We meet Nuno (Managing Director RON AG) and Stefan (Manager Tool Production) at the main entrance of the new tool making shop, which is only a few meters away from the administration building of RONAL AG, the headquarters of the RONAL GROUP.
Why don’t you briefly describe the events and progress related to the new tool making shop over the last few months? What were the biggest challenges?
In October 2020, we were able to move into the new workshop. First, the new machines were brought in, immediately followed by the relocation of the existing machines via a provisional transport road. During installation and commissioning of the machines, all RON AG equipment was moved in a third phase. At the same time, clean, ergonomic workstations were set up and operations were able to ramp up continuously. Under unaccustomed conditions due to the COVID-19 situation, the relocation of production was completed on schedule in December and, above all, without any accidents.
The biggest challenges included starting production back up in the new building and simultaneously commissioning the new facilities with new processes, technologies and workflows. Within a short ramp-up time, the entire production was successfully resumed at the beginning of the year, even under these special circumstances.
What are the most important changes and advantages for you compared to before? And what aspects were taken into account in terms of sustainability during construction?
Setting up a complete, new work environment is a rare opportunity and offers the chance to change things that wouldn’t have been possible before. The most important change, in my opinion, is the rearranged production layout compared to before. Short distances and minimized stocks enable maximum flexibility and responsiveness. In addition, some sustainability aspects were taken into account in line with our PLANBLUE concept: The generated heat of the compressors is utilized and on the roof we have a 4500 m2 photovoltaic system. We now get to work in an air-conditioned, ventilated building. The current temperatures were a major challenge in the old building.
There are countless things that have improved compared to the situation 12 months ago: the comfort, the work ergonomics, the indoor air, the ambient temperature, the flow of the production process, the management of the storage room, etc.. All workstations and production processes, the production layout, the building and all resource management within the building (natural light, water, air, energy, PV system, compressors, energy recovery A+) have been examined meticulously. The materials used, the lighting installed and the energy efficiency guarantee us a top of the line building. But I also have to admit: Now, when I see the old building being dismantled, I’m left with a lot of nostalgia and a feeling of sadness.
What feedback have colleagues given regarding the new work location? Do they feel comfortable?
As part of the RONAL GROUP, RON AG has always been anxious to create workplaces where employees feel “at home”. As in the past, we have taken into account suggestions for improvements to our working environment and, where appropriate, implemented them. The feedback so far has been very positive, even though the current situation still requires some understanding and flexibility from everyone, especially when it comes to parking. But it’s all just a matter of time.
The feedback from all colleagues is exceedingly positive; everyone feels comfortable at the new location. Being involved in a move of this kind and setting up a new working environment is not an everyday occurrence and brings with it an extremely high level of motivation.
The hall itself is finished. What are the next steps in terms of the outdoor area and demolition of the old hall?
Demolition of the old building is underway; the protective barrier next to the highway is also almost finished and the next step is the outdoor area. There will be places for socializing, charging stations for electric/hybrid cars and green spaces.
There are still a few loose ends to tie up in the new building, but we are confident that these will be completed soon.
Thank you for your time!