The Göppingen Innovation Award has been awarded for the tenth time by the Göppingen Kreissparkasse (savings bank) and the WiF, an innovation and economic development association operated by the local authority. Among the ten award winners is the Göppingen-based Steinbeis Transfer Center for Logistics and Factory Planning, which was awarded the honor for its Steinbeis Value Stream Tool, which helps companies optimize processes.
All companies within the Göppingen district were eligible for the award for developing innovative products, processes, organizational concepts, projects or services, and making them “market-ready.” By the application deadline, there were 43 award submissions, each of which was assessed by a jury. For the first time, an award (and prize money worth 15,000 euros) was bestowed in the categories of manufacturing, manual trades, and services. A lifetime achievement award for a businessman from the district of Göppingen was also initiated. The latter was bestowed upon Prof. Dr. Dieter Hundt, chairman of the supervisory board of Allgaier Werke GmbH. The award ceremony was marked by a speech by EU Commissioner for Energy, Günther Oettinger.
“How is an order completed, from the offer to delivery? Who is responsible for what? How long does each process take? What can be done better? All of these processes can be displayed, optimized and documented on the Steinbeis Value Stream Tool,” explains Dietmar Ausländer, director of the Steinbeis Transfer Center for Logistics and Factory Planning. Until now, the task of mapping each process was too time-consuming and complicated with conventional tools, especially for bigger process streams. Also, any retrospective changes caused a wholesale shift in the overall value stream, resulting in even more time investment to readjust the entire process. The Steinbeis Value Stream Tool combines a unique method for analyzing value streams used in process optimization with the possibility to incorporate process diagrams and calculations.
Formula Student pits the wits of students from all around the world and their self-designed, self-made racecars. Esslingen University of Applied Sciences entered two teams into the contest: Rennstall (“racing stable”) in the category for combustion engine-powered vehicles, usually a frontrunner, and E.Stall (“E.Stable”) in the category for electric-powered vehicles. After participating for the first time in 2012, E.Stall is switching into high gear for 2013. One of its main sponsors is the Steinbeis Transfer Center for Microelectronics (TZM).
The objective in Formula Student Germany is to design and build a one-seater formula racing car. The contest has two categories, one for combustion engine-powered vehicles, another, introduced in 2010, for electric-powered vehicles. Extending the contest to electric cars is designed to promote much needed talent in this area. The teams are expected to develop a car that is only driven by electricity. The TZM is supporting the project with an internship, financial backing and the consulting services of Steinbeis engineers.
For would-be engineers, Formula Student is a particular challenge. Students from a variety of international universities and institutions of further education construct their own formula racecars to go head-to-head in several competitions. Which one wins in the end depends on which car puts in the best racing performance and offers the best technical solution on the racetrack. But it’s just as important for the teams to have a strategy that will check all the boxes in terms of financing and marketing, with a flawless synopsis of costs and a detailed outline of the technical solution. In other words: the winner must have the whole package.
The Esslingen-based E.Stall team is set to develop a racing car geared to a hypothetical annual volume of 1,000 vehicles. A key role will be played by the innovative technology, reliability and economic viability. The engineers will have to defend the overall concept at each of the events. The contests have a number of fixed elements – the business plan presentation, a cost report and a design report – but there are also variable disciplines. The jury is made up of experts from motor racing, OEMs and the automotive supply industry.
The E.Stall crew unveiled its EVE’13 racecar in June. The Esslingen University of Applied Sciences students will enter the car into a variety of European races. The events will take place in Germany, the Czech Republic, Spain and Italy.
In July, stw unisono training+consulting and Alkyone Consulting GmbH & Co. KG organized the first TOC Congress in Stuttgart. The auditorium at Steinbeis headquarters was filled to the last seat. The day revolved around the presentation of a customer project and six workshops looking at the topic of bottleneck management, or in technical terms: Theory of Constraints (TOC).
Paul Seifriz, director at Alkyone, used a variety of examples to introduce the fundamentals of TOC. Simply applying the principles of TOC and implementing TOC software within a company can result in a reduction of faulty part incidents to almost 0%. Representing the user side, Michael Jander, head of work planning at SATA GmbH & Co. KG in Kornwestheim, talked about work at his company with the TOC philosophy since 2011 and its extraordinary successes. The company has been completely reorganized according to lean production principles. Throughput times are over 40% faster, stocks are down 30%, productivity is up 20% and delivery reliability stands at 99%. In the workshops after lunch, delegates discussed bottleneck theory and related factors affecting the coordination between markets and production.
Alongside quality management and lean production, TOC belongs to a trio of current management philosophies. First developed in the 1980s by Dr. Eliyahu M. Goldratt, it is based on the fundamental physical principle that in any chain there is only one weakest link. Relating this weakest link to the company or a process chain can thus influence throughput and performance, or even company profits. At first glance, the approach seems to contrast with classic CIP principles which involve trying to make improvements throughout the company, but TOC focuses primarily on the area of constraint. The first step is to investigate whether the constraints are inside or outside the company. An external constraint can be in the market, so one option for a company is to produce more and sell whenever the market requires it. In this case, the focus is on achieving a tangible and sustainable competitive edge. The aim is for sales and marketing to work with development and analyze the situation to address the customers’ problems. With internal constraints, a company may not be able to deliver all products in the right quantity at the right time, as required by the customer.
Gudrun Jürß | Paul Seifriz
stw unisono training+consulting GmbH (Ulm)
Business intelligence (BI) is a key success factor for companies, and it has become an established building block for forward-looking strategic management. The Steinbeis Transfer Institute of Business Intelligence (IBI) at Steinbeis University Berlin takes stock every year as part of the IBI symposium. The event will take place for the 10th time on December 2, 2013, as usual in the Stuttgart Haus der Wirtschaft.
What have people experienced? What seems to work? What still needs doing? These are common questions discussed by users, solution providers and university staff. The IBI has been staging this symposium for a decade to provide a platform for exchanging opinions. Business intelligence is now anchored in the thoughts of entrepreneurs everywhere. Given huge developments at the moment, such as access to totally new data sources, different analysis options and adapting value chains, firms face new challenges when identifying innovative BI and big data solutions.