The ‘Made in Germany’ label is still extremely highly regarded today, over 100 years after its introduction as a quality mark for all types of goods: according to a current study by the international data analytics firm YouGov and Cambridge University in the UK, products from Germany have the best reputation worldwide by some distance, and are way ahead of goods from other European manufacturing countries in terms of their image. Despite its status as a major industrial nation, the USA only achieved seventh place in this survey. Back in 2017, Made in Germany secured first place in an international study carried out by the statistics portal Statista and the market research company Dalia Research and was thus able to prevail in the Made-in-Country Index as the world’s most popular label. International manufacturing companies from Germany like Minebea Intec go one step further and also guarantee consistent quality on a global level.
Research and development at three locations in Germany
As one of the few leading manufacturers of industrial weighing and inspection solutions to develop and produce the majority of its products and systems in Germany, Minebea Intec pays special attention to the quality of its products. “We are able to display the successful ‘Made in Germany’ seal on almost all of our products,” explains Wolf Dieter Schulze, Managing Director at Minebea Intec's headquarters in Hamburg. “The weighing and inspection solution products we offer worldwide are almost exclusively developed at the German Minebea Intec locations in Hamburg, Aachen, and Bovenden, near Göttingen, where we are able to call upon the proven, long-term specialist knowledge of our experienced engineers and developers.” Many tasks require the respective research and development departments to work together in an interdisciplinary manner. The proximity of development and production and the pooling of years of experience provide the basis for our high quality standards and are reflected in an agile product portfolio consisting of high-resolution platform scales, load cells, container and silo scales, checkweighers, metal detectors and intuitive software solutions.
Consistent worldwide quality standards
Minebea Intec is an international group with production facilities and service and sales offices around the globe. “Individual products are manufactured on site at our international subsidiaries based on our high-quality technologies and designs, developed in Germany.” Schulze considers the aspect of ‘German Engineering’ to be an important decision criterion for the company’s customers: “When customers are looking at products, the functionality is of course important to begin with, but in the end the outstanding reputation of German engineering work is often decisive.”
Implementing the technologies and designs developed in Germany in products at all of the production locations around the world without any loss in quality represents a challenge. In his capacity as Director Quality Management & Metrology, Bruno Martin is responsible for the quality of Minebea Intec's weighing and inspection products worldwide and believes his company to be extremely well equipped for the task: “Thanks to intensive measures and high internal quality standards we ensure that there are no differences in the quality of the products, regardless of the production location. Wherever our load cells, industrial scales and inspection solutions are manufactured, every customer can be 100 per cent sure that we comply with the most stringent quality standards.” According to Martin, this is guaranteed, amongst other things, by strict internal requirements, the development and production processes used, and also by precisely defining the raw materials and components purchased and the verification processes for complying with specified quality characteristics.
For Bruno Martin, the term ‘Made in Germany’ is even moving with the times: “The topic of sustainability also plays an important role for us, for example when selecting materials or packaging or when designing manufacturing processes. We consider the entire environment of a product and its fields of application as part of this process.” According to Bruno Martin, complying with the relevant directives relating to electronic waste, RoHS and also the chemicals regulation is an integral part of the development process at Minebea Intec. The outstanding quality of Minebea Intec’s diverse range of products initially comes at a price for their users, but this does balance out quickly, as Martin explains: “Our high-quality products not only work better – their long product lifetime saves on repair and service costs as well as downtime.”
Innovative ‘Made in Germany’ weighing module
A good example of a successful ‘Made in Germany’ product, developed and manufactured in the country is the Novego series of weighing modules that Minebea Intec launched in the summer of 2018. One of their key USPs is their imperviousness to transverse forces, which can lead to undesirable measurement uncertainties in many weighing processes. Transverse forces like these can occur, for example, when switching on rotating mixing devices or due to wind forces in outdoor areas and lead to erroneous weighing results. Thanks to the sophisticated design, the German developers of the Novego series succeeded in reducing these effects to a minimum and in guaranteeing precise measurement results in weighing processes even with transverse forces of up to 20% of the load.
The engineers’ expertise is also reflected in many other useful details that make these products easier for users to use. For example, the Novego weighing modules have, amongst other things, an integrated height adjustment potential of up to 8 cm and a tilt correction for sloped surfaces of up to 3 degrees. “This largely makes additional constructions unnecessary,” underlines Wolf Dieter Schulze. “In many facilities, above all in the food, pharmaceutical and chemical industries, equipment like this significantly reduces the work for users when installing Novego.”
Expertise with tradition
For Minebea Intec, the focus on the fundamental values of the ‘Made in Germany’ seal has a long history: in 2018, the company celebrated its 70th anniversary as a pioneer of industrial metal detection. In 2020, the global provider in the field of statistical weighing will <s>even</s> be looking back proudly on 150 years of experience. “There’s no future without a past,” summarizes Managing Director Wolf Dieter Schulze, referring to the company’s long history. “Our expertise gives our research work a reliable basis for developing pioneering technologies. At the same time, ‘Made in Germany’ is an integral part of our strategy. This is something our customers all around the world can continue to count on.”
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