Outstanding Innovation and Quality Management

Baden-Württemberg Competence Prize awarded for 8th time

The jury has decided: The 2015 Baden-Württemberg Competence Prize for Innovation and Quality in the Company category goes to the Reichle GmbH engraving and laser-welding center. Eugen Hehl receives a lifetime achievement award for entrepreneurship.

Other honors go to Roche PVT and LÖSOMAT Schraubtechnik Neef GmbH. Initiated by the Ulm-based Steinbeis Enterprise TQU Business GmbH and the trade fair organizer P.E. Schall GmbH & Co. KG, for the 8th time the Competence Prize is honoring product innovations, innovative business models, processes and services, and organizational and marketing innovations. The prize is sponsored by the Steinbeis-Stiftung and is awarded annually in cooperation with the Südwestmetall Employers Association, the Association of Industry in Baden-Württemberg (LVI) and the Association of the Chemical Industry (VCI).

The 2015 award recipient in the Company category, the Reichle GmbH engraving and laser-welding center, beat more than 25 competitors to claim the prize. Its outstanding and innovative surface-engineering process, specially designed for tools and molds used in foam molding, injection molding and pressure die casting, is a new and impressive demonstration of the innovative power of Reichle GmbH and its almost 50 employees. For the jury of the Baden-Wurttemberg Competence Prize, the fact that the company developed the innovation independently played a decisive role. The development project lasted more than two years and was funded by the company itself. The resulting innovation has major market potential. Reichle GmbH stands the shining example of medium-sized industry in Baden-Wurttemberg – a family business in which the transfer to the next generation seems to have worked particularly well.

The Competence Prize honors Eugen Hehl, Senior Partner of ARBURG GmbH + Co. KG., for his lifetime of entrepreneurship. The lifetime achievement award for entrepreneurship recognizes qualities such as corporate vision, innovation, social responsibility and sustainability. Eugen Hehl, who still serves an advisory role in the company today, worked with his brother Karl Hehl to make the family business what it is today. ARBURG is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of machines for plastics processing. As the longtime chairman of the board, Eugen Hehl played a significant role in the global success of the company. Having received a technical education, he was still able to apply his talent for sales for over six decades to conquer markets with innovative machinery and take the family business global.

The jury of the 2015 Baden-Wurttemberg Competence Prize is bestowing two additional awards for the first time. These go to Roche PVT GmbH and LOSOMAT Schraubtechnik Neef GmbH. Part of the Roche Group, Roche PVT is the center of competence for automation systems in the pre- and post-analytical phases of laboratory work. A new process was rolled out in the company acting as a catalyst for innovation, particularly in the development of devices. The company submitted its development of a new decapper in LCP1 systems for the jury’s consideration. The decapper opens sample tubes automatically in accordance with requirements. In a joint project involving LOSOMAT and DB Bahnbau Gruppe GmbH, a completely new device was developed for use in railway track construction, the LOSOMAT Railway Torque Wrench. The railway torque wrench has to deal with extreme demands. The tool has to be quiet, light and easy to operate. The results are impressive: weighing only 17.2kg, the Railway Torque Wrench LDB series has a rechargeable battery and delivers torque of 150 to 1,100 Nm and approximately 160 revolutions per minute. One time-saving new feature of this series is a color display that allows the operator to select the type of rail system being bolted.

“Once again, the companies competing for the Baden-Wurttemberg Competence Prize this year are from all sectors, from medium-sized industries to corporations. The jury didn’t have an easy task,” says Helmut Hayer, managing director of TQU Business GmbH and co-initiator of the Competence Prize. “This once again shows that the Baden- Wurttemberg Competence Prize for Innovation and Quality is not only firmly established, but it’s also considered one of the state’s most important awards for excellence in entrepreneurship,” Bayer continues. Who submits for the Competence Prize must show that the company has an excellent innovation and quality management with a proven record of success. As a result, there must have been measurable business success. A jury of experts uses the application documents and site visits to determine whether these criteria have been fulfilled. 

Innovative products seek producers

Steinbeis fair at Aalen University of Applied Sciences

Good things come in (more than) threes. Following on successful events in Reutlingen, Pforzheim and Stuttgart, Steinbeis invites attendees to the fourth “concept exploitation” exhibition, Products Seek Producers. On October 16, the fair at Aalen University of Applied Sciences will showcase products, processes and services in the field of surface engineering/new materials.

Products seek Producers is an innovative event format that brings together new products and processes from different technological fields and exhibits them in a single location. The format makes it possible to match patented concepts with potential business partners, producers and sales partners, and provides a platform for quick, practice-oriented technology transfer. Providers and producers find the partners they need, while visitors to the exhibition can gain an overview of current technical developments in the field. Companies, universities and inventors are invited to participate as exhibitors.

The Ulm chamber of skilled crafts, Aalen University of Applied Sciences, the Eastern Wurttemberg IHK chamber of commerce, the economic development council of the Eastern Wurttemberg region, and the Aalen University innovation center are serving as event partners for the surface engineering/new materials exhibition in Aalen.


Would you and your Steinbeis Enterprise like to take part in the exhibition? Then please contact Marina Tyurmina (

The fair is open to visitors from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For free exhibition stands and visitor registration, please contact:

Patricia Hofmeier
Steinbeis-Innovationszentrum Wissen + Transfer (Villingen-Schwenningen)

Smart solutions for the city of the future

Steinbeis takes part in EU TRIANGULUM project

The EU TRIANGULUM project focuses on pioneering, innovative concepts for sustainable energy sources, mobility and information technology in three cities – Manchester (United Kingdom), Eindhoven (Netherlands) and Stavanger (Norway). This “lighthouse project,” which is receiving 25 million euros in funding from the European Commission for five years, is being coordinated by the Fraunhofer IAO and the Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum (SEZ).

At the heart of the project is an information and communication architecture that will serve as the basis for the networking and coordination of individual technologies in the city, uniting separate communication infrastructures such as sensor, information and cellular networks.

In Eindhoven, city residents have already been given access to different parts of the infrastructure via an information and communication technology (ICT) solution, allowing them to reserve carsharing vehicles or use intelligent parking space concepts. Sensors installed in locations like streetlights will collect information such as movement data, making it possible to control road lighting, public transportation or carsharing services in line with current demand. Stavanger has the highest concentration of electric vehicles in all of Europe. Together with the existing high-speed ICT infrastructure, they are the focal point of efforts to better network energy and mobility solutions. One objective is the systematic networking of businesses, residents, research institutions and physicians using IT networks to allow for better planning, more efficient use of energy and remote medical diagnosis options. Corridor Manchester, a university neighborhood in Manchester, is being transformed into a smart-city quarter. To this end, historic buildings are being refurbished. In addition, plans are in place to establish an autonomous energy grid which will provide the entire neighborhood with heating and electricity. The electricity grid will combine geothermal energy, fuel cells and district heating and storage.

SEZ supported Fraunhofer IAO during the proposal writing process and is assisting the coordinator with the administrative project management. As a project partner, SEZ is responsible for communication and marketing as well as disseminating project results.

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