Lean Production at Capron for Belarusian Managers

Young entrepreneurs and executives from Belarus visited the state capital of Saxony to find business contacts here as part of their BMWi Manager Training Programme. Their prospects were good, because Belarus is especially interesting for export-oriented German businesses due to its role as a transit country and member state of the Eurasian Customs Union. Of all the German companies that were visited in the group programme, Capron GmbH received special attention. The managers from Belarus observed best practice in lean production at this Saxon automobile parts producer: the different motorhome and caravan models are created here on two independent production lines; the components – the exterior shell, insulation, and interior panelling – are created in the company’s own “sandwich” production processes. Interior panelling elements are produced by in-house furniture manufacturing. The participants also gained insight into the purchasing practices and special logistics plans at Capron GmbH. They were especially honored by being able to share experiences with executive management, enabling them to fully experience the details of the characteristics that constitute a best-practice business. Capron GmbH is not only exemplary when it comes to lean production. They also have taken up the cause of corporate social responsibility (CSR) – to successfully improve motivation and productivity amongst their staff.

Transfer of know-how and inspiration was also the primary reason behind the visit to the Hannover Trade Fair. The participants from Belarus described the experience as time travel to the future: “The Hannover Trade Fair was impressive in and of itself due to its size, but what we were able to see there was nothing less than to experience the future: For example, we could watch demonstrations of developments involving cooperation between humans and robots – without any interfacing safety zone. It was also possible to see developments in production steering through the use of decentralized AI systems, and much more. In a nutshell, we now have an idea of what direction the industry is headed in the next 15-20 years”, noted Viktoria Yakubchyk from OOO ERICPOL Brest.

After completing their four-week stay in Germany, the participants were more than satisfied and inspired. Million-euro deals had been planned, and everyone was pleased about the mutual exchange of experience, which had been set on a sustainable course and offered prospects for a successful future. This group represented a highlight in terms of sustainability for the NBL education center in a very particular way: for the first time the “next generation” – namely, the daughter of an entrepreneur who had long ago been to the NBL as part of the MP – participated in the programme. And who knows? Maybe the grandchildren of today’s MP graduates will be coming to Dresden to attend the training programme when it is their turn.

ARGE Consortium of New German States, Dresden www.argenbl-academy.de/bmwi.html