Vibracoustic masters effective resource management

From the June 2012 issue.

Germany's Vibracoustic, is utilising its automotive know-how to create a new air spring solution for commercial vehicles.

Situated in the picturesque township of Weinheim north of Heidelberg, Vibracoustic has gained international renown as a specialist in vibration control technology for the automotive industry. But, it is the company’s ability to translate that knowledge into the commercial vehicle sector that has made it become a truly global contestant.

“Although we can draw on half a century of experience, we see ourselves as a young, innovative company that can come up with a game-changing idea at any time,” says Thomas Engel, Executive Vice President of Vibracoustic’s air spring division in Hamburg. “Our philosophy is simple – we want to deliver zero-defect quality and convincing efficiency at the same time. To achieve that goal, we try to apply our automobile know-how to the commercial vehicle sector, hence creating equipment that the market has never seen before.”

Regardless of the application – automobile or commercial transport – product development is driven by the OEM sector, whose ‘more-for-less’ attitude has been intensified by the recent economical crisis and the extreme volatility that once again plagued commodity markets in 2011. As a result, the equipment industry is under pressure to be as cost-efficient as possible without loosing the competitive edge – a balancing act only few have mastered.

One such tightrope artist is Vibracoustic. Cultivating a global information network, the company can tap the combined know-how of 29 branches around the globe. “Regardless of the application, the price-performance ration plays an important role. Every product must suit a specific application and meet a tight budget at the same time; so we need to tap all the know-how we have at hand,” says Engel. “In that sense, a global network can provide a distinct cost advantage in development, production and sales, but also fuel overall creativity.

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