Under the headline “Start-up since 1919”, EVVA presented the company to journalists from eight countries at a two-day international media event from 13 to 14 November 2019. True to EVVA's innovative spirit, the event started with a start-up tour of Vienna. On the second day, the media representatives were able to participate in an exclusive press conference and tour of the Wienerberg facility where they were given personal insights into the site and a current outlook on future challenges and new opportunities - keyword ‘digitalization’. In the conference, Stefan Ehrlich-Adám, CEO of the EVVA Group, Michael Kiel, Group Division Executive of Operations and Johann Notbauer, Group Division Executive of Market Innovation and Technology reported on the most important milestones since EVVA was founded 100 years ago. In addition to this, they presented upcoming product and manufacturing innovations and gave an outlook on the future of security technology. Mechanical locking systems Having witnessed constant innovation since its foundation in 1919, the internationally renowned and recognized supplier of high-quality security systems has been successfully combining tradition with innovation for 100 years, making it one of the world’s leading manufacturers of mechanical and electronic locking systems. Stefan Ehrlich-Adám, CEO of the EVVA Group, gave an outline of the company, “Since the company was founded as the ‘Invention, Experimentation and Application Institute’, it has been defined by courageous and forward-looking entrepreneurship and the pursuit of innovation”. EVVA's innovative strength is visible in the invention and patenting of the GPI and MCS mechanical systems A successful example of EVVA's innovative strength - and at the same time an important milestone in the company's expansion - was the invention and patenting of the GPI and MCS mechanical systems, which are still important today, four decades ago. But the permanent further development also continues for the mechanical locking systems. “As patents expire after 20 years, we need to continually develop mechanical locking systems and come up with new ideas.” EHRLICH-ADÁM explains. Electronic locking systems The cultivation with in-house electronic locking systems division on the European market demonstrates EVVA's pioneering spirit. In the 1970s, the Viennese family-owned company EVVA was considered to be the world’s first company in the industry to use computer programs to calculate and control the most complex master key systems. Meanwhile, Xesar and AirKey are well-established on the market and they are a unique solution for the challenges of global megatrends in the security industry. “We had a head start with our in-house development when electronic locking systems were introduced about 25 years ago. And from the very beginning, we had important expertise in the area of mechanical locking systems and to this day we are constantly striving to complement this as well as possible with electronic access control systems. The combination of mechanical locking systems and electronic access control systems is the technically sensible response to the specific security and organizational needs”, said Ehrlich-Adám. In-house research and development We aspire to invent and develop durable, very high-quality products in-house; therefore we have an in-house research and development department, which has grown substantially in recent years. “The engineering is done by us and we decide on the product concept. We know the market, the customers and know which solutions the operators expect”, explained Ehrlich-Adám. EVVA employs around 460 people at the main production facility in Vienna and has rapidly increased its workforce, particularly in the area of electronic systems and software, coupled with ongoing investments in machinery. For EVVA, the transition from mechanical systems to mechatronic systems ultimately means an increased need for technicians and software engineers. “Going forward, we will also invest in staff who are able to assist with installations”, Ehrlich-Adám explained. In addition to securing and creating jobs, the Viennese family-owned company is also pursuing a targeted CSR strategy at the site, which is being implemented through the Clean Production Approach. The proportion of clean production is currently at 60%. EVVA locking systems EVVA locking systems have been installed throughout the world, for instance, on the Queen Mary ocean liner In addition to the main site in Vienna, there are now a total of ten subsidiaries throughout Europe and a network of already over 1,000 electronic and other mechanical locking system sales partners. These are an important factor in our further expansion and international success. Interesting target markets include Southeast Asia and Australia. EVVA locking systems have been installed throughout the world, for instance, on the Queen Mary ocean liner, in Copenhagen's opera theater, the new Juventus Stadium in Turin, as well as St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna. “Our well-developed sales network is one of our greatest strengths. Our core competencies include the project planning, calculation and realization of large systems,“ Ehrlich-Adám said. Industry 4.0 and excellence In the second part of the conference, Michael Kiel, Head of Operations, outlined EVVA's status and its plans in the area of Industry 4.0. “EVVA does not see Industry 4.0 as just digitalization, but also a variety of opportunities for its own development of excellence. We have defined four development focus areas for our claim to excellence associated with Industry 4.0: Digitalization; Automation, Site development Collaborations. Our highest priority has always been, and will continue to be, to bring “the people” with us, through the relevant qualification measures and participation in projects”, Kiel explained. Digitalization A flagship tool for ‘lived digitalization’ is EVVA’s Order Fulfillment Tool, which was developed in-house. It provides order support by showing the current status of orders. With the Next Generation Cross Link Production (Xpro) project, EVVA is pursuing several goals: On the one hand, the goal is to create a blueprint for a flexible manufacturing system. To achieve this, in collaboration with TU Vienna, EVVA ‘digitally upgraded’ a machine, adding collaborative robotics to it. On the other hand, we are also accelerating digitalisation in the sense of going “paperless” with drawingless Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM), which is already in use as a prototype. Automation For EVVA, the mid-term goal is to use ‘digital twins’ to create fully digital models of production to plan and optimize processesFor EVVA, the mid-term goal is ultimately to use ‘digital twins’ to create fully digital models of production to plan and optimize processes and procedures. To achieve this, a digital production plan with simulation and optimization will be implemented by 2020, as part of the AutProSim research project with the Fraunhofer Institute. “By 2023, EVVA will invest a volume of 20 million euros in shaping the development of excellence, of which two thirds will be spent on high-quality automation solutions”, Kiel explained, adding “We will particularly drive forward new technologies for 3D printing of plastic parts for machine construction and image processing for testing scenarios that are integration into the automation line.” Collaborative robots But EVVA is also increasingly using collaborative robots (cobots) to support employees in simple, monotonous tasks, such as sorting. “Using automation, we can bring certain tasks and consequently orders from low-wage countries back to the Wienerberg facility. Apart from reducing errors and raising the qualification level, cobots will allow EVVA to increase its competitiveness”, Group Division Executive Michael Kiel explained. On the topic of site development, Kiel explained why Industry 4.0 is connected to internationalization. “As part of our Powerplant Strategy with satellite sites, in the future the three sites of Vienna, Tišnov and Krefeld will become a Powerplant, meaning that they will be production units for the manufacturing of components and automated assembly. In turn, the satellite sites will consist of eight Europe-wide distribution sites for manual assembly of smaller production batches.” By 2023, EVVA plans to have established all Powerplants and satellite sites as a unified process chain. Collaborations EVVA is a co-partner of the Austrian Center for Digital Production on research of end-to-end digitalisation Finally, Kiel outlined the various research collaborations as the fourth development focus area on the path to excellence. For instance, we have worked together with TU Vienna on feasibility studies on the possible ways in which cobots can be used or machine-to-machine communication solutions in production. EVVA and the Fraunhofer Institute are The University of Vienna, in turn, is supporting EVVA in the development and expansion of the centurio.work production platform. Furthermore, EVVA is a co-partner of the Austrian Center for Digital Production (CDP), where, among other things, we are researching end-to-end digitalization from order placement through to production and delivery. A look into the future “For EVVA, however, the aim of excellence development is not just about continuous development, but about regularly determining our position. For example, next year, EVVA will face the industry benchmark, “Fabrik 2020 – die beste Produktion Österreichs” (Factory 2020 – Austria’s best production),” Kiel concluded. Finally, Johann Notbauer, Group Division Executive of Market Innovation and Technology reported on trends and developments, also based on recent impressions in Silicon Valley at ARM and Microsoft. In his view, the possible scenarios are based on two future technologies: 1. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, linked to 2. Connectivity. Both topics are also linked to the disruptive changes for the security technology sector. Machine learning According to Notbauer, machine learning will be disruptive, as machines in the future will be “intelligent” – and therefore the processing and evaluation of the continually calculated data will be done by the machines themselves. Various other possible applications arise from linking digital data with physical data. Digital data is generated through the various touchpoints; physical data refers to diverse sensory data. In the future, we will be able to gain an even greater understanding of how end components and entire systems are used by combining these different forms of data in a targeted way. Intelligent systems The calculated algorithm would be able to recognize when and for which component a battery failure will occur" Notbauer described an application example “For instance, for a Xesar system it will be possible in the future for all ‘intelligent’ components to continually measure their own voltage curve and this data could then be centrally evaluated in a ‘neural’ network.” “The calculated algorithm would be able to recognize when and for which component a battery failure will occur. In turn, this optimizes the sustainability and maintenance costs of the system and gives the sales department valuable information for a required modernization of the whole system. The added value and benefit for the customer consists is in “predictive maintenance”, i.e. failure-free operation linked to cost-optimized maintenance”, explained Notbauer. Connectivity The second biggest driver of innovation is connectivity, as a result of the many new opportunities that the game changing 5G has opened up. “5G makes it possible for us to connect production machines directly to the cloud. There is no longer any need for a local programmable logic controller, which is time-consuming to program. This takes place in a central cloud – quickly set up and quickly changed if products or the market demand changes,” explained Notbauer. This trend is called ‘access as a service’. However, despite machine learning and 5G - EVVA will continue to drive forward innovations in mechanical locking systems, in addition to the benefits of new Technologies as there is still a mechanical element at the end of the chain.
Stefan Ehrlich-Adám, EVVA CEO, and Johann Notbauer, Market Innovation and Technology Group Division Executive report at Security Essen 2016 EVVA has been a pioneer and innovator for mechanical locking systems for almost one hundred years. Around two years ago the European market launch of the Xesar and AirKey locking systems marked the starting point of their own electronic systems range. As part of a press conference at the world's leading trade fair for security, Security Essen, Stefan Ehrlich-Adám, CEO of EVVA Group, and Johann Notbauer, Market Innovation and Technology Group Division Executive, reported about news from both worlds. EVVA has been a pioneer for mechanical locking systems for almost one hundred years. EVVA's innovative force is underlined by numerous patents, thousands of buildings worldwide featuring EVVA locking systems and a continuously growing network of partners and authorized retailers. This is also not least emphasized thanks to the European market launch of the own electronic systems two years ago: Xesar and AirKey are the responses to global mega-trends that are also affecting the security industry and its products. Stefan Ehrlich-Adám, CEO of EVVA Group, and Johann Notbauer, Market Innovation and Technology Group Division Executive, reported at Security Essen, the world's leading security trade fair, about the route EVVA will be following and what smart, new worlds look like. Generating Value With Innovations EVVA as a family-owned company has been integrating innovation into its corporate culture since 1919 as an invention, experimentation and application institute, or in German: "Erfindungs-Versuchs-Verwertungs-Anstalt". "EVVA has always been innovative. It's in our DNA", Ehrlich-Adám explains. Continuous innovations, such as the first patent for a cylinder padlock in 1937 or the market launch of the magnetic code system with almost 100% copy protection in 1979 permanently boosted EVVA’s competitive edge. "The increasing mobility, advancinglevels of individualization anddigitalization dictate new challengesto the security industry that demandsolutions now" These innovations were made possible by being close to markets, clever investments at the right time and the ability to identify trends at an early stage. A concentration on EVVA's strengths, the development and production of high-grade mechanical and electronic locking systems, as well as the link between these two worlds helped to develop Xesar and AirKey over the past years, both products that are setting benchmarks on the security market. EVVA On Smart Paths "With the 'Smart new worlds' slogan we have been keeping our course since 2014, a course set as a result of the market launch of our electronic Xesar and AirKey locking systems", Ehrlich-Adám adds. These are security solutions that bring about many benefits in an increasingly complex world with more and more individual demands, both in terms of electronic and mechanical systems. Ehrlich-Adám emphasizes "here we are, witnessing the dawn of a new and better mechanical as well as electronic product portfolio that merges both worlds. Consequently, EVVA is opening up smart, new worlds!" The World Is Changing "We must analyze the mega trends of our times to bring the developments at EVVA into an overall context", Johann Notbauer said at the beginning of his presentation. "There is no mistaking that we are experiencing times of permanent changes. The increasing mobility, advancing levels of individualization and digitalization also dictate new challenges to the security industry that already demand solutions now, not tomorrow", Notbauer adds. He also refers to a future society that will be even more mobile, linked and "always on" than we already are today. In this process, developments are also effecting the so-called silver society. Demographic changes increasingly require taking into account older generations. "Simple and intuitive operating concepts paired with particularly high levels of application convenience are in demand", the EVVA expert explains. Xesar and Airkey were launched to the European security market by EVVA in 2014 EVVA Is Changing The world is changing, and so is EVVA. "Our products have been providing the response to the aforementioned challenges for almost 100 years. AirKey, where the smartphone is the key, is the response to our mobile world", Notbauer says. From the outset, investments in security were paramount during the development of AirKey. The security concept is based on the online banking security concept. "If I send a key online, I need to be sure that no one is skimming off or even modifying my data." AirKey is also characterized by particularly smart functions, such as geotagging. This involves saving door components' geographical coordinates. "Consequently, service engineers can ideally navigate their way to remote locations." The Combination Key Unites Two Worlds Global trends are increasingly moving towards a combination of mechanical and electronic locking systems. "There will not be a world without mechanical components in the near future. New demands won't change this. Electronic, but also mechanical systems fulfill their purpose as they cover different, individual demands." However, purely mechanical locking systems no longer meet the changed requirements in terms of facility usage. Individual solutions that have been adapted to customer demands are gaining more and more importance. EVVA's combi key is the missing link connecting the two world. More Robust, Secure And Stronger: 4KS One of the most recent mechanical systems, 4KS, is suitable for integration into electronic locking systems. "4KS represents more than a consistent, advanced development of 3KSplus." 4KS is a reversible key system that may not look like it meets this security concept, but it does. The difference to its predecessor is also the asymmetry of the left and right side of the key. This makes copying using 3D printers significantly harder. The system also withstands the harshest conditions and is very suitable for any application. This is a particular advantage for master key systems with a highly complex structure. MCS: 100% Copying Protection "There will not be a worldwithout mechanical componentsin the near future. New demandswon't change this" An advanced development of MCS was also showcased. The system, introduced to the market as early as 1978, remains unrivaled in terms of copying protection. "We are obviously delighted if MCS is mentioned in scientific publications in the US as the only response to 3D printers. Simultaneously, this also means we must develop MCS further. That is what we did and now we can offer 20 more years of patent protection with MCS." The aforementioned combi key, suitable for integration into existing electronic systems, such as Xesar, is also available for MCS. Simply Versatile Xesar as the response to the required flexibility and degree of individual characteristics offers a very wide range and timeless design. Each door situation is equipped with the right solution and in connection with the Xesar Virtual network users can always rely on an up-to-date and highly secure system. "Thanks to the feedback from doors you can immediately tell which doors remain insecure and still require updating." EVVA Continues To Evolve Thanks to the concentration on EVVA's strengths, the development and production of high-grade mechanical and electronic locking systems, EVVA has developed completely new electronic systems that are setting benchmarks on the security market. This boosts an excellent reputation as a manufacturer of access systems and creates new jobs. For instance, at the headquarters in Vienna, where the workforce increased from 428 in 2011 to 460 in August 2016.
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