HAHN Group company highlights from 2022

The HAHN Group looks back on a successful year 2022. We have compiled some of our company highlights of the year that we particularly like to think back on.

JANUARY

HAHN Automation Austria wins the largest order in the company’s history

For the second time, HAHN Automation Austria in Kremsmünster was able to beat the worldwide competition with the best concept, innovation and team spirit to win the largest order in the company’s history.

FEBRUARY

HAHN Automation was awarded by kununu as Top Company 2022

and therefore belongs to the 5% of the most popular companies in the DACH region. We are pleased that numerous positive reviews honor our various benefits and the great working atmosphere. In addition, this year we were able to celebrate the 500th hire by our HR Recruiter & Business Partner Andrew Velasquez.

MARCH

Kick-Off for the HAHN Academy

Our People & Culture team spent many months identifying key needs and developed a large catalogue of group-wide professional development programs for all employees. “Investing in the further training of our employees makes an important contribution to the success and innovative strength of our company. The exchange and learning with or from international colleagues within the HAHN Academy is a significant part of our employee retention strategy.” Daniela Mertens, Director People & Culture

HAHN Automation apprentice Janne wins the silver medal at the WorldSkills German Championships and therefore becomes the new German Vice-Champion of industrial mechanics.

 © WorldSkills Germany

HAHN joins forces to support Ukraine

The HAHN Group stands with its values for peaceful and friendly cooperation – worldwide. It was important to us to provide unbureaucratic and direct help.

Numerous relief supplies have been collected at the central European locations. Our employees left several times for the Ukrainian-Polish border, transporting relief supplies on the way there and bringing Ukrainian refugees with them to Rheinböllen on the way back. In cooperation with Atlas Holding GmbH, more than 45 refugees have found a safe place to stay in the HAHN Apartments.

Through the generous willingness of our global network of HAHN Group companies to donate, several tens of thousands of euros have been made available through various campaigns.

Colleagues around the world also got involved privately, taking in Ukrainian refugees, making donations in kind or money, or launching campaigns to provide financial support.

APRIL

Group-wide Digital GirlsDay

Girls Day offers schoolgirls the chance to get to know professions that have been dominated by men so far. We are pleased that we were able to get some young women interested in the technical field. In the coming years, we want to continue to support the #klischeefrei initiative and attract young girls to our companies.

MAY

Wings For Life World Run

In 2022 we participated in the Wings for Life World Run for the 2nd time. The run’s motto was “Run for those who can’t” and 100% of the entry fees went to spinal cord research.

Employees from 15 international company locations, including Germany, the USA, Mexico, China, the Czech Republic, Austria, Croatia and the UK, participated in the run.

Walther Systemtechnik receives innovation award from the state of Rhineland-Palatinate for new WSV spray valve

In the “Cooperation” category, Walther Systemtechnik was honored for its innovative capabilities. Together with Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences, they developed a smart spray valve with integrated process monitoring and control via web interface. The smart, electric universal spray valve combines sophisticated technology in the smallest possible space, saves costs for additional devices and significantly reduces the commissioning and integration effort.

JULY

30-year anniversary of Christian Boos at Waldorf Technik

Christian started his career at Waldorf Technik back in 1992 as a sales representative. In the course of his career, he took on additional tasks as operations manager and became responsible for both engineering development and project management. Through his responsibilities in these positions and as a former shareholder of Waldorf Technik, hardly anyone else has shaped or impacted the company as much as Christian Boos.

Cooperation between REI Automation and the College of Charleston

Dr. Andrew Hsu, President of the College of Charleston, visited REI Automation in July. REI has partnered with CofC’s Systems Engineering Degree Program and will host their first intern in 2023.

SEPTEMBER

We welcome our 26 new trainees

They started in the professions: Electronics Technician, Mechatronics Technician, Industrial Mechanic, Machinist, Industrial Clerk, Marketing Communication Clerk and IT Specialist for System Integration. At HAHN Group, you can complete an apprenticeship in both industrial and commercial areas. As an innovative employer with future technologies, we offer our young talents an exciting training program.

OCTOBER

30th anniversary of HAHN Automation GmbH

Under the motto we.automate.future., HAHN Automation welcomed many long-standing partners and customers such as Beckhoff Automation, Festo, Epson, Omron, KUKA, ABB, FANUC, Bosch Rexroth, Mitsubishi Electric, Walther Systemtechnik, United Robotics Group, RobShare, SCHUNK und Montratec. At the “Open Day”, more than 5,000 interested visitors from the region and employees from the sister companies and other sites took the opportunity to visit the site in Rheinböllen.

WorldSkills Regio Cup at the Rheinböllen site

On 16 and 17 September 2022, this year’s WorldSkills Germany Regio Cup for industrial mechanics and mechatronics took place at HAHN Automation in Rheinböllen. The total of seven competitors from all over Germany had to prove their skills at six competence stations each and worked up a sweat with many tasks.

First Group-wide project management conference

Under the motto “Team up for global projects!” the HAHN Group International Project Management Conference took place for the first time this year. On October 10 and 11, project managers from all HAHN Group units worldwide came together to exchange experiences, receive coaching and network. For Michael Fritzsche, Director Project Management at HAHN Automation, the event was a complete success: “After two intensive days with excellent presentations, valuable customer feedback, workshops and a lot of networking, our first global project management conference comes to an end. Let’s work together for global projects and turn visions into real value.” In 2023, more Global Conferences are planned for other departments as well.

NOVEMBER

HAHN Automation was awarded for the best apprentice (mechatronics technician) by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK)

Torben Müller started his apprenticeship as a mechatronics technician with us in 2019 and completed it very successfully in 2022. For this, he was personally honored by the IHK president as one of the year’s best trainees in the occupational field of mechatronics.

© Marco Rothbrust photographer

DECEMBER

myHAHN collects christmas parcels for children in need 

For the “Christmas parcels for children in need” campaign of the Kinderzukunft Foundation, we collected gift parcels that are now on their way in trucks to needy children in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Romania and, if possible, Ukraine. The Christmas parcels will be distributed to girls and boys in orphanages, clinics, schools, kindergartens and slums.

We would like to thank all our colleagues who have packed a parcel and hope to be able to bring a little joy to the children.

First HAHN Group International Project Management Conference

Project management transforms visions into real values – First HAHN Group International Project Management Conference in Taunusstein receives consistently positive feedback

Taunusstein, Germany – Under the motto “Team up for global projects!” the first HAHN Group International Project Management Conference took place in Taunusstein. On October 10 and 11, project managers from all HAHN Group units worldwide came together to exchange experiences, receive coaching and network. For Michael Fritzsche, Director Project Management at HAHN Automation, the event was a complete success: “After two intensive days with excellent presentations, valuable customer feedback, workshops and a lot of networking, our first global project management conference comes to an end. Many thanks to the participants and the organizing team for these great two days. Let’s work together for global projects and turn our visions into real value.”

For the 60 participating project managers, the conference provided an opportunity to share status and development updates and work in small workshop groups on topics such as project controlling, project task management, project management in a matrix organization, stakeholder management and IC collaboration across multiple locations.

The two keynote speakers – including a customer who reported on his previous experiences with HAHN Group’s project management – provided further impulses on how project management can be optimized in large-scale projects in the future. After two days, all participants left encouraged and inspired to return to their locations: “The meetings and contents were fantastic, giving a great deal of PM lessons learned and best practices. After the guest speakers’ keynotes and workshops, I left with lots of great notes and ideas to take forward. It was great to meet people from all HAHN locations as well, so we could learn what other locations focus on and where we can all work together! The tour of the HAHN site was equally as impressive, and left me with a few things I would like to try to incorporate in our Minnesota site as it grows.”  (Jeff Westom, Operations Manager, Invotec, Inc. Minnesota)

The joint dinner at Eulchen Brauerei Mainz, including a tour of the brewery, provided a further opportunity for networking and exchange of experiences between all participants.

Dr. Henning Wagner, Managing Director of Walther Systemtechnik GmbH: “I received very positive feedback from our colleagues. Praise to all who worked and organized the event … More with pleasure!”

Naveed Latif, Senior Project Manager – HAHN Automation UK: “I really enjoyed the conference and learned a lot, it was a great networking opportunity and look forward to the next conference!”

Annika Rheingantz, Project Management Officer global – Automation: “The Global PM Conference was a great success. Finally meeting many of the colleagues worldwide in person and exchanging ideas, gaining new impressions about project management and developing together in the sense of ONE HAHN. Especially the diversified program has remained in my memory very well. I think the conference forms a good basis to be able to cooperate even better globally in project management.”

Fulvio Sais, Project Manager – HAHN Automation Austria: “Thank you for these two days full of internal and external interactions – I feel ready to improve my project management.”

Daniela Mertens, Director People & Culture and responsible for the HAHN Academy: “The investment in the training of our employees makes an important contribution to the success and innovation of our company. The exchange and learning with or from international colleagues within the HAHN Academy is a significant part of our employee retention strategy.” 

HAHN Automation celebrates 30th anniversary

Rheinböllen, Germany – HAHN Automation celebrates its 30th anniversary on the market and invites partners, customers, suppliers and press representatives to join the Innovation Days in Rheinböllen on September 14 and 15. Founded in 1992 by Thomas Hähn in his parents’ garage, the company developed from a small design office in the Hunsrück region to a global group of companies within just under 30 years. Only a few years after the company was founded, the first foreign location was established with the expansion into the USA. Today, HAHN Automation employs more than 1,000 people at 12 production sites in China, Germany, Great Britain, Croatia, Mexico, Austria, the Czech Republic and the USA. In 2014, the RAG Foundation in the form of the RAG Stiftung Beteiligungsgesellschaft (RSBG SE) invested in HAHN Automation, which led to the formation of the HAHN Group three years later as a platform for the further development of the company network. The HAHN Group unites a network of specialized companies for industrial automation and robot solutions. At its production and service locations, the group employs approximately 1,800 people in 14 countries worldwide. Well-known customers in the automotive, consumer goods, electronics and healthcare industries benefit from over 30 years of expertise. This know-how in the field of automation technology ensures that resources are used efficiently and robots, as well as digital technologies, are implemented purposefully. “We are very pleased with the development that HAHN Automation and later also HAHN Group have accomplished. Over the past 30 years, we have been able to implement countless customer projects, establish strong partnerships and, above all, make an important contribution as an employer, especially in the Hunsrück region, but also at all other company locations. I am looking forward to the coming years and am confident that we will continue to write the success story,” says Frank Konrad, CEO of HAHN Automation. For Thomas Hähn, company founder and CEO of the parent company RSBG Automation and Robotics Technologies, one thing is certain: “HAHN Automation is not only a great success story in itself, but rather also the nucleus for many other exciting developments, company foundations and partnerships. Through the entry of the RSBG SE in 2014, we were able to put the plan to establish an international pioneer in industrial automation into action. In addition, HAHN Automation was also the origin of all developments towards HAHN Robotics, HAHN RobShare and most recently the United Robotics Group.” In order to celebrate the 30th anniversary also with partners, customers, suppliers and press representatives, we therefore cordially invite you to visit us in Rheinböllen on September 14 and 15 and to participate in the Innovation Days. For employees, families, friends and interested persons there will also be an Open House on 17.09. on the entire company premises. Further information about the Innovation Days: https://www.hahnautomation.com/en/30years

Happy Children´s Day

There are many things that can make you happy but the best thing is a child’s smile. We at HAHN Group develop forward-looking technologies and would like to inspire even children to discover those and shape them in the future.

Our trainees have crafted something –  learn more in this video. We will be happy to send you the template on request. Please send an e-mail to communications@hahn.group. Happy International Children’s Day!

Success stories of the HAHN Group network

With locations all over the world, the HAHN Group offers a large network. In the following article, four employees report on their exchange experiences between international sites.

Carlos, Project Leader Assembly HA DE AS, came from Mexico to Rheinböllen

Efrain, Junior Software Engineer Controls HAHN Automation GmbH, came from Mexico to Rheinböllen

Kresimir, General Operations Manager HAHN Automation S. de R.L., came from Rheinböllen Germany to Zagreb Croatia, and afterwards to Queretaro Mexico

Johannes Philipp, Project Leader Assembly HAHN Automation GmbH, came from Germany to the Czech Republic, and afterwards to Mexico

What was your reason for this experience?

Carlos: I wanted to learn more about both – the work at HAHN Automation in Rheinböllen and the German culture. I believed that it was a good opportunity for my professional and personal development.

Efrain: I wanted to continue growing as a professional and as a person. My boss gave me this opportunity and I said yes to it.

Kresimir: I am an open person who is always searching for new challenges. The dynamic of our work means we could never have the same day twice.

Johannes Philipp: A colleague told me that they didn´t find someone for the job yet and I felt like doing something new. I spent 2 weeks visiting the location and then joined the team for 4 years.

How was the experience with your new colleagues? Did you feel well integrated?

Carlos: I always felt welcomed, even though it took me some time to adapt. By the time that I arrived, I did not speak neither understood the German language that much. Now I can do it a little bit more than before. Everyone is nice, helpful and willing to collaborate. I feel integrated with the team and I enjoy my days at work.

Kresimir: Since I have started at HAHN Automation in Germany, I have always had a feeling that we are one family. As a foreigner coming to Germany, without knowing language, all the team members accepted me very well.

Johannes Philipp: In the Czech Republic, it was very difficult at the beginning because of the language. The people were very skeptical. After a year, I did an intensive language course and then I could communicate even with the 50% who did not speak English at all. That made a huge difference. People really appreciate it when you learn their language. It opens up a completely new range of opportunities.

Did this experience improve your technical skills? Did you get to know new technologies or processes?

Efrain: HAHN Automation in Germany is bigger than HAHN Automation Mexico. Here you can find more projects, more technologies, more specialists, more processes. If you have any technical issue, there are more people available that you can ask for help. I have had the chance to collaborate in projects made for different customers worldwide.

Johannes Philipp: Technically, we learn new things with every project. The Czech Republic has a different way of thinking than the Germans. You have to find a common basis for that. That is not always easy, but you also have to realize your goals and never stop learning.

What was the one thing you benefit the most of?

Johannes Philipp: Definitely the interaction with people and I lost the fear of trying new things. I have seen that everything is possible.

Would you recommend an exchange to other employees and why?

Efrain: If they have the opportunity, they just need to take it. They must not be afraid of the people, the country or the language. They need to know that they will learn a lot and they will find out how people live. This can help them growing professionally and improve themselves personally.

Kresimir: Do not be afraid to try new things and to take opportunities that scare you. It is a big learning experience.                                                                                                                       

Thank you for the interviews!

HAHN Group appoints Frank Konrad as CTO/COO

On February 1st, 2022, Frank Konrad will take over responsibility as CTO/COO for the technical and procedural control of the entire HAHN Group, in addition to his role as CEO of HAHN Automation. With this step, the corporate network will accelerate the integration of its subsidiaries in order to prepare for the planned growth.

As CTO/COO, Frank Konrad will be responsible for the business areas of innovation and development, engineering and software, processes and project management as well as purchasing. With this decision, the HAHN Group is preparing for the great potential of innovative projects in the fields of automotive, diagnostics and medical devices as well as electronics.

“As a global company, we have the size and the strength to be a reliable development and implementation partner for our customers, even for very large and complex automation projects. Therefore, we will join our competencies and capacities even more closely together,” states Philipp Unterhalt, CEO of the HAHN Group. He adds: “I am very happy that Frank is ready for these challenges and that he is putting his decades of experience and competence at the service of the entire HAHN Group.”

Frank Konrad, who also took over the chairmanship of the board of directors of the VDMA for the Robotics + Automation trade association in October 2021, is a partner and CEO of HAHN Automation and has significantly shaped the company’s positive development. The 49-year-old automation expert adds his experience to the management of the HAHN Group consisting of Philipp Unterhalt (CEO) and Axel Greschitz (CFO).

“I see great potential in the HAHN Group, which we will realize even faster through harmonization and integration of the individual companies”, explains Frank Konrad who is looking forward to the new task. “We always take into account the requirements of the individual companies, industries and customers. That is what makes this role so exciting, along with the implementation of a joint innovation strategy.”

Frank Konrad will also keep the role of CEO of HAHN Automation. The massive expansion of the organization that is currently taking place strengthens the entire team and takes the positive market development into account.

WEMO Automation is positioning itself for the future with new management and a broader portfolio

The founders of WEMO Automation Sven, Olof and Bengt Ståhl are handing over the management of the company to Johannes Kjellgren (CEO) and Håkan Larsson (COO). As part of this, WEMO will move to the Robotics Division within the HAHN Group in order to offer its customers an even broader portfolio of solutions and products with mobile and collaborative robotics. This complements the focus on the plastics market with technological competencies.

After more than 30 years of building, developing and managing WEMO Automation, the Ståhl brothers are handing over the management of the company to new hands. Already in 2015, the HAHN Group took over the majority of the company’s shares, and finally all of them. Now also the leadership will be handed over to Johannes Kjellgren, who took over management of the company in October 2021. Johannes Kjellgren has many years of experience in customer-centric sales and general management. With his deep knowledge of international markets, he will continue to expand the sales network and customer service for WEMO in order to be even closer to the customers. At his side, Håkan Larsson will be responsible for operational management as COO, starting in spring 2022. As a proven expert in technical development and the plastics industry and with his many years of experience, he stands for the continuity with regard to the reliability and technological excellence of the WEMO products.

“It is not easy to successfully shape a succession situation in which the founders have built and managed their company with so much dedication and passion. Therefore we are very happy that in Johannes and Håkan we have found two very experienced entrepreneurs who can not only preserve what has been achieved, but also want to add new things at the same time,” says Philipp Unterhalt, CEO of the HAHN Group. “Our thanks go to Sven, Olof and Bengt. For the trusting cooperation of the last few years, the friendly interaction and also for the fact that they continue to support us in an advisory capacity – also beyond WEMO within the HAHN Group.”

The previous CEO, Sven Ståhl, adds: “With the takeover by the HAHN Group, we were able to set the course for a stable and secure future for WEMO as early as 2015. With Johannes and Håkan, the HAHN Group remains true to its culture of continuing to run the business with highly professional and very value-based people. “

“I am looking forward to the new task of further positioning the team and the potential of WEMO in the plastics market and also inspiring existing and new customers with further automation and robotics solutions from the HAHN Group”, comments Johannes Kjellgren.

“I have spent most of my career in the plastics industry and got to know WEMO as a very professional and innovative company”, adds Håkan Larsson, new COO of WEMO. “Therefore I am delighted to further develop the technology according to our customers’ requirements and needs.”

As part of the succession, WEMO Automation will strengthen the Robotics division within the HAHN Group in the future. This bundles the know-how in the areas of linear, collaborative and mobile robotics and makes it even easier for customers to access. In addition, own sales and partner networks complement each other very well in order to further increase customer proximity. Through the HAHN Group network, WEMO is also to be developed even more strongly as a regional hub in Scandinavia in the future.

Spray smart – the new I4.0 spray valve from Walther

Walther Systemtechnik presents its new spray valve for maximum process control as well as an increase in process capability, overall system effectiveness (OEE) and product quality.

The spraying of low to medium viscosity media is one of the most common forms of application of the most varied of fluids across almost all branches of industry. The correctly applied spray quantity plays just as important a role as the required spray pattern to ensure that the applied medium fulfills its function. In practice, however, there are numerous disruptive factors that can have a negative effect on the quality of the spray pattern and require the process parameters to be adjusted.

Walther meets these challenges of a volatile work environment with the new WSV spray valve of the current I4.0 product family. The integral compact design combines a pressure sensor, a valve heater with associated temperature control and the electronics for control, monitoring and online evaluation of the process data. Extensive connectivity to peripheral devices is ensured through various analog and digital connections as well as an Ethernet connection. For the first time, this allows remote parameterization and remote diagnosis of the valve via a corresponding web interface, virtually on-the-fly. Several parameter sets can be stored and process variables can be documented. For the user, this means maximum process control and, as a result, an increase in process capability, overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) and product quality. In addition, software ADD-ONS and firmware updates, which can be installed and activated later if necessary, promise additional scope for future problems.

In addition to a smart valve, Walther offers other I4.0-based fluid components within the product family. Whether pumps, media storage, filter systems or modules for air bubble discharge – with additional integrated sensors, important process and status variables can be recorded and evaluated over the entire fluid line in real time and used to maximize the system key figure.

As an innovation driver, Walther ensures the future viability of its customer applications with the current I4.0 product family and, with over two decades of experience in dosing technology, positions itself as a reliable partner for the implementation of standard solutions through to individual complete systems.

Digital Advanced Automation

Within the HAHN Group, we create tailor-made automation and robot solutions with integrated, digital applications for various industries, including the healthcare industry. With the motto “Digital Advanced Automation” we proudly present our comprehensive portfolio for digitized automation. In the video with an integrated case study, the group shows how the differentiated teams work hand in hand and thus build on each other with expert knowledge.

Thomas Marufke strengthens HAHN Group Material Handling Division

Thomas Marufke is expanding the management of the Material Handling Division as of August 2021. He takes on the role of Bernhard Rupke, who will retire at the end of the year. Together with COO Gregor Kessler, Thomas Marufke will continue to unify the division and expand its leading position in automation solutions surrounding injection molding machines.

As managing director, Thomas Marufke controls the expertise of the HAHN Group in automation systems for plastics production and processing. In his role, he will be responsible for the customer-oriented areas of sales and service as well as the oversight of topics relating to project management and technology. Together with Gregor Kessler, COO of the Material Handling Division, he will take care of the strategic development of the division. Both also take over the management of Waldorf Technik.

Through his career, Thomas Marufke earned many years of experience in the plastics industry. After graduating with a degree in mechanical engineering from the Technical University of Darmstadt, Marufke last worked for KraussMaffei Automation GmbH for over 20 years, of which he spent nine in the position as managing director.

The Material Handling Division includes the brands Waldorf Technik, GeKu Automatisierungssysteme and WEMO Automation with locations in Germany, Sweden, the USA and Turkey. A presence in Asia is also currently being established. These companies will benefit from Marufke’s profound expert knowledge of automation and robot technology for all aspects of injection molding production.

“I am delighted that we were able to win Thomas, a proven expert and great character, for the HAHN Group,” explains Philipp Unterhalt, CEO of the HAHN Group. “With his skills and many years of experience as managing director, he will support our companies in the plastics processing market segment in offering an even more extensive range of services for our customers and partners.”

“The companies Waldorf Technik, GeKu Automatisierungssysteme and WEMO Automation are powerful brands that stand for the highest quality and precision,” states Thomas Marufke regarding his new tasks. “I am looking forward to working with a strong team to further expand our customers’ satisfaction, to grow internationally and to deliver economical solutions for injection molding automation worldwide.”

In his role, Thomas Marufke takes over the duties of the previous managing director and division director Bernhard Rupke, who is retiring. After a transition period, he will continue to support the HAHN Group in an advisory capacity. “We would like to thank Bernhard very much for his work over the past few years,” explains Philipp Unterhalt. “With his support, we brought the companies in the division closer together and mastered the Covid period superbly. We wish Bernhard the best health and satisfaction.”