Idea Management

Ideas Submitted by WACKER Employees

Ideas Submitted by WACKER EmployeesIdeas Submitted by WACKER Employees

The ideas submitted by its employees help WACKER to do things better and stay competitive. The number of improvements suggested by our employees fell in 2014 for the first time after four uninterrupted years of increases. In total, we received 7,672 ideas (2013: 9,159), roughly 16 percent less than in the previous year. The participation rate (number of submitters per 100 employees) fell slightly to 30 percent (2013: 32 percent). The calculable benefit rose to €8.3 million (2013: €7.7 million).

Since 2007, WACKER has been examining improvement suggestions to see whether they could be applied to other areas, too. This so-called multiple usage has increased greatly since its introduction. In 2014, it accounted for some additional €500,000 in savings. Over the years, the total initial benefit amounted to €3.0 million; multiple usage generated a further €3.3 million.

Since 1975, WACKER employees have submitted around 130,000 improvement suggestions. Over half of these – 71,000 suggestions – have been implemented, leading to company savings of €133 million. Submitters have received a total of €30 million in bonuses. In the regular sector-wide comparison, WACKER ranks among the best with respect to the number of ideas, their benefits and the premium paid per employee.

To maximize the benefits from ideas, WACKER has interlinked the Employee Suggestion Program, the Wacker Operating System (WOS) and Innovation Management.

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Chains Instead of Toothed Belts

Hans-Jürgen Geyer - Chains instead of Toothed Belts (Foto)

While once again repairing an alkaline etching facility, Siltronic employee Hans-Jürgen Geyer had a brilliant idea: why not replace the facility’s vulnerable points, its toothed belts, with chains? Toothed belts had previously made it possible to transfer silicon wafers to and from several process baths in a matter of seconds. However, with time, the belts succumbed to the highly alkaline vapors in the facility – they became brittle and frequently needed to be replaced. The repair work created high costs, which were further augmented by the associated production outage. Since the toothed belts have been replaced with robust chains, the facility has been running smoothly. Geyer’s idea has provided Siltronic with an economic benefit in the five-digit euro range and earned him a bonus in recognition.