At midsummer temperatures, already at the start of the open day, numerous employees with their families, interested people and former employees, but also external guests, flocked to the various company premises to take a look behind the scenes of the Kurtz Ersa Group – in the end, the organizers counted about 5,000 visitors! In front of the entrance to the headquarters, various food trucks were ready to provide the visitors with culinary delights – from pizza to steak and burgers to waffles and strawberry burgers, the bouncy castle was quickly occupied by children. At the side entrance of the machine factory, numerous curious visitors quickly gathered around the ALPHA 140 metal 3D printer and listened to Kurtz experts explaining the details.
A factory tour of the machine factory itself was also possible; Stephan Gesuato, as head of the Protective Solutions department (machines for processing particle foams), led a tour of the factory and presented, among other things, the award-winning radio frequency technology of the WAVE FOAMER, which reduces energy consumption by up to 90% and can also process biodegradable materials. In the foyer, human resources staff were on hand to provide interested parties with detailed information about career opportunities at Kurtz Ersa – whether apprenticeships, dual studies, entering the company as a specialist or expert. The training center of Kurtz Ersa Hammer Academy GmbH had also opened its doors. The numerous visitors were informed directly by trainees and DHBW students about the numerous training and study opportunities at Kurtz Ersa.
500 meters down the Frankenstraße, one could get a glimpse of Kurtz Ersa´s Central Warehouse – opened in 2018 with 80,000 m2 of converted space, an expansion was necessary just four years later, bringing an additional 3,300 m2 of usable space and another 4,600 storage locations in the pallet high-bay warehouse (completed in August). Tens of people stood in amazement in front of the high rack, where the required components whizzed back and forth as if by magic, then were picked and packed to begin their journey to the requested plant at home and abroad – with each individual part always digitally traceable as to its destination and for what purpose it was intended. Food and drink were also provided in the logistics area, with a bungee trampoline, air hockey, table tennis table & co. waiting for those hungry for exercise.
After the Wiebelbach sites, visitors could set off for the other sites, which were served by a shuttle bus service every half hour. On to Hasloch in the Hasel Valley, where international “ironmaking” teams were at work behind the historic hammer forge between two streams – under the watchful eye of the fire department. The international forging teams made their furnaces from bricks, straw and clay – a team from the Netherlands relied entirely on manual labor to achieve the required temperatures of 1,200 to 1,300 °C using bellows. Hammer Master Walter Kurtz was of course present at the iron hammer and was able to report on four successful furnace tours on Friday – with a further eight to be added on Saturday. Between the Manor House and the hammer mill, all those present fortified themselves, and cool drinks were highly popular with everyone.
With the next shuttle to the other side of the Main – the destination was Ersa GmbH in Leonhard-Karl-Street, which was closed especially for the open day. Here, as at the other locations, the widespread blue tour T-shirt made the wearers recognizable as employees of the Kurtz Ersa Group – in Bestenheid it looked like a blue wave, the Ersa team seemed to be completely present. Overall Sales Manager Rainer Krauss repeatedly guided the guests through the Smart Factory, which was awarded “Factory of the Year” in 2021, and showed where the best-selling VERSAFLOW selective soldering systems are manufactured, successfully installed more than 2,000 times worldwide to date. In the Demo Center there were live demonstrations, for example on the VERSAPRINT 2 stencil printer including automated peripherals, and in the Customer Center there were workshops where people could learn manual soldering under the supervision of soldering experts.
The last stop on the program was Kurtz Ersa Automation, the youngest business segment in the Kurtz Ersa Group, which is becoming increasingly important. This is also evidenced by the integration of the automation expert Schiller Automation in Sonnenbühl, Swabia, one and a half years ago with its 160-strong team. “This was an all-round successful event – we presented ourselves as a diversified mechanical engineering company with the business areas of Electronics Production, Moulding Machines – foundry and foam machines – as well as automation, presented our sustainability strategy, with which we want to become climate-neutral by 2029, and promoted Kurtz Ersa as an attractive employer. I would like to thank the entire Kurtz Ersa team, who contributed to the success of the open house in front of and behind the scenes – it was very much in the spirit of the ‘One Team, One Family!’ idea,” said Kurtz Ersa CEO Ralph Knecht.