The technical possibilities for manufacturing products have never been more diverse than today. Modern materials and manufacturing methods offer an almost inexhaustible pool of production options. The trick is to find the right mix between manual work and automation. And to form a team that feels at home in both worlds.
At home in all industrie
Special bearings from Franke cannot be found in any catalog. Adapted to the requirements of the customers, technical masterpieces are created in the company in Oberen Bahnstrasse in Aalen for something special. Super quiet precision bearings for computer tomographs or luggage scanners as well as ultra-light bearings from the 3D printer or bearings with an integrated drive. Franke bearings can be found in medical technology, in knitting machines or in tool changers. They populate circuit boards at top speed or turn thousands of huge solar panels to follow the sun. They are manufactured in diameters from 60 to 2000 mm - and have been for 70 years. The Franke brand has a good reputation in the scene - both as a bearing manufacturer and as a development partner for innovative solutions. The nucleus of a small workshop with a handful of people has become a modern industrial company with 270 employees. The manageable initial customer base grew into a global sales market with representatives and partners in all important markets worldwide.
Tradition meets modern
A lot has changed over the years at Franke - some things are still the same as at the beginning. Finding the right mix between tradition and modernity is the greatest challenge for management and staff. This balancing act is most evident in the manufacture of the wire race bearings. Steel wire races, which serve as raceways for balls and rollers, are at the heart of every Franke bearing. They absorb the loads and ensure the outstanding running properties of Franke bearings, regardless of the shape and material of the further construction. They are manufactured using traditional methods and require the highest level of experience and skill.
The situation is different with the bearing rings of the bearings. They are manufactured on modern, programmable processing machines and manufactured both individually and in large series. Spatial thinking, solid training as skilled workers and responsible, precise work are the key requirements for the employees here. As part of digitization, screens found their way into the workplace. Here drawing data can be compared with machine parameters or individual process steps can be called up.
At the terminals there is also access to the Franke Wiki, Franke's internal knowledge database. It is one of eight ongoing digitalization projects in the company. The digitalization of processes and procedures is currently the greatest challenge for modern companies. According to a study by the Federal Ministry of Economics, the degree of digitization in the different business areas is very different. IT companies, financial and insurance service providers as well as retailers lead the ranking. Healthcare is at the bottom. The best branch of industry is mechanical engineering, even before vehicle construction and the energy industry. (Source: Monitoring Report Economy DIGITAL 2018, ed. BMWi)
For Franke, digitization means changes in the way we work and in communication internally and externally. The company focuses on the requirements and needs of the target groups. Current digitization projects at Franke are:
- Paperless processes
- Franke WIKI database
- Online applications (BITE career pool)
- Training management (PERVIEW)
- Franke Messenger
- Marketing automation (Evalanche)
- Franke Sales App for field service (SHOWPAD)
- Networking of machines (IoT)
The demands on modern industrial companies in global competition will continue to increase. Being open to new trends while maintaining traditions can be a key to success. Franke GmbH is an excellent example of this.