Janu­ary 8th, 2022

Neu-Ulm. The hydrau­lics hiss quiet­ly, sil­ver tablets moving very quick — about the size of an A4 sheet of paper — from left to right to the next sta­ti­on. The oran­ge cable is clam­ped, a tool moves over it and pres­ses the con­nec­tor in place. 21 work steps a work­pie­ce goes through a work­pie­ce in this 20-meter-long meter long machi­ne, which is instal­led Metz­ner E‑Mobility in Neu-Ulm, Germany.

The machi­ne is expec­ted to pro­du­ce a mil­li­on per year of the­se cables. They are instal­led in elec­tric cars, about ten are nee­ded per vehic­le. “Up to now every sin­gle work step was was done by hand,” explains Mana­ging Direc­tor Ger­hard Rauch. The machi­ne is not only fast and deli­vers con­sis­tent qua­li­ty, which is ensu­red by built-in came­ras and sen­sors, but also saves on personnel.

This year, this is the third machi­ne of this type that Metz­ner is sel­ling. The cus­to­mers are in other Euro­pean count­ries – the mana­ging direc­tor is not allo­wed and will not divul­ge any details. Asia would also be an inte­res­t­ing mar­ket Asia would also be an inte­res­t­ing mar­ket. More than every second car that is sold world­wi­de is pro­du­ced the­re. Also in the field of elec­tro­mo­bi­li­ty, the Asi­ans are now also ahead. Nevert­hel­ess, the­re are curr­ent­ly no sales to the regi­on: For the usual­ly four to five col­le­agues tra­vel along. This is not pos­si­ble due to the strict ent­ry and qua­ran­ti­ne regu­la­ti­ons becau­se of Corona.

“We are only at the begin­ning of a deve­lo­p­ment in e‑mobility,” Mr. Rauch is con­vin­ced. Curr­ent­ly the Metz­ner Group makes an annu­al sales of bet­ween 20 and 25 mil­li­on euros. The sub­si­dia­ry Metz­ner E‑Mobility, which was foun­ded four years ago, is respon­si­ble for about a third of this. The deve­lo­p­ment could con­ti­nue — the order books are full. But one hurd­le Mana­ging Direc­tor Rauch still have to over­co­me: He needs per­son­nel. Abo­ve all, more indus­tri­al mecha­nics should sup­port, the cur­rent 100 employees in Neu-Ulm. But they are curr­ent­ly dif­fi­cult to find. Becau­se buil­ding the machi­ne is a work step that still has to be done by a human being. 

Source: SWP / 2022-01.11