JE: With the sale to the Schug Group, the insolvency administrators and the board of creditors have ultimately chosen a solution spearheaded by a medium-sized enterprise, that’s the best thing that could happen to Lingl. The entrepreneurial family Schug, with Hubert Schug at its head, has already been involved, for instance, for years now with the machine engineering company Lippert, which also manufactures machinery for the ceramic industry. It has been mid-market entrepreneurs from the industry rather than financial investors who have therefore saved Lingl. This decision alone has already restored a lot of lost confidence.
“Our customers can depend on Lingl!”
HS: Let me just put in a quick word here as it is very important to me. The Schugs are not “locusts”, we are entrepreneurs who think in the long term! For this reason, I am not just a shareholder myself, my two sons also hold a stake in the company and are therefore equally interested in Lingl’s long-term health as a company. The Schug family is currently the face of the company, looking outwards towards customers, suppliers and financial institutes, to rebuild lost trust. The message is clear: our customers can again depend absolutely and completely on Lingl. For this, we shall lay the necessary foundations internally. That means, we’re investing long-term in processes that really work!
JE: In future, we shall concentrate on research and development, planning and design as well as purchasing and assembly. We shall be awarding contracts for the actual manufacturing to partners. That doesn’t mean that we are getting out of inhouse manufacturing altogether, after all, of course, we want to safeguard our own know-how. But manufacturing will in future only be done in-house when we actually earn money with it. In the near term, we shall build up new supplier relationships, and therefore new trust in long-term cooperation, from which everyone will profit.
“We’re creating the digital twin!”
HS: Digitalization is the magic word! We are committing to robotics, digital simulation, and investing in process analysis in the run-up to project planning. Our goal: Working together with our customers and suppliers to create the digital twin! The brickworks customer puts on a VR headset and can already see the finished plant before even a single screw has been picked up. We are expecting great competitive advantages for Lingl, too. At Lippert we have already had very good experience with this.
WH: Right you are. With the creation of the digital twin in the planning process, we can optimize design, manufacturing and installation so that downtime at the customers’ operations can be either avoided completely or minimized. At Lippert, our digital simulations now match reality by 98 %. This way, we give our customers, that is brick and tile manufacturers, a high degree of dependability.
KL: Very well! Feedback from the market is all positive, and we are landing new orders again. The process of resource optimization is already reaping benefits. Our customers are again trusting in our capability to reliably meet their needs and solve their problems. And ultimately, that’s what counts. In our SME-dominated industry in which everyone basically knows everyone else, that is extremely important. Only in this way can we survive in the fierce competition.
“Digitalization of the planning and development processes”
KL: There is no simple answer to that. Plant engineering solutions depend on a number of factors, including the portfolio of the clay brick manufacturer, but also on regional circumstances.