Succeeding together

Körber Brazil has an outstanding work culture. That’s good, because innovation for customers and markets requires committed employees who are keen to promote it.

The Körber Business Area Tissue in Brazil is growing: The new production hall covers an area of 2,800 square meters. “Now we’ve got room for two more production lines,” says Dineo Silverio as he gazes with satisfaction at tidy rows of machine components that are ready for assembly. Silverio is the President of Körber in Brazil, which is located in the city of Joinville, about 500 kilometers south of São Paulo. A new production line for folded paper napkins — the first of its kind in South America — will also be built in this hall.

Portrait photo of Dineo Silverio, President of Fabio Perini Brazil
Dineo Silverio, President, Körber Brazil.

The Körber Business Area Tissue, which has its headquarters in Lucca, Italy, builds machines for the production of toilet paper and paper towels. The company’s location in Brazil supplies the entire continent of South America from its factory in Joinville. Now production lines for folded paper will expand the product range of the Körber in the Brazilian market. “South Americans are using more and more paper napkins, for example,” Silverio explains. Thanks to the new production hall, which has increased the production area by more than a third, Körber in Brazil is optimally set up for this trend. “We’re prepared,” he says.

lSouth Americans are using more and more paper napkins. We’re prepared. r

Dineo Silverio, President, Körber Brazil

This is the mindset that makes Körber stand out. It anticipates future developments and addresses them early on in order to provide customers with the right added value. Boosting efficiency in production: Above all, Körber is creating a work environment in which employees can fully develop their creativity and commitment for the benefit of the customers.

Avoiding errors, reducing costs

About 180 employees work in Joinville. The factory halls are large and bright. Daylight streams through the skylights. Gilberto Arndt, the assembly process coordinator, points to two hydraulic cylinders that are used to lift the enormous paper feed rollers. “We developed them together with a Brazilian supplier,” he says. About 60 percent of the components installed here were produced in Brazil — most of them by manufacturers located around Joinville, Brazil’s fourth-largest industrial center. That results in cost savings of 25 to 40 percent per component and avoids delays due to customs. “We’re always on the lookout for ways to become more efficient,” says Arndt.

Digital Tissue is part of the digital offensive of Körber, which is taking it in the direction of the smart factory. In Joinville, many digitization projects are in the preparation stage or have already begun. They also include the Material Tracking System and Skynet, which are designed to ensure that each work material is lying in exactly the right place. These systems also make it possible to check the production status of every machine in real time, so that additional components for the assembly process can be ordered promptly. At their work stations, the assembly workers can see on their tablets which components have already been delivered, and can plan their work accordingly. In the past, they spent 15 percent of their working time searching for information. This time has now been freed up for production.

Photo of the factory of Fabio Perini in Joinville, Brazil
The name says it all: The painted green path that leads through the factory in Joinville is called the ­Avenue of Constant Improvement.
Photo of a Fabio Perini employee who controls a roll of paper
0.7 percent is the rate of staff turnover at Körber in Brazil. In comparable Brazilian companies, the rate is three percent.

The key to the success of these digital efficiency projects are the people. As the employees walk through the factory, they use a painted green path that’s known as the Avenue of Constant Improvement. Employees like Gilberto Arndt are motivated by the goal of becoming ever better. There’s a good reason for their strong motivation, which often generates ideas for innovations: The employees enjoy working here and identify themselves with the Körber Business Area Tissue. “We’re growing together, and we’re a strong team,” they say. In early 2019, Körber in Brazil was honored for the third time in a row with the “Great Place to Work” award of the certifier of the same name. In the survey, the employees had anonymously expressed their opinions about aspects such as the company’s working atmosphere and leadership style. They gave the plant a very positive evaluation of 86 percent. This satisfaction is also expressed by the low rate of staff turnover. In comparable companies it’s three percent, but at Körber in Brazil it’s only 0.7 percent.

Portrait photo of Silvana Dallacqua, Head of Human Resources, Fabio Perini Brazil
Silvana Dallacqua, Head of Human Resources, Körber Brazil.

Everyone bears responsibility

The positive working atmosphere is based on many factors. “We’re guided by the 5S philosophy, which originated in Japan,” explains the Head of Human Resources, Silvana Dallacqua. The five pillars of this philosophy are: Sort, Set in order, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain. The assembly workstations in the factory are uniformly organized. They are brightly lit, clearly organized, and safe. No tools or cables are lying around. Shavings that have sifted down from a milling bench are swept up right away. “Everyone takes on responsibility for pleasant cooperation and a productive daily work routine,” says Dallacqua.

lOur employees feel that they’re important. That motivates them to keep getting better.r

Silvana Dallacqua, Head of Human Resources, Körber Brazil

Equally important is the employees’ continuing professional development. Every year, several employees from various units such as assembly, project planning, administration or sales spend up to four weeks at the company headquarters in Italy in order to learn new techniques and working methods. It’s an enjoyable trip for the employees — and at the same time it helps the company to standardize its production methods. “In order to continuously improve our efficiency and come up with new innovations, we need people who are well-qualified and highly motivated,” says Dallacqua. Small details also strengthen the sense of belonging in the workplace: fresh fruit provided daily, weekly fitness sessions, a running group, an air-conditioned breakroom with pool tables, and high-quality food in the canteen. “Our employees feel that they’re important,” says Dallacqua. “That motivates them to keep getting better.” And that benefits the employees, their employer, and ultimately the customers. It’s a win-win-win situation.


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