Nicole Reschke, Mayor of Freudenberg, summed it up perfectly as she cut the ceremonial red ribbon: “Many families across Freudenberg have ties with your company that span the generations – from grandparents down to grandchildren. Even the few who don’t work here still have something to say about the company; in fact, I don’t know anyone who hasn’t heard of Bäumer. Not only is this because the company is part of our local history, but it is also indicative of your strategy for the future, your company philosophy, and your commitment to our town.”
The old hall was no longer able to cope with the volume of orders within the necessary time frames. “This expansion of the site in the form of the new hall is a symbol of continuous growth and a milestone for our order management processes. With an investment volume of 2 million euros, the new hall has been brought to life with around 1800 m2 of new installation space,” explains Nina Patisson, Managing Director and Partner at Albrecht Bäumer. Now in its fourth generation, the family company is run by Nina and her brother-in-law Jan Henrik Leisse. “This has been the largest investment for decades and represents our commitment to the Freudenberg site,” affirms Jan Henrik Leisse.
Building the new hall made it possible to shine new light on our order management processes and redraft these in line with lean principles. This resulted in a comprehensive, in-house project led by Peter Paetzold, Lean Manager at Bäumer. The aim of this project is to use lean management principles to cut down on lead times during the order management process – from logistics and production through to internal assembly. Originally developed as a pilot project, the OFS contour cutting machine is now installed here. Demand for this foam cutting machine is high and its construction has been standardized as far as possible, making it ideal for trying out the new features. What’s more, bonding machine production has also been relocated from Gescher to Freudenberg, with Lamit bonding machines now manufactured in the new hall.
The hall is 44 meters long, 40 meters wide, and nine meters high. A crane and two high-speed doors measuring 5x5 meters are located on each side. The planned improvements in terms of a leaner production process are clear to see.
The number of pre-assembly levels has risen from three to four, meaning the final step really only involves the final assembly. The ability to carry out this pre-assembly work in parallel saves a significant amount of time.
The technical equipment and resources are organized according to each workstation. By way of example, the installers previously had a large truck of assembly materials that they shared between themselves; however, the individual installers found this approach somewhat confusing. There were many parts that they either didn’t need at all or else not until a later stage in the process. There were also heavy parts stored on top of lighter ones, which would result in damage. Now, however, the installers have a well-equipped truck, stocked with exactly what they need to go about their work. This saves around 30 minutes a day for each installer, so for 50 installers, this amounts to annual cost savings in the six-figure region.
The material flows in a single direction and is kept exactly where it is needed. Workflows are shorter, nothing is handled twice, and the entire installation process is now much more efficient in line with lean production techniques.