying implementation of electronics and IT. “As a supplier, we design highly integrated manufacturing processes that make intelligent and flexible solutions possible,” says von Tippelskirch.
Technical consultation around specific applications, construction tailored to materials, and system-based development of technical parts made of rubber, plastic and metal – this is at heart what the company has been doing since its founding in 1942. The group, now under its third management generation, is known around the world as a partner to mechanical and systems engineering, environmental and agricultural engineering and petroleum exploration. Jäger currently numbers more than 800 employees at over 20 locations in Europe, the USA and China. Its clear focus is on future needs and on continuing to digitize productions sites and all supply chain processes.
Von Tippelskirch makes clear that this involves far more than mere technological changes: “By further automating processes we'll create much more intensive partnerships based on trust and mutual benefit.”
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