On Thursday afternoon, 9 January 2020, the Minister of Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitalization and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart, took time out to visit an interesting company in the Münsterland region. Jüke Systemtechnik has won the first Innovation Award for Crafts. “We were able to assert ourselves against the competition in the “Technological Innovations” category with the “CHRONECT Quantos” project, an automated system for environmental analysis, food control, drug development, drug analysis and for handling toxic or expensive substances in the laboratory,” reports Heinrich Jürgens, owner and managing director of Jüke Systemtechnik from Altenberge. The award ceremony in November 2019 by Minister Pinkwart aroused the Minister of Economic Affairs’ interest in Jüke, and so the visit to Altenberge was arranged. Mrs. Christina Schulze Föcking, Member of State-Parliament responsible for the Steinfurt, also took part in the visit.
Jüke is known for innovative products and processes in medical technology as well as analysis and laboratory technology, which are developed and produced on customer order. “In this way we make our customers fit for the future and give them a competitive advantage in the market”, Martin Hovestadt, also owner and managing director of Jüke, outlines the clear objective in the implementation of customer projects and cornerstone of Jüke’s business concept.
During the visit to Jüke, current topics were discussed with Minister Pinkwart, which currently have a strong influence on business activities. Such as the recruitment of skilled personnel, for example. In many cases this is a challenge for small and medium-sized companies, especially in rural areas. As a high-tech company, Jüke must have good solution concepts for the recruitment of young people for training and must be attractive for both young and experienced engineers and scientists for the development department. Cooperation with schools in the region, close collaboration with universities and research institutions and involvement in networks have so far proved to be success factors in the recruitment of personnel. A second aspect in the area of employees is the high level of loyalty to the company. “Satisfaction, attractive jobs, interesting, challenging and varied tasks and the flat hierarchy are precisely the factors that our employees value. There is therefore very little fluctuation”, explains Heinrich Jürgens to the Minister.
As the Ministry is responsible for digitization and digitalization, Minister Pinkwart was interested in the approaches and the degree of implementation at Jüke. “In order to be able to handle complex orders for customers from the medical technology and analysis and laboratory technology sectors according to today’s standards at all, a high degree of digitalization of processes and a consistently networked software system are required.”, Martin Hovestadt made clear. Using a so-called networking plan, process steps and the software used were discussed. “A software landscape structured in this way, the approaches chosen, as well as the status of implementation and employee training, are exemplary for a medium-sized company of this size.”, emphasizes Minister Pinkwart.
The ability to be innovative is particularly trend-setting for technology-oriented medium-sized companies. One of the approaches that has been tried and tested at Jüke for years is the cooperation with universities and partner companies in funded projects. “The research content in such projects keeps us at the cutting edge of technology and lead us to new scientific findings that we need when working on customer projects.”, says Dominik Fockenbrock, Head of Development at Jüke, describing the motivation. Advice on funding in the set-up phase and support in finding the right cooperation partners are then services that institutions such as ZENIT offer with state support. Financial support reduces the risk of the research partners and boosts the innovative ability of companies. Minister Pinkwart saw the support provided by the state in the form of suitable funding programs and measures. It is important to keep administrative costs as low as possible. “On average, Jüke works on 2-3 funded projects in different fields of medical or laboratory technology at the same time.”, said Dominik Fockenbrock.
During their tour through the company, Minister Pinkwart and Schulze Föcking experienced a committed team in production, assembly, logistics and development and an open atmosphere throughout the company. The politicians got to know the Chilean exchange student Analuisa Pérez, who is completing a several-month internship at the University of Applied Sciences at Münster, had the opportunity to talk to the employees and were able to experience live how digitalization is affecting even individual workplaces and making processes faster, more transparent, and more secure. They were also able to talk to Sophie Freermann, who won first place in the national competition for apprentices in systems electronics in the fall of 2019.
In the final discussion, other topics such as internationalization and access to the Chinese medical technology market, special support opportunities from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and also growth strategies for medium-sized family businesses were discussed in greater depth. And it was agreed to stay in touch and to maintain intensive contact. The next opportunity to do so will be in September to celebrate Jüke’s 30th anniversary. On the anniversary, the entire team will visit the state parliament in Düsseldorf and meet the two politicians again there at the latest.
Picture rights: Jüke Systemtechnik GmbH
Dr. Stephan Hüwel
Haed of Sales and Marketing
Phone: +49 2505-87745