Kai Robert Klingenberg
Kai Robert KlingenbergHead of Production System


When did you join KERN-LIEBERS and what in particular do you like about KERN-LIEBERS?

Kai Robert Klingenberg

I started in January 2015 as head of the KERN-LIEBERS Production System (KLPS). What I particularly like is the international focus, in combination with the structures of a medium-sized family-run business. Our strength is rooted in our technological leadership in the development and manufacture of sophisticated components, springs and assemblies. With the KLPS, we will continue to expand on the basis of increased flexibility and the pursuit of operational excellence in production and the competitiveness of the group.



Did you have previous experience in the area of production systems?

Kai Robert Klingenberg

After completing my studies in mechanical engineering at Braunschweig University of Technology, I worked in industrial engineering in the European and international automotive supplier sector. So I know something about the apparent contradiction between technology and cost leadership. In my work with my previous employer, I was also involved in managing the introduction of a production system, with the focus on adapting process development, factory planning and the planning and implementation of production systems to new requirements.



What are the benefits of the KLPS for our customers?

Kai Robert Klingenberg

The most important benefit is the consistent alignment of all production processes to customer requirements. The automotive industry is an important market segment for KERN-LIEBERS and is moving into a period of enormous change. We need to understand this change in the market and the demands of customers and meet the new requirements. These include zero-defect quality and the processing of innovative materials and new products. Both the volume and variant flexibility of production and an improved ability of the company to learn and adapt are equally necessary.



What is the biggest challenge you face in the implementation of the KLPS?

Kai Robert Klingenberg

The KERN-LIEBERS Production System is the systematic approach we are using to improve our value-adding processes. This improvement process is continuous, and is realized in small steps. At the same time, we have to safeguard the improvements we achieve by documenting them, ensuring that everyone is aware of them and that they ultimately become the standard in terms of application. Many employees see this as something of a contradiction, because it challenges the achievements of the past. The challenge here is to nurture an understanding that “better is replacing what was already good”.



What is the role of employees at the introduction of the KLPS?

Kai Robert Klingenberg

Employees must be involved in the problem-solving and continuous improvement process. They are the ones who best understand the problems and potential for optimization in their day-to-day work. We are also working to develop an understanding of the new work content. In addition, training and qualifications provide the knowledge required for the implementation of these duties and responsibilities. At the same time, we need a new understanding of management. Our managers are moving away from being disciplinary supervisors who set out clear rules towards being mentors who foster and call for autonomous work practices from their employees.