From AGV to electric truck: Innovation Day at FIEGE in Marklkofen
FIEGE staged an Innovation Day at its branch in Marklkofen in collaboration with its client, MANN+HUMMEL. Next to an exciting look at everything from digitalisation and automation to Lean Management, participants were able to experience one of FIEGE’s new electric trucks live on location.
We4motion: This is the slogan that the two family businesses, FIEGE and MANN+HUMMEL chose to describe their almost eight-year long collaboration in Marklkofen in Lower Bavaria. Since 2015, the Greven-based logistics company has been operating the Suppliers’ Logistics Centre (LLZ) for the on-site production plant of the leading filter specialist from Ludwigsburg. And since the very first hour, the well-rehearsed team has been pursuing a shared goal there: “We want to remain agile, grow further and keep reinventing ourselves in order to push not just us, but also our partner, to new heights”, as Marc Styrnal, Head of the FIEGE branch in Marklkofen points out.
To deliberate on innovative logistics solutions and create fresh impetus for the future business, FIEGE recently organised its first Innovation Day at its branch in Marklkofen. “When we proposed this idea to our client, those in charge were immediately fired up about this. Together, we devised an agenda on Lean Management, digitalisation, automation, and eCommerce”, says Styrnal.
From theory to application
Joachim Stern, Managing Director of the FIEGE Industry & Tires business unit, welcomed a total of 25 participants from the managerial level of the two companies in the early morning hours. Following a brief introduction into the World of FIEGE, he passed the baton to his colleague, Dr. Stephan Hülsmann, Director Projects, Processes & Systems who presented the Operational Excellence strategy of the Greven-based logistics provider: “Every day, we strive to continuously optimise our processes. For the best possible success, our OpEx team has Lean Management, IT and Engineering work together on an interdisciplinary scale.”
Another guest from the OpEx team was Jens Veltel, Head of Warehouse Automation. He introduced the latest engineering trends and news from FIEGE and presented promising automation solutions that are already working successfully at various sites. After this, the group moved to the nearby production plant of the world market leader for filter technology, where Martin Winkler, Manager Production Logistics at MANN+HUMMEL, presented the automated transportation systems from Toyota and Robotize in use there.
Also, eCommerce trends and prospects, and here in particular e-tailing via online marketplaces, were on the agenda. After Torben Stegemann, Manager Business Development Automotive at FIEGE Industry & Tires gave a general introduction, the group engaged in a discussion on this centring on the Stuttgart-based automotive start-up, Retromotion in which both FIEGE and MANN+HUMMEL are invested.
Live demonstrations in the afternoon
After a shared lunch which also afforded many opportunities to engage in an exchange with colleagues, the second part of the event was dedicated to zero-emission transportation. As a special highlight, the brand-new electric truck was on location which FIEGE has been trialling at various locations since the beginning of this year. Stefan Küster, Director Transportation of FIEGE Industry & Tires said: “We aim to continuously improve the carbon footprint of our company. The use of zero-emission vehicles brings us a further important step closer to this goal.”
All participants were invited to take the battery-powered tractor trailer for a short spin on the premises, to experience the unfamiliar feel while sitting in the driver's cabin. Also, the group could convince itself of the advantages of the driverless transportation systems produced by the Austrian manufacturer, Melkus Mechatronic who was also on site. The participants voiced a lot of praise when the final comments were presented and the possibilities for further consolidating the discussed topics were outlined.
Request for repeat event
Looking back, Roland Prechler, Head of Logistics at the Marklkofen production plant of MANN+HUMMEL, rated the Innovation Day as a complete success: “The event hit the right nerve. We are thrilled to have a logistics provider by our side in FIEGE who, like us, has automation and green mobility at the very top of their agenda. Our vision goes like this: Leadership in filtration. Together, we will continue working on innovative solutions that bring us closer to this goal.” Presumably, the first Innovation Day in Marklkofen will not be the last.