On June 10th, in Sibiu, Chorus Engineering organized the symposium “Innovation Day 2015”, which was attended by a large number of companies from the automotive and electric industries. We tried to find out what determined Chorus Engineering to approach the topic of innovation at this event and why is this important for the development of the Romanian plastics sector, in an interview with Mrs. Elena Codecà, Executive Manager Chorus Engineering.
Each investment must be done prudently with a vision on the future and not in a narrow way, just limited to the possibilities of the present.
T&T : In July, you organized a successful event, which despite being set outside the capital, was attended by a great deal of specialists. Why did Chorus Engineering organize an event that underlined the importance of innovation? So, why “Innovation Day” and why in Sibiu?
Elena Codecà:I think the words of the Italian astrophysicist, Margherita Hack, with which Chorus Engineering opened the Sibiu symposium, are the best answer to this question.
“Over the last years there have been many discussions about «innovation», the magic word that allows industrialized countries to face competition from emerging countries which produce similar products at much lower prices. Innovation thus means to imagine new ways to manufacture the same products with less money; or invent new products, from the most complex to the simplest ones, products which make our life easier at work, at home, or equipments and tools that are easier to use than the ones we have today, or to create devices which we will render indispensable.”
We believe that innovating in any kind of process is a must of our times. Being innovative and finding new solutions both at production and organizational level, and looking for new ways to present them are prerequisites of maintaining our place on the market and maybe to improve it. The questions about the meaning of innovation and analysis of how innovation is implemented help us to assess our own reality, to understand where we come from and who we are or what we achieved, and help us to imagine and to define our own path to development.
We live in a globalized word, information travels fast, everything is at hand, and yet innovating remains a difficult process; this is happening because, in any case, it is not always possible to understand what is really needed, if it represents the spur of the moment or if it will hold over time, but especially because change is difficult, requires large efforts, lots of involvement and determination. Sibiu seemed the city most suited for this type of event: a city with a rich history, which had the means to use its own richness in order to evolve and become attractive for many international companies of the industrial sector. In this region of central Romania, the plastic industry is rife, as here can be found the most important producers of parts for the automotive and electric industries, among others. We’ve had guests from far away, because content is ultimately what matters. In Sibiu we also found receptivity to our needs, proving once again how the city looks forward to the future and strives to be more welcoming and receptive to all needs.
T&T : Innovation sounds extravagant to some and a challenging aspiration for many others. What are its benefits after all and why do we need it? What calls for it and even impose it?
E.C: In a globalized, extremely competitive world, this is surely a must. It involves improving the existing systems or finding new ones to achieve the same purposes or other more rapidly, easier and with lower costs. Innovation affects all
categories: companies, society, people.
In a manufacturing environment, e.g. our plastic processing industry, and particularly the injection moulding sector here, in Romania I hope there will be a day when some companies will transform and find an identity on their own, that will go beyond being a mere subcontractor, developing and inventing products to be sold under an own brand, that of the Romanian company which designed such products. It will be a milestone, considering that we helped so far some foreign and multinational companies to settle in Romania and look for cooperation opportunities at local level, a fact that, with all due respect, the Romanian industry surely needs.
T&T : Which kind of innovations did you present at the event for plastic industry professionals?
E.C.:We presented a full injection moulding line consisting in an all electric injection molding machine with a clamping force of 100 t, model IntElect, produced by Sumitomo SHI Demag, equipped with a Sepro robot, a Labotek DDM dehumidifier and a Frigel temperature control device. It may seem like it is not new, but equipment has in itself a series of innovations that make it unique, more efficient and more competitive in production context, and fully meet precision, productivity, efficiency and competitiveness requirements.
T&T : How does Chorus Engineering support the specialists willing to innovate in their own fields?
E.C.: Our consultancy and sales activities are dedicated to specific sectors, we cooperate with partners who are leaders in their respective fields and carry out research and development, constantly improving their technological offer in order to reduce energy consumption, improve performance, reduce the environmental impact and increase user competitiveness.
T&T : Which kind of innovation needs the Romanian plastics processing industry?
E.C.: I believe that the Romanian industry in general is eager for innovation, but it does not always have the financial means to achieve it. Competitiveness programs are definitely a useful tool to enable small and medium sized companies in this sector to gain access to innovation. The needs are anyway targeted towards new production systems, technological innovation equipments, but also tools which may improve organization in itself, and the quality and the results of production.
T&T : How is the relevant Romanian industry assimilating the proposed innovations of production processes?
E.C.: The answers we received at the symposium are very positive and far reaching, to the extent that there is a great deal of interest that foresees some interesting future evolutions.
T&T : You carried out a very interesting survey among the participants at this event. What are its most important conclusions?
E.C.: We had the idea to liven this event with a survey that would enable us and the public to ask questions about innovation and how it is perceived and implemented according to actual circumstances, and thus to understand the points of view.
The result was very interesting, on one hand, the audience showed that new technological tendencies may have a major impact on own commercial activities and improve performance, and on the other hand, that the investments made in the past are an obstacle to development.
This aspect is of great importance, because it makes us understand how investments need to be cautious, with a vision on the future and not a narrow one, subject to the limited possibilities of the present. Each decision of today determines our future success. For instance, the analysis of the return of investment, which appears to be more expensive at the beginning, turns out to be more economical in the long terms from a manufacturing point of view.