Notably faster and more efficient without compromising on quality: transformation of the production environment at Hennecke-OMS
Despite the omnipresent Corona crisis, Hennecke is investing several million euros in a step-by-step structural transformation of its production sites around the globe. The Verano Brianza site of the core brand Hennecke-OMS, with its sandwich panel and technical insulation portfolio, alone accounts for two million of this volume. Creating added value under the umbrella of the company’s "Hennecke 2.0" strategy, this venture represents one of the largest investments in the company’s recent history. Following the pilot project at the company’s headquarters in Germany, the ’Hennecke Production System’ (HPS) was launched just before Christmas at the Hennecke-OMS facilities in Verano Brianza. The world’s leading specialist for the production of sandwich panels and insulation boards supplies a wide spectrum of customers who will particularly benefit from the synergies created by the new production system. The aim of the HPS is to increase the competitiveness of the entire Hennecke GROUP.
Thomas Wildt, CEO of the Hennecke GROUP, summarized the importance of the new production system: "The aim of the new Hennecke Production System is to ensure a sustainable, successful future for the Hennecke GROUP by combining practical methods and design principles for optimum efficiency". In effect, the set of measures for the production environment at Hennecke-OMS in Italy play a decisive role in the gradual realignment of the Hennecke organization worldwide.
The HPS is a modernized version of the well-known lean production system and its content has been tailored specifically to the entire Hennecke organization. The system is a methodology for production, and at the same time represents the culture of the future for Hennecke-OMS in Italy and the international Hennecke GROUP. The main added-value of the HPS lies in connecting the different operational areas, which allows for a synchronized, waste-free production that is aligned with customer demands. Here the focus is on reducing stocks and downtimes, and on maximizing quality and adherence to delivery dates, as well as using assembly space to add value. Besides establishing a set of process rules to ensure smooth order processing, essential improvements have been made to the production layout. The required reorganizational measures have been successfully implemented despite the adversities caused by the Corona crisis. These include putting the infrastructure into operation and setting up the new work spaces. Although the individual measures are due to be completed in the final quarter of 2022, the changes are already clearly apparent. Reorganization of the production and the stock areas has started. Making a distinct separation between the areas for assembly and material supply creates maximum adaptability for a freely configured and flexibly designed (flow) production for the different products and their assemblies. Separate areas are also dedicated to pre-assembly and to customized products.
The completion of these major reorganization measures represents an important milestone for Hennecke in the successive transformation to a center of added-value and for the future of the Italian production site in Verano Brianza, as well as the engineering offices in Vincenza and Abbiategrasso, which are also part of the HPS roll-out in Italy.
Hennecke staff celebrated the launch of the new production system at an inauguration ceremony on 15 December 2021, where a graphical depiction of the HPS was unveiled and is now on central display to staff, customers and suppliers in the assembly hall. To depict the system, Hennecke has selected a well-established pillar model which resembles a roman temple. The Hennecke Business System (HBS) and the Hennecke Core Values constitute its strong foundations. The concept of ’performance management by objectives’ forms the so-called substructure and helps the company remain on its chosen course using key performance indicators. The management principles of the system are the delegation of responsibility, autonomy and driving company success on the basis of the performance indicators. Each individual element of the temple is equally important in itself. However, it is the right interaction between the individual components that makes the HPS strong enough to withstand all external influences.
Now, after celebrating the kick-off, the entire Italian team is highly motivated to tackle further challenges along the way to meeting their goals and to further demand and promote cultural change and a constant willingness to improve processes and workflows. Securing the sustainable, successful future mentioned above, will now be much easier to plan. The Hennecke 2.0 transformation means that the Hennecke GROUP is strong enough to endure the current global crisis and has been able to keep all employees on board. Rather than reducing its global workforce, the Group is currently looking for even more specialists to accompany its transformation into the future.
Mastering the "new normal" together: full commitment for optimal customer support worldwide
The global Corona pandemic continues to pose immense challenges to us and our customers. Although the number of cases particularly in Europe and Asia has been considerably contained, large parts of the world population are still living with large-scale restrictions. As a global company, the Hennecke GROUP must be hypervigilant of developments in the pandemic. Meeting on a weekly basis, a group-wide crisis management team therefore continues to focus its efforts on maintaining production and delivery channels and all other processes. Naturally, the health of our employees, customers and suppliers remains our top priority in the framework of the measures we have taken. We are especially pleased that the efforts we have made in conjunction with the applicable regulatory requirements have gradually led to a relaxation in restrictions at almost all our sites worldwide. Currently, our subsidiaries in Germany, Italy, the US and China are no longer affected by a lockdown and most members of staff have been able to return from working at home. We are constantly monitoring the protective measures at all sites and adjusting these to the respective regional circumstances as necessary.
Current measures and key steps for containing COVID-19 (plan for easing restrictions) at the Verano Brianza site in Italy
- Face coverings must be worn on the entire company site
- Masks and disinfectant are available for employees and visitors
- Production operating in two shifts and remote working
- Some business trips and customer visits are permitted again following approval from the respective manager
- Daily temperature measuring for all employees and visitors upon entering the company site
- Meetings are permitted again in compliance with hygiene and distancing rules
- Canteen remains closed
TOP-CLASS MIWO PANEL LINES FROM HENNECKE-OMS
HENNECKE-OMS is one of the world leaders in the production of continuous sandwich panel lines using mineral wool (MiWo) boards as insulating core materials. The company stands out for its technological expertise in supplying complete lines, adapting them with maximum flexibility for the production of both MiWo panels and polyurethane. HENNECKE-OMS lines meet the productivity requirements of the market by providing high variability for different thicknesses and production speeds, as well as combined use of PU and MiWo in the same panel.
The complete line is composed of the following parts:
- Automatic line for cutting and inserting mineral wool strips for wall panel production
- Automatic line for cutting and inserting MiWo trapezoidal sheets for roof panel production
- Machines for polyurethane glues
- Roll forming units for geometric shaping of the metal sheet (roof and wall panels)
- Preheating ovens
- Double belt conveyor
- Cutting machine
- Out-feed line, stacking and packaging section
New augmented reality service from HENNECKE-OMS!
HENNECKE-OMS has implemented an Augmented Reality (AR) strategy in its service unit. Using Acty technology, we have been testing the possibilities of AR to provide remote assistance. In the coming months this strategy will change how we interact with our service activities. We are confident that it will improve how we serve our customers, train employees, and ultimately the way in which we can compete.
AR allows 2D digital information to be overlaid onto the real world (3D). This reduces the mental effort required to apply the information, prevents distractions, and minimizes error, freeing people to focus on the objectives. In addition, AR improves our ability to absorb knowledge quickly and accurately, to make decisions and to perform the required activities faster and more efficiently.
Acty is a remote video support platform in a cloud: skilled remote engineers provide precise visual instructions to our field technicians and the messages provided are displayed in real time, superimposed on the real objectives. This solution is designed for smartphones and tablets, taking advantage of their simplicity and ubiquity. In this way, the augmented visual collaboration via smartphone cameras allows the remote expert to guide the technician in the field. Acty also enables the customer to be guided by a remote technician who can see exactly what the customer sees and walk them through the repairs.
- Innovation in business management methods
- Assembly instructions provided in the field to internal technicians or subcontractor (video, chat, pictures and documents)
- Professional way of working during travel restrictions by limiting travel and expenses
- Solve problems remotely using just a smartphone, tablet and smart glasses
- Comprehension timing for trouble shooting in real time and first time fix rates
- Training on the job for junior cooperators (setup available in 7 different languages)
Working on Acty allows us to repair equipment and assist customers without sending our technicians on-site. We can remotely share our expertise, and support and train technicians working in the field on extremely complex machines (such as a continuous panel line). As a result, travel costs are kept to a minimum.
FACTS & FIGURES:
AR helps us make better decisions about how to solve issues, resulting in:
- 11% reduction in overall costs for service teams
- 17% decrease in work-error rates, and higher repair quality
- 39% faster resolution time
- 25% increase in customer satisfaction
- 12% less repeat visits
- Last but not least, we can expect a return of 15 € on every € invested in AR.
AR will have a widespread impact on how companies differentiate their service provision in the same sector. HENNECKE-OMS provides the AR component allowing us to assist, train and support our customers immediately and wherever they are. This creates value and sets our service apart. We’re playing to win!
The effects of AR can already be seen across the value chain, but they are more advanced in some areas than in others. AR shows great potential in service, where visualization and instruct/guide applications are making the greatest impact. For example, showing predictive analytics data where AR guides the service technician proactively through repairs in real time, allowing the customer to prevent a potential problem.
The new PANELFOAMER from HENNECKE-OMS
HENNECKE-OMS is one of the world leaders in producing discontinuous panel systems complete with wet part (foaming machine) and dry part (multi-plate presses with movable trays) using PUR and PIR foaming technology. The evolution of discontinuous plants means that production is much more adaptable to customers’ needs with maximum flexibility: a large variety of panel sizes, different thicknesses, variable production densities, and numerous panel types with different designs and geometries. The new PANELFOAMER from HENNECKE-OMS also offers limited total investment costs and requires fewer maintenance operations.
The major innovation of the PANELFOAMER discontinuous line is the Open Mould Foaming System. Using a distribution pipe, the foaming takes place directly on the press plate during the plate’s input movement to the press.
The Open Mould Foaming System offers the following distinct advantages:
- Optimal and even foam distribution over the entire panel section, with no voids inside the panel
- Low and homogeneous densities over the entire panel area
- Possibility to inject very long, thick and wide panels in only one shot, no foam junctions or multiple injections
- Fully automatic foaming operation, no human intervention required
- No need for elongations or pipes for injecting into the panel, preventing air bubbles in the foam
- Suitable for all kinds of foam formulation and blowing agents
- Nitrogen inertization cycle is not necessary when using pentane as blowing agent
Easing lockdown measures: HENNECKE-OMS is operational again
One global team, one objective: maintain customer satisfaction even during the COVID-19 crisis
Dear Hennecke GROUP customers,
We are pleased to inform you that from 4th May 2020 HENNECKE-OMS is back in operation from the company headquarters in Verano Brianza. As you know, we implemented extensive protection measures at all Hennecke GROUP sites to help prevent a further spread of the Coronavirus and to protect our employees as far as possible. At Verano Brianza we introduced smart working from home for all our employees until the lockdown imposed by the Italian government was lifted on 3rd May 2020. Now our Italian employees have been able to return to the workplace and our production has restarted in earnest. We are working hard to make up for the time lost during the lockdown measures. Of course all HENNECKE-OMS activities remain in keeping with the precautionary measures laid down by the Italian authorities.
The following measures still apply at all Hennecke GROUP sites:
- Strict internal hygiene regulations and limited personal contact with customers and suppliers
- Business travel only in exceptional circumstances and only with management approval
- Explicit quarantine rules for staff members who have stayed in high-risk areas or had possible direct or indirect contact with infected people
- Trade fairs and events have been cancelled or postponed until further notice
We would like to thank you for your continued support during these uncertain times. Please remember that all our departments are ready to provide any kind of service and further clarification you might need. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our specialists at any time.
HENNECKE-OMS continues to assist you!
One global team, one objective: maintain customer satisfaction even during the COVID-19 crisis
Dear Hennecke GROUP customers,
You are most certainly following the latest developments in the spread of the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) in Europe and many other parts of the world and it is likely that your company is already directly or indirectly affected. It can be assumed that the number of infection cases will continue to rise. The measures introduced by government authorities in many nations to prevent a further spread of the virus also have an effect on the global supply chain. It is all the more important for us to inform our customers, partners and suppliers as soon and as best as possible about the current status of the Hennecke GROUP and the impact of the situation - for example concerning potential supply constraints. All global companies of the Hennecke GROUP are currently coordinating with one another via a taskforce. In order to protect our employees as far as possible, we have introduced the following extensive protection measures at all Hennecke GROUP sites:
• Smart working from home for all Italian employees until the lockdown imposed by the Italian government is lifted on 3rd May 2020 and possible extension in order to maintain distancing in the offices and a minimum of workers on the premises
• Strict internal hygiene regulations and limited personal contact with customers and suppliers
• Business travel only in exceptional circumstances and only with management approval
• Explicit quarantine rules for staff members who have stayed in high-risk areas or had possible direct or indirect contact with infected people
• Trade fairs and events have been cancelled or postponed
In this context, we ask for your understanding should our business relations be affected by these measures. Our global management team is currently concentrating on maintaining production and delivery routes and all other processes as far as possible and ensuring continued supply. We are trying to counteract the situation with targeted action. The activities of HENNECKE-OMS are in keeping with the precautionary measures laid down by the Italian authorities and all our departments are ready to provide any kind of service and further clarification you might need.
Please contact our specialists at any time if you have any questions about the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on the Hennecke GROUP:
Hennecke redefines itself - creation of the Hennecke GROUP and transformation of global structures
Continual growth of the Hennecke brand, the acquisition of HENNECKE-OMS S.p.A in Italy and the related development of a joint international sales and service network have necessitated the creation of a unified brand identity which acts as an umbrella brand for all product portfolios: the Hennecke GROUP. The new corporate identity is much more than just a change in external communication: in the course of the realignment, the complex international Hennecke organization will also be streamlined and become considerably more effective. From September 2019, in place of a group of different companies, a network of clearly structured business units will provide for new synergy effects. Under the name "Hennecke 2.0", Thomas Wildt, the new CEO of the Hennecke GROUP, is actively driving the transformation of the polyurethane specialists towards a highly effective organizational structure, both internally and externally.
The new brand identity of the Hennecke GROUP comprises two fundamental aspects: a combination of the three independent product portfolios of the brands
- "Hennecke Polyurethane Technology"
- "Hennecke Roll Forming Technology"
and the global network of production sites and sales and service offices who supply the local markets with products and services from more than one brand of the Hennecke GROUP portfolio. "The core brands and the branding of the individual products and services are of course remaining and continue to be clearly identifiable", promises Wildt. Consequently, the organizational units that are responsible for the product portfolio of one individual brand in the group will continue their operations with this brand only. Particularly from the point of view of the international network, the unified brand identity enables considerable synergies as well as clearly structured communication with the global Hennecke customer base.
Wildt was appointed Chairman of the Management Board (CEO) of the Hennecke GROUP in April 2019. The business graduate brings to the company a wealth of experience from small and medium businesses, corporations and the private equity sector. “As part of the Hennecke 2.0 project, we will reorganize Hennecke and transform the company to be more effective in the future", explains the established expert in international machine and plant engineering. The decisive factor here is that the central corporate processes will now be organized decentrally. Divided into four Centers of Excellence, each site of the new Hennecke GROUP will concentrate on its core strengths. The advantage for customers: shorter delivery times for standardized products, individual metering machines and complex complete systems for polyurethane processing - all from one source. "Hennecke is decentralizing its organizational complexity. This includes the closure of two sites that up to now had taken on services for the system business of the core brands", stresses Wildt. "What was previously planned and built at several sites in parallel will now be produced at only one center of excellence. This will make the entire corporate group more competitive". Hennecke's broad spectrum of customers will particularly benefit from the resulting synergy effects. "We are taking an important step forwards with the Hennecke GROUP and concentrating on the things that have made us so successful in the past," explains Wildt. "This includes our excellent individual metering machines and extensive services. We will also integrate the individual companies more substantially into the Hennecke network."
Development, planning and manufacture of all high and low-pressure polyurethane machines and all available mixhead systems will be concentrated at the German headquarters in Sankt Augustin. The centerpiece of the entire portfolio as well as thousands of processing plants worldwide will thus continue to be "made in Germany." The site in Milan, Italy is concentrating on the business with comprehensive system solutions for the continuous production of sandwich panels. The site in Pittsburgh, US will be responsible for tank farm technologies for the entire systems business of the Hennecke GROUP. The Hennecke GROUP companies in Jiaxing and Shanghai, China are specializing even further in the development and production of the "dry parts" for the whole Hennecke GROUP. By dividing itself into different centers of excellence, Hennecke can - as one of the few PU systems manufacturers on the market - now offer its customers entire systems from one source. "We are regionally very diverse with Europe, the NAFTA region and Asia, and also in terms of the industry sectors of our customers," says Thomas Wildt.
Customer benefits are the top priority in every step taken by the Hennecke GROUP. All the companies are organized in such a way that they can better adapt themselves to the continual market changes in the future by adopting a self-learning approach. Wildt states: "a self-learning process organization is in a position to correct itself and to take the right measures to operate processes along the planned path with maximum efficiency." Standardized processes and tools will help to ensure successful implementation of these measures. The Hennecke Business System (HBS) has been rolled out globally at management level across the Hennecke GROUP. The managers and staff of the entire Hennecke GROUP are being trained with the help of process mapping and standardized problem solving processes so that in future all projects and services are provided on schedule to the highest quality standards.
Through the reorganization with Hennecke 2.0, the group will be characterized in global markets by greater efficiency and professionalism. The Hennecke GROUP will not enter into any high risk business: "The process orientation allows us to recognize potential technical and commercial risks at an early stage, to analyze these risks and to mitigate them together with our customers," emphasizes Wildt. In an increasingly unpredictable global business climate, this represents another important guarantee for long-term economic success in the future for the Hennecke GROUP.