“LEAN is my passion” – An interview with Plant Manager Bernd Kayser

Standstill is a step back – this applies to production in particular. This is why, over the past five years, Berghof Membranes has invested heavily in bringing the production process at our factory in Eningen, Germany, to the next level in order to further optimize delivery times and quality for our customers. This definitely is a new milestone of our “Berghof Operational Excellence Lean” philosophy. This philosophy is a process that never stops: We work continuously to further develop and improve ourselves, our manufacturing process, and our products. This all with the goal to exceed customer needs and ensure a satisfied end-user.

 

We could not have found a better match

The key to success has been the implementation and rollout of a sophisticated LEAN production management system led by former Head of Manufacturing Joerg Schlaier. But this is by far not all: Last year, in an area of around 1,000 square meters, we have created, based on that system, a highly modern production area designed for optimum flow and the shortest possible walking distances, in which numerous new technologies and machines are used. The results are already impressive. Next up is the installation of new product lines. We are therefore very pleased that with the appointment of Bernd Kayser, an absolute LEAN expert and passionate production professional, we have found the right man to continue and refine the precious work of Joerg in order to stay ahead of the wave in the membranes business.

Ever since Bernd has had a great passion for technology and the manufacturing industry. This is why, after successfully completing his education as a Mechanical Engineer, Bernd started his career as a production technician in the automotive industry, gaining a lot of production experience over the years, e.g. in working within various business units of the Daimler concern. Over the years of working for the automotive industry and later for a leading European brand in the field of hard flooring for hospitals, schools, and retail chains, improving production processes has become more and more his passion. This is why Bernd has been dealing with LEAN management issues for a long period of time – and later decided to specialize as a LEAN Master Engineer. This turned out to be a hit: “Taking the Lean Management training and specializing in this method is the best decision that I ever made – LEAN is my passion”, Bernd takes a look back to one of the most important decisions in his career. For several years he did nothing but develop his enthusiasm for improving the production process, giving LEAN workshops, and doing internal audits. So today Bernd not only has a great drive for technology and the manufacturing industry, but also for everything related to the LEAN philosophy.

Get better and better each day

Therefore it is no wonder that he is really happy to be part of the Berghof Membranes team now, where he is able to indulge all these passions in his new role as Plant Manager in Eningen. “Berghof Membranes is in perfect condition and I see a very skilled and motivated team. So we have to set the bar really high to improve even more – and this exactly is my mission: continuous improvement and never rest on our laurels. This is why I am really enthusiastic about our ‘Berghof Operational Excellence Lean’ philosophy and will live up to this philosophy every single day with all my energy and passion”, Bernd is looking forward.

Impression of our new production facility

Our new production facility which was build in 2021 is designed fully according to the lean principles. Ensuring minimal waste, maximum efficiency and delivering the maximum customer value.

This is not only related to machines and technology from his point of view: “I am a people person, I love people. People are the greatest asset and with my experience, I know when people are in the right position, or how I can help a person to develop so that he is capable of perfectly doing the job. It is really in my heart to manage, help and develop people and to make them enthusiastic about LEAN management, creating that certain LEAN spirit of aiming to get better every single day. I am a huge fan of the Plan, Do, Check, Act cycle. I will also use this model at Berghof Membranes to improve our work, performance, and organization step by step to raise it to an even higher level than it is today”.

And this is why one of Bernd’s favorite sayings is, appropriate with his Swabian home province: Don’t chat, just do it.

Besides LEAN and everything related to it, Bernd has a great passion for his family. Outside working hours he is a real family man and spends a lot of time and attention on his daughters (twins) and wife. In addition, gardening is a hobby, a moment to relax after an intensive working day. We see LEAN as not the only thread within Bernd’s professional career, he’s very active and fanatical in sports in order to stay ‘lean’ and physically strong. For example, he regularly goes to the gym or is rowing at home on a rowing machine.

 

Bernd Kayser Berghof Membranes

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