Serial production quality – made in Saxony
Ludwig Leuchten has been producing in Bergen since 1993. Since then, the Saxony site has had a very special working relationship with the Mering site
Erich Ludwig remembers it like it was only yesterday: the end of the Iron Curtain, winds of change, the early 1990s. Only a young manager at the time, he already found himself on a flight to Dresden looking for ways for Ludwig Leuchten to expand into the east. He turned up trumps in Bergen, northeast of Dresden in Saxony. Looking back now, he describes it as “a stroke of luck”.
The lighting company from Mering officially opened what was to become its second site in 1993. This allowed the family business to create important jobs in the former East. Within five years, the small town outside Hoyerswerda saw the factory expand twice. A good 70 of Ludwig Leuchten’s 200 employees now work in Bergen. The main site in Mering concentrates on speciality solutions, allowing the 38,500 square metre (414,000 sq ft) site in Saxony to animate its high automation levels and manufacture office and industrial lighting in series production. Its main products include the quick-mounting 2061 series with the TR50 mounting rail and a variety of shade covers or louvres. Most standard products made by Ludwig Leuchten now incorporate state-of-theart LED technology and the production facilities in Bergen have been upgraded accordingly.
The operators in pre-production have 17 machines at their disposal, four of which were made specially by the lighting company’s own experts to achieve the particular efficiency requirements of this kind of manufacturing. There are also a number of ingenious examples of technology and efficiency measures in assembly at Ludwig Leuchten, where they currently have six robots in operation. So if a client requires a tweak to be made to a standard luminaire, the machines are always flexible enough to oblige, or there are ways to do it manually, right on the production line.
Beatrice Peschel (29) and Maik Preibsch (32) are tasked with making sure everything is done properly. They share responsibility for production in Bergen. As in Mering, the small company also believes in having young and motivated people in management positions at its second site.
Integration everyone believes in
Ludwig Leuchten placed a strong emphasis on close cooperation from the outset in Saxony. Some individual assembly tasks were taken on by social welfare workshops in Lausitz. At first, the disabled workers used their own premises, but soon a number of disabled workers became permanent members of the workforce at the Ludwig Leuchten site. Today, 50 people from local social welfare workshops work at the lighting company and all of them have their own work stations directly on-site in dedicated halls. There are also on-site staff such as social workers, teams leaders and departmental supervisor.
„It’s integration we all believe in,” says Eckhart Friese, general manager of the social welfare workshops in Lausitz. He is delighted that Ludwig Leuchten gives people with disabilities an opportunity to be part of a normal working environment. “It is important for their self-confidence that they don’t have to work in a separate factory – but can work directly inside a business instead,” explains Friese.
The lighting company has put eight special machines in place for its colleagues. These are used to roll, punch and score raw parts used as lighting rails – an integral part of the pre-production process. The Lausitz workshop staff are also in charge of assembling a carrier rail system and a variety of frames at Ludwig Leuchten. There are around 200 items in the company range that they do pre-production on. “The managers at Ludwig Leuchten have an extremely good feel for how much they can ask our employees to do,” says Friese, full of praise. They also take their needs seriously. Whenever there’s a meeting with production managers at Ludwig Leuchten, the workshop representatives join them. “That’s not necessarily a given these days,” emphasises Friese. For the general manager Erich Ludwig, the commitment to disabled employees is important. “Their work is tremendously important to us,” he says, emphasising that their work at the factory allows the whole business to remain flexible and secure jobs in Germany.
Fully automated manufactring line for luminaire housings
- CAD-CAM programming system
- Automatic tool changing system
- Integrated system consisting of: decoiling facility, straightening machines and belt punching machines, a row of bending machines and welding robots
Powder coating facility and painting shop
- Materials: steel, zinc, stainless steel
- Components up to 4,0 m in length
- 2 painting stations
- Use of rainwater for the cleaning station
Wiring robot for electrical components
- Component wiring
- Facility for crimp insulation
- Automatic function and PE conductor test
Fully automated assembly line
- Integrated system: moving the luminaire housing, automatic filling with components, wiring of all electrical units, testing and packaging