I was born and raised in Flensburg, but my engineering cybernetics study course brought me to Stuttgart. At my first job after graduation, I was in charge of national and international innovation, technology and management as well as Lean Production projects at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation (IPA).
My mentor Prof. Mike Rother aroused my interest into production technologies and the design of lean processes. Thus, I decided to support the big chainsaw manufacturer STIHL with my competences, after I did a doctorate successfully. Later on, I transformed the workshop of the company Suetron electronic, a 100% subsidiary of PhoenixContact, into a slim lean production.
In the last two years my main tasks consisted of preparing the Lufft production and workshop employees for the strong economical growth. Therefore we converted the production area from a batch sizes driven manufacturing into a slim single piece flow production. This made it possible to realize a 20% efficiency improvement. The biggest challenge was to take my colleagues on this path of change and to resolve their concerns and fears about it. A big help for this was to communicate decisions transparently and comprehensibly, that is to always say what you do and do what you say. On the other hand, we consequently assign responsiblity to employees. This means, we encourage and empower our colleagues in order to recognize potential for improvement and implement the right solutions. For this, we use the method of “KATA coaching”- inspired by Toyota – and other useful methods.
Currently I‘m occupied with the issue of how we can establish efficient innovation processes even better at Lufft. For this, we started to introduce the product pate concept in order to bring innovative thinking into many minds, to neglect none of our products and to keep the our development’s innovation pipeline well filled. The goal is clear: We want to keep and expand the technology and innovation leadership in the relevant markets.
The broad technological expertise enabling us to supply our customers with the right sensor for each application, the short decision ways of the medium-sized but globally active company, the family atmosphere and especially the opportunity to contribute something to the sustainable growth of the company, inspired me and makes Lufft an extremely attractive employer, who does not need to shy away from the competition with large local companies in the region.
|About the author:
My name is Dr. Thorsten Laube and I’m responsible for the Lufft production since May 2013. The necessary experience for this I achieved through my studies as well as through my practice at Fraunhofer Institute, STIHL and others. At Lufft I implemented the Lean Management successfully and through this, the efficiency was improved. Besides, I prepare students of FOM (High School of Economy & Management in Stuttgart) for their future career.