(from left to right) Axel Beck (Group President), Manfred Kohler (Vice President Equipment), Silvio Koch (Vice President Service), Ralf Grundheber (Industry/Trade Promotion office), Elke Vollmer (Marketing & Communication, HOBART), Hans-Joachim Fomferra (Industry / Trade Promotion Office), Erich Spinner (1st Deputy of the Municipal Administrator of Elgersweier), Marco Steffens (Mayor of the City of Offenburg).
Offenburg – Marco Steffens, Mayor of the City of Offenburg, recently visited the commercial warewashing specialist HOBART at their innovation and production site in Elgersweier. He was accompanied by Hans-Joachim Fomferra and Ralf Grundheber (both of them industry and trade promotion office) and Erich Spinner (1st deputy of the municipal administrator of Elgersweier). The guests met with the HOBART Management Axel Beck (Group President), Silvio Koch (Vice President Service) and Manfred Kohler (Vice President Equipment) to discuss topics such as Hobart’s strategy and objectives on digitalization and artificial intelligence, future product innovation, as well as issues around shortage of skilled labor. An extensive tour of the plant provided interesting insights into the modern shop floor and new products of the Offenburg-based company.
"To be best prepared for the economic, technical and also digital challenges, it is important to continuously pay attention to future trends and future needs of our customers. And this is our target: Looking ahead, looking beyond our own nose, being a visionary,” said Axel Beck. The digitalization would increasingly change current business models and our way to work. Humans and robots would successively work hand in hand in the kitchen, the Group President Global Warewash predicted.
At the recent Food Service Consultant event, HOBART gave an outlook into tomorrow's commercial kitchens Topics such as automation, machine web-connectivity, artificial intelligence and the future of warewashing had already been in the focus of the two-day industry summit "MEETING POINT FUTURE 2019" hosted by HOBART in mid-May. Around 250 Food Service Consultants and Food Service Dealers from Germany, other European countries, the Middle and Far East and Australia had come to Offenburg to be inspired by innovative concepts and solutions for commercial kitchens.
A strong regional employer HOBART is a member of the ITW corporation, Illinois Tool Works, and belongs to its business sector 'Food Equipment Group' with a global turnover of 2 billion Euros. HOBART is not only one of the best-known and strongest ITW brands but also one of the most successful employers in the Ortenau district. The world market leader for commercial warewashing has been manufacturing its dishwashers in Offenburg since 1960, today employing a staff of around 1,100 in Germany. "Despite of the shortage of skilled labor in Germany, we have been able to attract the adequate staff, required to support our growth course. We are confident to continue growing our business and workforce in view of our 12,000 square meter plant expansion," reports Beck. He relies on the company's appeal as a stable industrial employer which provides attractive terms and conditions, such as flexible working hours and annual employee bonus payments, which the workforce has been able to enjoy for many years.
During his visit at the building site, Mayor Marco Steffens could see for himself that the construction work of the new factory is at full swing. The hall columns, supporting structure and precast concrete elements of the office and social building have been largely completed. The next step is to erect the steel cladding and roof the building.
Innovative power as a guarantee for success HOBART is considered a leading innovator in the industry, and has produced approximately 37,000 machines in the past year. The manufacturer of warewashing, cooking and food preparation technology has over 100 patents for the premium line PREMAX alone. "Innovation is a key factor in our success. We strongly focus ourselves towards the requirements and needs of our customers so that we can deliver real added value for their daily work," says Axel Beck.