Progress-Werk Oberkirch AG

EANS-News: PWO wins the Automotive Lean Production Award for the second time

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Company Information/Lean Production Award

Oberkirch (euro adhoc) - First supplier to win the award for the second time - The Oberkirch location ranks among Europe´s top automotive suppliers

Oberkirch, September 15, 2010 - The Oberkirch location of Progress-Werk Oberkirch AG has been distinguished once again by the renowned Automotive Lean Production Award in the "Mittelstand national" category. The award is bestowed by the Agamus Consult management consulting firm and the leading trade journal AUTOMOBIL-PRODUKTION. The Lean Production Award represents the authoritative benchmark indicating the extent to which the European automotive industry has implemented efficient structures and processes and is continuously advancing improvement processes.

PWO introduced the Lean Management System to the Oberkirch location in the year 2004. Since then, the system has been expanded throughout the entire corporation and additional elements of a master plan have been put in place on a continuous basis. The recent award documents the successful implementation of lean management principles at PWO in all relevant areas. The factor of flexibility in particular was rated as excellent. The evaluation team made special mention of the very lean processes, which permit extremely short response times to altered customer requirements. Moreover, the Agamus Consult auditor acknowledged that PWO pursues the continuous improvement process (CIP) with genuine passion - and stated that a vibrant CIP culture is lived and "breathed" at the Oberkirch plant.

Karl M. Schmidhuber, PWO´s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is proud of the award: "We are a high-tech company and position ourselves in the top bracket of our markets. At PWO, constant, ongoing process improvements are a matter of course. I am very pleased that the success of our untiring efforts has been confirmed with this second award now bestowed. The Oberkirch location is our technology and competence center. The principles we live here are adopted by the other sites according to their local requirements and enable them to stake out leading positions in their markets."

Dr. Winfried Blümel, Chief Operating Officer (COO), perceives the key improvements of the past years especially in the consistent extension of lean management principle beyond the actual manufacturing area: "In the meantime, all of the areas of the location have been streamlined - tool-making, development and sales, logistics and administration. In this way, we have achieved a quantum leap in overall operational efficiency. The evaluation by Agamus Consult also documents that within the Oberkirch location the tool-making division, which used to work on traditional principles, has developed into a highly modern and efficient industrial in-house supplier that performs tool maintenance and returns the tools to manufacturing operations just-in-time. This is the only way to ensure cost efficiency in small batch sizes that entail frequent tooling and set-up routines. We would like to thank our employees for this outstanding performance and their whole hearted commitment to lean production principles that are absolutely essential in achieving this success."

Progress-Werk Oberkirch AG The Management Board

PWO Group profile PWO is one of the world's leading suppliers of high-precision metal components for automobile safety and comfort. The company has developed unique expertise in the forming and joining of metals during its over 90-year history since it was founded in 1919. The German plant in Oberkirch today employs around 1,200 staff members. The Group is represented globally with further sites in China, Canada, Mexico and the Czech Republic, and employs more than 2,000 staff around the world.

PW0 is a partner to the global automobile industry for the development and production of innovative products in the areas of "Mechanical components for electrical and electronic applications", "Safety components for airbags, seats and steering" and "Components and systems for vehicle bodies and chassis".

Orders for new series production on hand will result in significant growth at all sites over the next years, irrespective of full market recovery.

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ots Originaltext: Progress-Werk Oberkirch AG
Im Internet recherchierbar: http://www.presseportal.ch

Further inquiry note:
Bernd Bartmann (CFO)
Phone: +49 7802 / 84-347
Fax: +49 7802 / 84-789
e-mail: bernd.bartmann@progress-werk.de

Branche: Automotive Equipment
ISIN:      DE0006968001
WKN:        696800
Börsen:  Frankfurt / regulated dealing/prime standard
              Berlin / free trade
              Hamburg / free trade
              Stuttgart / free trade
              Düsseldorf / free trade
              München / free trade



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