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Operational Excellence

Oerlikon recognizes that achieving operational excellence does more than optimize performance: it creates a safer, more productive workplace, contributes to bottom-line value creation and helps shape company transformation. Group-wide, Oerlikon merged its Operational Excellence program (OOE) with Hoshin Kanri principles to define a 5-year strategy designed to strengthen the organization. This proprietary program focuses on optimizing operational performance to achieve sustained world-class status in manufacturing, procurement, health and safety, environment and post-merger integration. In recent years, the program has improved efficiency across Oerlikon’s supply chain, increased productivity in manufacturing processes, raised safety awareness throughout the organization, lowered accident frequency rates and reduced energy consumption and CO2 emissions. Amid the global corona pandemic, OOE exceeded its targets.

World-Class Manufacturing
A highly efficient and economically sound manufacturing operation is key to meeting Oerlikon’s goal of delivering consistently high-quality products and services to its customers. Key highlights in 2020:

  • In response to COVID-19, demand for Oerlikon’s nonwoven solutions meant the company had to deliver systems to customers every two weeks, and OOE provided the flexibility to achieve that target consistently.
  • Online webinars and virtual training were implemented in many facilities to ensure continuation of training and best-practice sharing.

World-Class Supply Chain Management

  • 2020 represented a watershed in the management of complex supply chains across industries. In particular, the disruptions caused by the sudden spread of COVID-19 tested the reliability and the resilience of even the most established supply chains.
  • Oerlikon’s Supply Chain Management organization responded to this challenge and succeeded in ensuring no disruptions in the supply chain, continued operations and delivery to customers. 
  • Establishment of a COVID-19 taskforce to define strategies for medium- and long-term emergency scenarios, with a focus on supplier risk mitigation.
  • An ever-growing focus on digitalization through strengthening e-procurement plans across the business, improving performance, cost-efficiency and transparency.
  • Renewed momentum for the supplier quality and risk mitigation initiatives, which effectively and adequately reviewed and evaluated Oerlikon’s strategic suppliers. 

To minimize Oerlikon’s CO2 emissions and reduce operating costs, the company has continuously implemented initiatives to increase energy efficiency and reduce usage. From the use of LED lighting to the operation of pumps for heat recovery to reduce the amount of fossil fuel required to heat service water, the company consistently finds and exploits the synergies between operating efficiencies and environmental objectives.

Oerlikon’s 2030 environmental targets include using energy derived exclusively from renewable resources and making 100% of the company’s operations climate neutral. Toward that goal, in 2020, the company achieved a reduction in energy use of 5% from 2019 levels.

Most sites in Germany have ISO 50001-certified energy management systems, and the use of renewable energy sources are being explored, such as installing solar panels at the Vadodara site in India to generate 50% of the annual energy consumed.

For further details on the company’s operational, supply chain and environment initiatives and targets, see Oerlikon’s 2020 Sustainability Report at


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