everything started in the ballroom
yesterday, a new manufacturing hall of grimm gmbh was presented
oberndorf. 2 years before an automobile supplier entered a race with his vehicle, he already worked at the grimm company in oberndorf: in formula 1 and indy-car series, were needed because of the exceptional strain of high quality requirements on precision hardware, and they were manufactured here. Yesterday, the grimm family presented their new manufacturing hall, and many people went to congratulate them.
"one already needs a kickboard here, in order to get from one end to another&qout;, laughs susanne grimm. it should all be in fun, but one hears an element of conscious elation. the skilled banking business woman arrived at the company in 1997, and today runs it. the mayor and town leaders, town and municipal councils, business partners and friends were informed, whilst touring through the hall, about the building structure, machines, the manufacturing, the heating in the offices, beyond that, how the incoming fresh air is heated by the heat given off by machines, and also beyond that, how the demand for processing-water is satisfied by an enormous rain water cistern.
company founder rudi grimm remembers that in january 1980 he and his wife brigitte had begun their business in a former ballroom of the guesthouse krone. however, the accommodation quickly became too small, and the electricity capacity was not designed for a factory: „for dancing, one only requires considerably less light and electricity“. the demand for products from the grimm company at times when there were large customer orders, made it necessary that work had to carry on into the night, and employees sometimes even had to work on saturdays and sundays. the neighbours were even less chuffed that their televisions flickered when the machines were powered up and took too much electricity from the network, remembers rudi grimm. the federal post could never (luckily!) prove exactly that they were the cause for the disruptions.
in 1984 rudi grimm acquired some land "am wald", and by 1985 the company could move in to the new building. 1997 saw an expansion of the company, and in 2000 „we could surprisingly acquire the land behind our company“. now, one year later, the 20 by 40 hall is finished.
today’s company, rudi grimm GmbH precision hardware/cnc-manufacturing, incidentally one of the first companies to be certified to the new system din en iso 9001 : 2000, is, with the newly created space, also in the position of constructing an area, where trainees trained in chipping technology, can also perform turning and milling. the oberndorfe mayor acker thinks, after having been informed of the precision and thousandth part-millimetre-tolerant measuring devices, he smirks, that in the future, one could “cost-neutrally” attach the obendorf coat-of-arms to the formula 1 vehicles.
„if i wasn’t so enthusiastic about racing sporst, i don’t know if i would have taken over the fatherly business“, says susanne grimm, who has run rudi grimm gmbh/oberndorf for 3 years. the lapidary add-on „cnc-fertigung, präzisionsteile“, seems easily understated. as a supplier for the automoblie industry, the present 27 workers of the company also manufacture the cylinder liners for nearly all formula 1 race teams.
when michael schuhmacher, in his red ferrari, first sees the checkered flag, susanne grimm is not only happy about this victory as a sportsfan. she also knows then that, in the forefront of a grand prix where bets have already been closed, her and her crew have also achieved something.
the formula 1s go without any further quality controls in the motor – and after a race they are already worn. as for the price of a liner, the company remains silent.
the skilled business banking woman and consequently lateral hire in the area of technology apparatus, raves about the special features of a aluminium special alloy manufactured liner that she holds in ther hands, „ in principle, it’s a little work of art“, whose contact surface is coated in a patented layer and is honed in the cross-grinding. the reason for this high technical complexity: in contrast to normal car motors, whose maximal speed range is under 7000 revs per minute, the 10-cylinder-motors in the formula 1 operat with up to 17.000 revs per minute. the accuracy is the differing point of the formula 1. tolerance in thousandth-milimetre area is considered to make it manageable. the expensive measuring equipment and highly-precise machines pummel to the book. the grimm gmbh manufactures not only liners that can be found in the f1 bolides, but also for other racing cars. spare parts for Porsche-oldtimer likewise have abandoned the idyllic outside-of-town located manufacturing sites. likewise the connectors have been built in to the series models of ferrari, lamborghini and maserati sports cars and in offshore jetties, as these different vehicles are all driven by ferrari motors.
the managing partner can rely on her highly-qualified and „unbelievably“ flexible workers for this production, whose number will further increase because the business must grow further too.
oberndorfer grimm gmbh has this certificate.
oberndorf. the iso 9000-norm constitutes a worldwide standard. the implementation of a quality management is checked by 35 authorised certifiers. as also with the technical inspection agency and dqs, 80% of the collective certifiers check companies in the federal republic. the aim, as kay feder, auditor of the deutschen gesellschaft zur zertifizierung von qualitätsmanagementsystemen (dqs), is to make quality criteria in production and assurance transparent through necessary documents. in some businesses, as feder, take a lot of time to make the conversion, and often also serve „to clean up to store“. at grimm gmbh it has taken less time. “the quality criteria were already available“, explains feder.
according to rudi grimm he started the documentation in march of this year. complete lines of business must be recorded, from the machine operators’ work at the machines to that of the directors. this half year has posed particular challenges for the employees and there have even been a few sleepless nights. the employees, however, take pride in working for a company with such a reputation of excellence.
„It is a strategy for the future“, Grimm replied to the question about what advantages he can expect. And he is convinced that, in the future, companies without a certificate will only get a mandate for lower quality work. He sees a further advantage in the opportunity to be able to shop on a worldwide scale thanks to this standard, which is something of great importance for hsi company. The Grimm Company has 25 employees and produces cylinder blocks for engine manufacturers, in particular for racing cars, where the customers rely on absolute precision. In the future, parts from Oberndorf will accompany Michael Schuhmacher on the course, so long as he drives for Ferrari next season.
whether or not a business abides by the noted criteria is, as a general rule, checked once a year by an auditor. furthermore, a company must have an internal audit once a year. at grimm they want to carry out this self-controlling twice a year. continuing, the oberdorfer business meets once a month for a so-called quality meeting, except for markus king, to discuss the quality assurance, and to also listen to the manufacturing leader and management.
„The enormous costs,“ explains Grimm, „are an investment for the future and help to secure jobs”. He reacted without regulation or law – free, with the motto “I am faster than the others”.