The industry of decision-makers must want to make the transition – Mechanical Engineering Congress 2018

November 8, 2018 | News Germany

The industry of mechanical and plant engineering is already feeling the uncertainty of its customers caused by the increasing worldwide trade conflicts. For those attending Mechanical Engineering Congress 2018, yet one more reason why this traditional industry should take a serious look at the transitions taking place in corporate and leadership cultures. Close to 100 executives responded to the invitation from the Staufen Management Consultants and Staufen Digital Neonex as well as this year’s host SEW-EURODRIVE, arriving in Bruchsal to discuss the road to the future.

“Companies need freedom, curiosity and courage to be able to create a culture that not only allows innovation, but encourages change,” said Martin Haas, CEO of Staufen AG, opening the Congress and leaving absolutely no room for excuses. Knowing full well that even the most successful transformation always means walking a tight-rope between what’s been tried and tested and what is innovative, the Staufen CEO nonetheless underscored: “Hierarchies must be thrown out the window and cross-sectoral working between teams must be encouraged. Today, hierarchy must not only be instructive, but must also promote.”

The attendees of the Congress were able to experience live on site what kind of results a smart factory working according to standards of this kind can in fact deliver in terms of efficiency and flexibility. Johann Soder, COO, Manager of Operational Business at SEW EURODRIVE GmbH & Co. KG, underscored in connection with this the huge significance of lean management: “Lean and Industry 4.0 go hand-in-hand, because unless it relies on lean as the basis, Industry 4.0 simply cannot be implemented.

New growth in mechanical and plant engineering not only relies on a corporate and leadership culture that encourages innovation, but it relies on data. For example, Rainer Hundsdörfer, CEO of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG, demonstrated how the digital transformation had changed the business model of his company, and the enormous results potential of these changes.

Dr Ulrich Hermani, Senior Advisor for the Mechanical and Plant Engineering Division at Staufen, ended the Congress, consisting not only of one specialists presentation after the next, but also a large number of workshops on subjects from the lean order process to smart after-sales services, by urgently appealing to the decision-makers of the decision-maker industry: “Don’t just think innovative, be the innovation yourself!”

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