Who does not sometimes dream of starting over and doing things differently? Marcel P. Hofsaess and his Thermik Gerätebau GmbH actually had the chance to do so. When this company relocated four years ago from Pforzheim to Sondershausen in Thuringia, the cards had been reshuffled and many organizational innovation obstacles had been removed. The result: The number of patents tripled.
This electronics specialist develops, constructs and sells temperature cut-outs and sensors for protection against overheating by electrical appliances. Its innovation success is anchored in improved organization of innovation processes. After the re-establishment of the company things did not stay as they always had, but processes and procedures were questioned and looked at from a perspective detached from the past. The new and experienced employees inspired each other. The newly created structures helped this world market leader obtain significantly more patents and enabled it to respond more efficiently to customer enquiries.
Our developments are not guided by the present, but by the challenges of the future.
Marcel P. Hofsaess,
A clever mix of foundational research and customer-specific development constitutes the basis of this. This interaction is coordinated by the Research and Development department, which employs a staff of more than 10. Electrical engineers, mechatronics engineers, electronics engineers, draftsmen, tool makers and mechanical engineers work together on new solutions. “In our industry we have by far the largest Development department”, CEO Hofsaess reports. The foundational researchers at his company are continuously working on the improvement of the existing systems, independent of specific customer orders. This creates a basis which enables the highly efficient development of specific products.
And that is also necessary, as the electrical appliances being protected such as electrical motors or high-pressure cleaners are becoming more and more efficient; the temperature cut-out should use up as little space as possible. “For us this means that we need to continuously optimize our products, especially materials application and performance,” says Hofsaess, whose company owns over 900 national and international intellectual property rights- that is to say – patents en masse.