Happy winners: the Ersa team, prize winners in the "Factory of the Year" competition; Photo: Anna McMaster

Top team, top production!

Ersa GmbH receives GEO Award at “Factory of the Year”

Wertheim/Ludwigsburg, 11.05.2022 | As part of the “Factory of the Year” congress, the GEO Award was presented to the Kurtz Ersa Group in Ludwigsburg. The annual award is one of the most prestigious events for European companies and recognizes “Excellence in the entire value chain” and the associated high value generation in Ersa manufacturing.

For the 29th time, the management consultancy Kearney, together with “SV Veranstaltungen” and the trade magazine “Produktion”, honored companies for exemplary production concepts. In a multi-stage selection process, the entire value chain and high value generation in the processes were evaluated. Finally, a company audit was conducted under the direction of Kearney. The jury of renowned experts from industry and science selected Kurtz Ersa as the winner of the special “GEO Award – Global Excellence in Operations 2021”. The jurors also paid particular tribute to the outstanding achievements in the areas of digitization and talent management. Other award winners in the top-class field of participants included global players such as Siemens AG, Brose Fahrzeugteile SE & Co. KG, Beiersdorf AG and ABB AG.

The starting position at the beginning of the competition entry: extreme demand for Ersa soldering machines with wave, reflow and selective soldering technology, as all digital megatrends are based on semiconductors – from 5G mobile communications to autonomous driving. Simple scaling was out of the question for the then Ersa Managing Director and now Kurtz Ersa CEO Ralph Knecht: “With the help of external consultants, we completely restructured the entire organization and all processes according to the principles of lean management.” For the new production hall, where machine production takes place on several cycle production lines, the value chain was therefore completely modified and supplemented with Industry 4.0 processes. Using lean, agile processes, the dedicated Ersa team succeeded in bringing the highest quality with short throughput times to the entire value chain so as not to overload available capacities and, at the same time, to be able to offer customers customized, fast solutions.

An important factor in the move was the arrival of a new intermediate level – Ersa was able to draw on talent within its own ranks, almost all positions in the new intermediate level could be filled with its own personnel. The prospective managers were prepared for their new tasks at the Group´s own Hammer Academy. Open, clearly structured communication is fundamental to all processes. Problems and challenges are identified by means of regular communication and are usually solved at this level. Only if no solution is possible here does the next higher hierarchical level come into play.

“We have digitized the entire process so that we can produce machines without paper. From order acceptance to the entire logistics, quality processes, acceptance and documentation to work plans. We are very proud to have won the award and to be playing in the Champions League with players like Siemens and Brose. We see this as an incentive to continue to work on improving processes on a daily basis. With our unique Kurtz Ersa spirit, we take on the competition in an exciting industry and pull together as a team – this brings the decisive added value for our customers,” says Kurtz Ersa CEO Ralph Knecht. Lean processes, transparency, clear communication are the pillars of success at Ersa, which will continue to apply across the board in the future.

Go to Ersa Special "Factory of the Year"

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Shakehands at "Factory of the Year": Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dipl.-Wirt.-Ing. Günther Schuh from RWTH Aachen University (left) congratulates Kurtz Ersa CEO Ralph Knecht on the GEO Award; Photo: SV Veranstaltungen
Shakehands at "Factory of the Year": Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dipl.-Wirt.-Ing. Günther Schuh from RWTH Aachen University (left) congratulates Kurtz Ersa CEO Ralph Knecht on the GEO Award; Photo: SV Veranstaltungen