Schmidt & Heinzmann awarded as TOP 100 Innovator for the second time

Schmidt & Heinzmann GmbH from Bruchsal, Germany, has one again impressed with its innovative qualities and was awarded the TOP 100 Innovator award for the second time. The competition, which honors particularly innovative medium-sized companies, was held for the 30th time this year. When it comes to innovation, Schmidt & Heinzmann, focuses not only on product innovation involving its customers, but also on optimizing internal processes.

Schmidt & Heinzmann awarded as TOP 100 Innovator for the second time

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Innovation competition based on scientific selection process
On behalf of compamedia, the organizer of the competition, innovation researcher Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Franke from the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration and his team investigated Schmidt & Heinzmann on the basis of more than 100 criteria from five categories: innovation-promotion top management, innovation climate, innovative processes and organization, external orientation / open innovation and innovation success. Of particular importance is whether company’s innovations are merely a product of chance, or whether they are planned systematically and can therefore be repeated in the future (further information on the test criteria can be found at www.top100.de/pruefkriterien).

Innovation to add value to the product portfolio
In order to maintain and expands its market leadership, Schmidt & Heinzmann integrates both technological and ecological aspects into process and machine optimization. “All innovations are optimizations of the existing systems or logically complement the existing product portfolio within the value chain,“ explains CEO Matthias Feil. With the “Cube”, for example, an innova-tive machine concept for SMC lines has been developed that reduces space requirements by 65% and the integrated sensors enable the recording and live analysis of production data for every centimeter of the produced material. The newly developed deburring cell complete the product area “press automation”, as deburring is the next step in the value chain in the pro-duction of SMC components. Schmidt & Heinzmann has recently installed its new „PolePosi-ton“ camera system in its cutting & stacking lines. This system detects the positioning and orientation of the material, which significantly increases the quality of the produced compo-nents and the next process steps “cutting” and “sealing” can be saved.

“In addition to our market success, the awards we have received in the last two years show, that we are one the right direction with our innovation process,” Feil continues. In addition to the first Top 100 Innovator Award in 2021, the company was also among the finalists at the JEC Awards, which are presented at the most important composites trade show in Europe. It also received the “AVK Innovation Award“ from the AVK – Industrievereinigung Verstärkte Kunststoffe e.V. (Reinforced Plastics Industry Association) and the “ThinKing Award” from the Landesagentur für Leichtbau Baden-Württemberg (Baden-Württemberg State Agency for Lightweight Design).

Innovation starts with the company’s internal processes
The innovation process in the company is promoted, for example, by the input of own ideas in the CIP rounds (CIP = Continuous Improve-ment Process). According to its own information, the company generated almost 300 sugges-tions for improvement last year, of which approximately 20 % have been implemented – further implementation will follow in the next few months. These include not only technical innovations, but also suggestions for more efficient design of the company’s internal processes.

Constant involvement of customers in the innovation process creates development on the market
In order to ensure development in line with market needs, Schmidt & Heinzmann consistently involves its customers in the processing of innovation topics. For example, innovation ideas are tested in customer surveys for their marketability by asking their importance for the pro-duction processes of the customers. In addition, workshops are regularly held with customers as part of projects in order to develop tailor-made solutions. The insights of these workshops are also incorporated into future developments. The intensive cooperation with geographically close customers also makes it possible to test developments under real conditions in series production. Through this measure, Schmidt & Heinzmann permanently receives new impulses for its innovation process.

More information www.schmidt-heinzmann.de