Automation Applied - An article from TopTirol
You can't do without it - At medical technology specialist Leonhard Lang, more and more is being automated. Corresponding measures are intended to relieve staff and safeguard production.
Automation has been gradually advanced at Leonhard Lang for several years. One of many positive developments wihtin the company, as its CTO Daniel Fischer explains:
"Fortunately, our growth is so good that we simply cannot handle our demand with personnel alone. That's why technical support is not really an option for us, it's downright a necessity if we're to continue growing in the future."
The Innsbruck-based company specializes in disposable electrodes and sensor systems for the medical sector. Depending on the brand, it produces up to several hundred million pieces of certain articles annually, for which the same work steps are sometimes necessary over and over again. And according to Fischer, this is precisely where the automation lever comes into play: "We want to have simple processes that are constantly repeated done by machines instead of our employees, so that the latter are free for more complex activities."
However, automating labor-intensive production lines in this way not only serves to reduce the workload of employees, but is also a basic prerequisite for being able to produce constant quantities and thus meet the (steadily increasing) demand for the products offered at the Tyrol location.
Modular and flexible
However, according to Fischer, (complete) automation does not make sense everywhere - especially since too high a degree can also lead to forcing oneself into a corset and restricting oneself too much: "The whole thing has to be structured in such a way that you are not hindered in your own flexibility. That's why we rely on intelligent or modular automation that only includes certain substeps."
This offers the advantage of being able to adapt processes more easily if necessary and consequently to adjust more quickly to any product changes. Based on these considerations, Leonhard Lang pays close attention to which processes are really suitable for partial or complete automation - and which are not.
In the future, the company wants to increasingly expand automation to make production more scalable and thus position itself for further growth. This also involves upstream and downstream processes such as packaging. According to Fischer, however, one thing is clear in any case: "Without automation, it will certainly not work in the future."
The company in figures
- Founded in 1873, in medical technology since 1983
- Around 430 employees
- over 750 million electrodes sold in 2021
- Around 54 million euros in sales in 2021
About Daniel Fischer
Daniel Fischer has been CTO at Leonhard Lang since 2021 and as such is responsible for the entire innovation and technology management area. Together with his team, he is systematically expanding automation in the company.
At Leonhard Lang, automation creates new jobs: Because of the increased demand for corresponding machines, there is also an increasing need for technically trained specialists to operate and maintain them.