Lean processes, Industry 4.0 and IoT – are they a challenge or rather opportunity to you, Karl?
“Glass manufacturing belongs to the typical old Industries. The production is basically quite similar to how it has already been a century ago. However, nowadays we are taking into consideration more and more ecological aspects and digitalization and strive to improve processes wherever possible by digital tools. The collection of data and the creation of a network between different machines and tools unveil incredible opportunities to our industry. We are heading towards Industry 4.0 and IoT in all areas of production, sorting and decoration. Nevertheless we are well aware of the fact that WE, all the employees, will still remain the most important parts, with shifted competences, yet indispensable to keep the systems running.”
Green energy – how does Stoelzle cope with that challenge, Thomas?
“For me, everything has to do with energy. Since the glass industry uses much energy for melting glass from solid raw materials, we are constantly seeking technologies and tools, which help us either reduce our energy consumption or recover energy. In our Austrian production plant we successfully installed a heat exchanger and can as a result feed around 18,000 MWh per year into the local district heating network from the waste gas of our furnaces. This corresponds to a saving of 4,300 tons of CO2 compared to the heating of households with natural gas. In addition, around 6,000 photovoltaic panels on our warehouse roofs, can produce 1,800 MWh of green energy at peak times.”
Worldwide logistics – a challenge to Janine?
“Stoelzle exports worldwide by truck, train or container ship. There is neither boredom nor routine when it comes to finding the optimal provider for every transport route. We coordinate our logistics partners at a group level – this is the best way to manage short-term call offs from one of our 6 European locations as well as from the warehouses in Russia and the USA in time.”
Controlling – anything but dry and boring for Andreas
“Numbers are my passion. It’s my job to compare production figures and decoration results with the budgeted values. Since the Stoelzle Glass Group comprises six European production sites and 4 business units, my area of responsibility is quite broad and ranges from pharmaceutical glasses to premium spirits, perfume bottles, cosmetic jars, and packaging glass for food and beverages. Travelling a lot for business, I get to know interesting regions and their peculiarities. As a positive consequence I have already built up a large network of friends across Europe.”
We protect what really matters – our employees and the environment, underlines Birgit, the Stoelzle CSR Manager.
“It is my duty to coordinate and guarantee the implementation of CSR-relevant ISO standards in all sites of the Stoelzle Glass Group. Ethically and socially correct behavior means as much to me as energy and environmental management. As CSR Manager of the Stoelzle Glass Group, I am particularly proud of our glass products, which are 100% and infinitely recyclable and thus become a true part of modern circular economy!”
A fine work-life balance – why is this that important to our colleague Julia?
“At Stoelzle, work-life balance is not just an effective buzzword. If my daily work with international customers becomes challenging and I feel rather exhausted, I’m glad to be spoiled for choice after work by a variety of recreational opportunities Stoelzle coffers. Massages, shiatsu treatments or sporty workouts with colleagues are just some of the opportunities offered in our Stoelzle health programme. Thanks to flexible working hours, it is easy to gain a targeted balance to everyday work.”
Where do you get your motivation from to keep production running 24/7, Manuel?
“Our glass production runs 24 hours, 7 days, all year round, there is constantly full operation on all our production lines. In our Austrian plant we produce around 6 million bottles per day; most of them is primary packaging for the pharmaceutical industries, but also bottles and jars for food and beverages. As the Head of Production I lead a team of almost 100 people who all have one thing in common: the passion for glass. No other material is so delicate and demanding during production – in return, however, it is also perfect and brilliant in design.”
Creativity and usability – why are these assets prerequisites in a bottle design, Jan?
“When I started my apprenticeship in the Stoelzle design & mould construction department, I feared that I would have to make many compromises in my design work. I thought products have to be either practical or nice – there won’t be many options to unite these assets. But 2 years later I’m convinced that both design and style as well as usability can perfectly complement each other, when we develop a new bottle. It takes just a few days to get from the sketch to a 3D printed prototype suitable to be tested and filled by our clients. To see our bottles on the market, in the shelves, or used by friends and colleagues, makes me proud, even more if they win international awards such as the WorldStar. Then I’m overwhelmed by the sensation to be part of an outstanding team.“
Saving resources and energy, this is what matters to Niklas, head of R&D
“My research focuses on improving constantly the manufacturing of glass. In our in house melting laboratory we are testing new, secondary raw materials for our glass batch and strive to reduce the industrial usage and hence save the natural resources of quartz sand, soda and lime. By adding cullet to our batch, we are reducing the energy consumption and thereby the CO2 footprint of our company.”