September 29th, 2018 was a special day for punker. The company RATIONAL AG had its technical director Peter Wiedemann as well as Wolfgang Wirtz, Aldo Paintner and Dr. Uli Mach personally bring us very good news: the award of punker GmbH as “Supplier of the Year” 2017.
SelfCookingCenter (c) RATIONAL AG
RATIONAL AG is a very important customer for punker and manufactures combination ovens, i.e. “SelfCookingCenter” for the thermal preparation of food in gastronomy, canteen kitchens, chain stores and catering. In the meantime, Rational has advanced to become the world’s largest manufacturer in this sector. We have been able to accompany Rational on this path since 2002. The fact that we have developed into a strategically important partner for Rational during this time is also shown by the development of the quantities of spot-welded fan wheels that we supply – these have increased 4.5 times since the beginning of the cooperation. The fan wheels supplied by us guarantee a perfectly matched air distribution in the appliance for an even cooking result.
Now for the good news: punker has again managed to become the “Supplier of the Year” with more than 96 points in 2017 due to the outstanding delivery and quality performance in the year 2017. In a solemn hour Peter Wiedemann emphasized the extraordinary performance of the punker team. Around 60 colleagues were able to receive the great award this morning.
After the first top ranking in 2004, a 2nd place in 2011 followed, which was transformed into a 1st place again in 2012. In the year 2017 our team has now reached first place for the third time. It is no coincidence that Dr. Uli Mach’s eulogy says “right up to the worker, everyone identifies with the Rational product”.
At punker, we attach great importance to long-term cooperation with our customers – which has paid off in the case of Rational through repeated occupancy of the TOP 5 places in the supplier evaluation.
Jamie Smalling, our inside sales representative at punker LLC in Hickory, NC, visited AHR Expo México in early October. At the largest trade show of the air conditioning and ventilation industry in Latin America our representative MG Asociados exhibited the fan wheels of the punker D-Series individually and as a component in their own air handling units and box fans of the brand KLIMA.
Here Jamie shares her impressions of a unique trip to Mexico City and a whole new exhibition experience:
I was wonderfully impressed with the extent of hospitality from the group at MG Asociados from the moment I arrived, until I departed back to the States. Although my trip started out with a 3 hr delay due to a faulty plane in Dallas, TX, Adolfo patiently waited on me at the airport in Mexico as he was aware of my concerns traveling there alone as an American woman arriving late at night. Coming in for the landing in Mexico City, I was overwhelmed with the sheer size of the city and can fully understand why in Mexico they say Mexico City is it’s own country within the country. At night as the city was lit up all around as far as you could see to the mountain tops, it was a beautiful and unforgettable sight. I could not have asked for a better group to escort me in this city, as they made sure I was taken care of traveling, as well as eating dinner in the evenings as we discussed the optimism from the potential of the show each day.
The AHR Show there is a little different from what we are used too in the US, as it does not begin until 2:00 pm and last until 8:00 pm. This could help explain how very busy both days that I attended were as it had been projected to have over 350 exhibitors, and over 10,000 attendees. I would say this was a good estimate with the steady traffic through the show on Tuesday and Wednesday. Throughout the entire 6 hours, the MG booth had a steady stream of people interested in punker wheels, along with MG’s new Klima Air handling units and Box fans being show cased as new products. On Tuesday, the first day, at least 50% of the inquiries at the booth were in reference to our D-Series wheels as they not only had our wheels in their air handling unit and box fans, but also displayed over the whole booth including on their own displays.
I feel as though this trip was well worth the time, and I left there knowing there is a definite market for our wheels in Mexico and the MG group has capacity and capability to reach the market to make these sales happen for punker LLC.
I appreciate this eye opening experience, to see the market in another culture and am grateful for the partnership that MG has requested with us to reach this South American market.
AHR Expo México
During a visit in Eckernfoerde the Schleswig-Holstein Regional Group of the German Association for Quality (DGQ) convinces itself of the high quality standards at punker.
Several times a year, the Schleswig-Holstein Regional Group of the German Association for Quality (DGQ) meets at various locations to discuss the latest developments in the field of quality management and related topics. Participants are primarily quality managers from Schleswig-Holstein companies.
On the initiative of the regional district management, such a meeting took place at punker at the end of August 2018. It gave us the opportunity to introduce ourselves and our activities in lean management and excellence. After the presentation and the tour of the plant, the participants were impressed by the changes we have implemented in recent years. In addition to the boards on which we carry out the daily detailed planning, the topic of order and cleanliness (5S) was of particular interest. Especially the prefabrication was praised as exemplary by the visitors.
“The punker GmbH is also an economically successful example of a quality leader, with which the conformity ‘drops off’, because the processes are controlled.
Kai-Uwe Behrends | DGQ Office
Such feedback is important for us in order to recognize where we stand in comparison to other companies. The application for this year’s MX-Award and the meeting of the “Network of Excellence” of Rational AG, which was recently held at our company in Eckernfoerde, served the same purpose.
During the event, Dr. Klaus Thoms handed over the management of the regional district to his successor Bernd Fries after 18 years in office.
Read DGQ’s visit report here (German article)
At the end of August I travelled to Silicon Valley as part of a delegation trip organized by the state government of Schleswig-Holstein under the leadership of Dirk Schrödter, head of the state chancellery – and flew home very impressed and enthusiastic. Other high-ranking representatives of the state government as well as the city of Kiel, the state parliament faction, the council meeting of the city of Kiel, many universities, the business development agencies, the Chamber of Commerce and the WTSH (Business Development and Technology Transfer), the economy and the initiators of the partnership regions around San Francisco and Kiel participated in the more than 60-member delegation. Star guests were the representatives of 4 start-ups from Kiel.
The innovative power of the Silicon Valley was particularly impressive from close up, which can be attributed to the interaction of university (Stanford University), venture capital and ambitious founders, professionally supported by accelerators that systematically bring the partners together – also with the scouts of large corporations, especially from Germany. Plug and Play is the most successful accelerator. Together all partners are spurred to top performance – a bit like a fever for success. The results are known and can be seen.
The delegation perceived and experienced these mechanisms of action and this culture together. And everyone was enthusiastic and convinced: that’s how similar we can be. A clear commitment to the cooperation of all parties involved, also in Schleswig-Holstein. I am confident that Schleswig-Holstein’s innovative strength – and thus its attractiveness – can be driven forward on the basis of this common spirit: what can everyone contribute to make it a success? A start has been made with the establishment of the Northern Germany Innovation Office in San Francisco, managed by Tim Jöhnk, a young man from Kiel who has been working in Silicon Valley for several years and has an excellent network. The perfectly organized trip was very worthwhile! I’m glad I was there.
More information regarding the Northern Germany Innovation Office…
Exactly half a year after punker GmbH visited the World Market Leaders’ Forum at the boarding school, day school and IB World school Louisenlund, the 16 students of the Louisenlund talent program”plus-MINT” reunited with us in Eckernförde. At the punker headquarters, the emerging talent learned more about a medium-sized company from Schleswig-Holstein, where Mathematics, Information Technology, Natural Sciences and Technology – MINT for short – are used every day – which by the way is also Europe’s market leader in the development and production of radial fan wheels.
Why did the student group visit punker?
Like the Louisenlund Foundation, punker GmbH is a premium partner of the WT.SH partner program “Schleswig-Holstein. The True North.” Contact had already been established at the first World Market Leaders’ Forum with a focus on MINT in Louisenlund. At the subsequent MINT job fair the students showed great interest in the European market leader’s air-movement solutions. punker gladly invited the students and program coordinator Janet Blankenburg Ph.D. to Eckernförde to learn more about the delevoper and manufacturer of radial impellers. A view behind the scenes was, of course, part of their visit. The 16 young talents were given a tour of all production-relevant departments. From the R&D department, to the tooling shop and parts production right up to the wheel assembly and welding. Christian Hornhardt (Head of Technology) and Markus Oberle (Head of Order Fulfillment) answered questions about the market orientation of the punker Group, project cycles of new developments, various production processes, challenges in high-security-sensitive customer applications or the product pricing strategies.
What is the plus-MINT program about?
18 students from classes 9 through 12 currently attend the plus-MINT program at Louisenlund. One thing these students have in common is that they have the enthusiasm and aptitude for Mathematics, Information Technology, Natural Sciences and Technology – in short, MINT. A specially developed curriculum promotes these gifted students. This above-average promotion is adapted to the specific abilities of the students in the respective MINT subjects. The level of the four-year school education course is far above the regular Abitur (german university entrance diploma) level of a regular school and considers all talents, regardless of their social origin or nationality.
The Association for MINT Talent Promotion e. V., along with several plus-MINT boarding schools, offers a promotion of talent for highly qualified students in mathematics, computer science, biology, chemistry, physics, following the example of the successful promotion of talent by the German Football Association.
We are excited to be part of the program “Business skills for Ph.D.s”, organized by the doctoral candidate’s representation of Kiel University (CAU) and the Education Cluster opencampus.sh. The program offers a unique chance to gain insights into the organization of 8 large companies in Schleswig-Holstein and Denmark.
Last Friday, October 28, 2016, we welcomed 10 doctoral candidates at the punker headquarters in Eckernförde. punker CEO Dr. Henning Bähren gave our guest from Pakistan, Japan and Germany an overview of the punker Group’s history, product portfolio, customer base and company structure before starting off on a tour of our production facilities. The diverse academic background of our visitors (from Electrical Engineering, Material Sciences and Biology to Business Administration) sparked an exciting and versatile subsequent Q&A session and discussion. Topics included Lean Management at punker, possible product or service diversification models and punker’s medium-term growth strategy, as well as career opportunities with Northern German small and medium sized businesses. The doctoral candidates were surprised to learn about the number of modern, successful and internationally aligned businesses in Schleswig-Holstein. This showed us yet again that initiatives like “Schleswig-Holstein. The True North.” (Der echte Norden) and our involvement in the incorporated partner program for businesses in Schleswig-Holstein are of great importance to promote career opportunities for high professionals in the “True North”. punker was the first stop of the program. Over the next three months, the group will visit seven more businesses in Schleswig-Holstein and Denmark:
- 4th of November: Mach3 – The marketer of the three radiostations RSH, delta radio and Radio BOB. Perfect marketing for everyone.
- 18th of November: Macio – User Interface Design and software engineering from one source.
- 25th of November: Die Futter-Manufaktur – Founded in 1870 this family business managed the transformation into an innovative manufactory for forage.
- 2nd of December: FLS – In Heikendorf located Fast Lean Smart is the recognized technology leader in the development and implementation of workforce management, route optimization and mobile solutions in Europe.
- 9th of December: Eisenschmidt Consulting Crew – Their mission is to guide people and companies out of a crisis, support their development and give meaning to economy and life.
- 13th of January: Danfoss – Founded in 1933 the business has grown from a solo enterprise into one of the world’s leading suppliers of energy-efficient and innovative solutions.
- 20th of January: Dräger – Dräger is a leading international company in the fields of medical and safety technology. No matter where Dräger products are used: it’s always about life.
opencampus.sh aims at connecting Kiel’s colleges and universities with businesses and organizations. Students get a chance to apply their knowledge, look into different career options and find their own professional path.
With the entrepreneurship program “job starter”, the opencampus.sh wants to guide and inculcate the entrepreneurial thinking in international students who are interested in launching their own ventures or invest in new business projects, with a lifelong commitment to achieve social and economic progress globally.
punker supports the students’ company connECKt, which advocates the integration of refugees into German society. The cookbooks “Grenzenloses Backen” (Baking without Borders) and “Grenzenloses Kochen” (Cooking without Borders) are now available at the punker Shop.
punker and the Jungmann School in Eckernförde have been working together for many years to provide students insights into working life at a medium-sized local business. When the school’s 11th grade students founded the student company “connECKt”, they contacted punker to discuss how we could support them in running their business. connECKt.
In December 2015, just in time for Christmas, connECKt published their first cookbook “Grenzenloses Backen”. The recipes where gathered during regular cooking events with refugees from the Eckernförde region. Yogurt Cookies, Arabic Clove-and-Almond Biscuits, Chestnut Pie and sweet cake can be easily reproduced at home. The cookbook also includes tantalizing stories from distant cultures and the experiences refugees made on their long and often strenuous journey to Germany.
In April, 2016, the second cookbook “Grenzenloses Kochen” was published. On 121 pages, recipes for appetizers, main courses and desserts can be found, supplemented by facts about the country of origin. Icons indicate the level of difficulty and whether the recipe is vegetarian or gluten free. New stories and pictures taken at the cooking events make this a diverting read.
The students took care of the research, layout and distribution of both books independently – with financial support from local sponsors. The 50-page baking book is being sold for 6,90 Euro and the 121-page cook book for 15,90 Euro at local businesses such as book stores, delis or farmer’s and fish markets.
We are happy to support this inspiring project by selling the books to our employees through our in-house “punker Shop”. The punker Shop is organized by our trainees and sells apparel and other articles like USB-Power Banks from the punker collection.
We look forward to working with connECKt and will keep you updated on this great students’ project.
Mission accomplished. Our new website www.punker-usa.com for (prospect) customers from North America has been released!
With large economies like the USA and Canada as well as up-and-coming markets like Mexico, North America is a growth market with a whole lot of potential for the punker Group. In 2012, punker LLC was founded to make sure our customers get ideal close-by service. To further optimize the service and support for this market, we now released a separate website for this significant group of customers. It takes in account this target group’s specific information needs and technical demands regarding our fan wheels.
The new website is aimed mainly towards the HVAC-industry (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning). Accordingly, it spotlights the fan wheel series R63D-HVAC and D light. Regarding the imagery, we opted for more personality and character. Our colleagues at punker LLC organized a photo shoot just to make sure they’ll be seen from there best side. And it looks like that was a lot of fun. To make the visit to our website more fun, we included animated graphics, 360°-views and exploded views that explain the benefits of our diffusor design over conventional wheel designs.
We’re excited to find out how our customers and prospects in the USA, Canada and Mexico like our new website. We on our part are very pleased with the outcome of yet another great project realized by our trusted web agency wquadrat Medien GmbH.