Family business for more than 70 years
As a family business, the values of Lenze’s founders and owners provide a foundation for investing in future generations. A pioneering spirit, commitment and courage have been ever-present in our company since it was founded in 1947. Today, in an age of digitalisation and constant change, these qualities are more in demand than ever before, and they fit well with our traditional values such as honesty, respect and appreciation.
Long-term thinking and action are part of our philosophy. We take responsibility not only for our company and its business partners, our products and the solutions we develop for our customers, but also for our employees and their families, the environment and society. We know where we come from, and we are represented in more than 60 countries spanning every continent. We are aware of our roots and open to new ideas. We use this as both a foundation and pathway to develop innovative products and solutions.
What a company stands for and how it behaves towards its customers, employees and society is now an important factor for decision-makers who want to make contact or interact with a company. As a result, good sustainable corporate governance is a major competitive factor. In addition to the quality and reliability of its products and services, a company's reputation also depends largely on the conduct of its representatives. Amid increasingly stringent legislation in many countries and a stronger social focus on compliance, non-compliant practices can quickly threaten the viability of a company. That is why the Lenze Group believes compliance is a cornerstone of good corporate governance based on ethics, reliability, trustworthiness and honesty, to name just a few key priorities. This means much more than just complying with rules and regulations. For us, compliance is a question of attitude. As we are convinced that compliance is an essential factor in ensuring the Company’s long-term success, it is always right at the top of our agenda.
At the end of the financial year, around 3,700 staff were employed at Lenze, most of them based at the principal sites in Hameln, Lower Saxony, and Extertal, North Rhine-Westphalia. As a result, Lenze is a major employer both in its home region and far beyond. Asia and the USA are markets in which Lenze is growing – including in terms of staff numbers. With our 2020+ strategy, we have paved the way for sustainability and further growth. This creates new prospects for young people and those who want to join us on our journey into the exciting era of Industry 4.0.
The Mechatronic Competence Campus (MCC) will open its doors at the Extertal site in mid-2020, with a focus on interdisciplinary cooperation. A state-of-the-art factory with an automated high-bay warehouse and a new logistics building is being built. Streamlined value-added processes, short coordination channels, transparent processes and space for creative ideas give an impression of what work will look like at Lenze in the future. We are investing approximately €35 million in this project – the largest investment in the history of the Company – to ensure our competitiveness and provide a foundation for future growth.
The new Mechatronic Competence Campus will enable us to achieve close cooperation across departmental boundaries, transparent processes, space for creative ideas, and short development and production times.
As an industrial company, the quality of our products and production processes is of paramount importance. For us, it is just as vital that we take responsibility for the environment when making our products. We are continuously reducing energy consumption, waste, emissions and water pollution. Of course, Lenze’s environmental policy also includes compliance with environmental regulations.
Industry consumes around half of the electrical energy produced today, with two-thirds of this energy used by electric drives alone. We see tremendous potential here for continuously improving energy efficiency. Consumption can be reduced by up to 20% by intelligent options such as Lenze BlueGreen Solutions, which saves resources while keeping productivity constant.
Even when developing our products, we try to be as energy and resource-efficient as possible. This is not just due to the eco-design requirements governing electric drive systems. We also see the potential to save material, produce more cheaply and enable our customers to reduce energy consumption and lower costs. For example, we succeeded in significantly reducing the wall thickness of gearboxes. We have removed products from our range that no longer meet efficiency requirements, such as worm gearboxes, making us a role model for the industry.
Lenze uses environmentally friendly enamelled copper wire in its motor production.
By using high-solid paints Lenze has been able to significantly reduce both the drying temperatures and the amount of solvents used.
We establish annual environmental programmes and set goals aimed at improving energy efficiency. Our internal standards are high. Every year we review our commitment and continually reassess whether we are meeting the standards we have set ourselves. Six of our eight plants have now been certified in accordance with the international ISO 14001 environmental standard.
Our intelligent drive systems are our contribution to achieving the Paris climate protection goals, as selecting the right drive system can deliver significant savings. Our Drive Solution Designer dimensioning software includes an integrated Energy Performance Certificate to present energy consumption and potential savings in an easy-to-understand way. This can also be used to determine how long it takes to amortise a drive solution investment.
Environmental notice boards in every department ensure that employees are sensitised to environmental issues.
Lenze takes responsibility for its employees, and also for the region and the environment.
One of our strategic goals, derived from the German government’s climate protection plan, is to see a 20% reduction in our energy costs by 2020. To achieve this, we have been carrying out the Lenze Energy Offensive (LEO) for a number of years. Many projects are helping us to come ever closer to our goal. For example, Lenze is taking part in an initiative by the Ostwestfalen-Lippe Chamber of Industry and Commerce that trains apprentices to be aware of energy and resource efficiency issues. As ‘energy scouts’, they then look for ways of saving energy within the Company, which we review and implement wherever possible. As an example, the energy scouts have scrutinised systems that use compressed air, making a major contribution to energy efficiency at Lenze in the process.
At the annual Future Day, schoolchildren visit Lenze’s headquarters in Hameln to learn about processes such as the disassembly of old electronic devices. This opens their eyes to issues such as the use of resources and electronic scrap. Our employees also receive regular bulletins on environmental protection and energy saving. Environmental boards with relevant news are displayed in each department as part of LEAN management, while shop-floor meetings include monthly five-minute environmental briefings. Environmental topics are also a regular feature on the Intranet and in the “transmission” employee magazine.
Lenze is involved in various external specialist committees and initiatives where we can share our environmental knowledge and experience. As a member of the Energy Efficiency Network of the German Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VDMA), we are working on drive design standards and the EU’s latest Circular Economy Package with the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association (ZVEI). We are also a member of the Lower Saxony Sustainability Alliance and North Rhine-Westphalia’s KlimaExpo industry initiative. We received an award for the results of a joint project with Ostwestfalen-Lippe University of Applied Sciences and the Industrial Automation Branch of the Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploration (Fraunhofer IOSB-INA) for developing and testing energy-saving drive and control technology for logistics centres.
In May 2018, we took our environmental protection efforts to a new level with our bee project. Three bee colonies, each comprising around 50,000 bees, were established in the grounds of the Hameln site, thus broadening Lenze’s environmental programme to include species conservation. At the same time, the bees are doing their part to maintain an ecological balance by pollinating wild plants. This initiative is just the first step in our efforts to develop increasingly sustainable infrastructures and business processes in line with both national sustainability strategies and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Lenze plans to replicate the bee project at other sites in different countries in the future.
Lenze’s Energy Scouts are apprentices who are tasked with discovering potential for saving energy in company departments and, where possible, implementing solutions – for Lenze and for the protection of the environment.
The company headquarters are in Gross Berkel, near Hameln. It is from here that Lenze directs its activities in 60 countries and in every continent.