INTERVIEW induction couplings, electronic parts for Škoda and Tatra vehicles, static frequency converters, and a very popular “toy” in the 1980s, the electrotechnical building kit “MEZ elektronik”. The brand name MEZ represented the plant till 1994, then the company was privatized and became part of the technological concern Siemens. In 2019 it is our 25th anniversary of working with the Siemens brand, who has invested a several billion Czech Crowns in the development and production of electric motors in the Beskids. The plant in Frenštát is currently the greatest European producer of low-voltage asynchronous electric motors of axial height 225–355 mm. Some may say that with over 70 years of history, the plant is in the “retirement age”. Quite the contrary: the company is a world leader in automation and digitization, with innovations in both products and production processes.
The company is a world “ leader in automation
and digitization, with innovations in both products and production processes.
You come from this region and graduated from VSB – Technical University of Ostrava. Siemens is a company with a great history. What innovative visions do you have for the plant management? Yes, I come from this region and I have actually daily commuted to Frenštát since I was fourteen. First to the Secondary School of Electrical Engineering, where my focus was electrical machinery. After a year of military service, I started commuting to Siemens company, my first employer. I started at a blue-collar position, as a workman in the motor testing lab, and step by step I have actually gone through all the plant. I have been the CEO since 2016 when my team and I designed a new vision and strategy to develop the plant, which is now coming true. In a very short time we introduced four new products on the market which have increased production by 60 %. We have increased the portfolio of electric motors with motors of bigger axial height, and we strive to further automate and digitize our production as well as our products. The first digital
motor by Siemens distributed worldwide was developed and made in Frenštát. You operate the Global IT Delivery Centre. What is its aim, and why did you locate the centre to Ostrava? It is not only the IT Delivery Centre but also the Research and Development Centre which serves development in electrical rotating machinery (electric motors and electric generators) and solutions for Industry 4.0. By the way, opening the Research and Development Centre earned us a prestigious international award, Emerging Europe Awards 2018. Now, our facilities in Ostrava employ about 200 IT specialists, electrical and machinery design engineers, experts on special simulations and analyses, including specialists developing applications for Industry 4.0. This year we intend to contract more employees in our team in Ostrava. And why Ostrava? Not only because of our close cooperation with VSB – Technical University of Ostrava, but also because this large city is geographically close to Frenštát and the other Siemens production plant in Mohelnice. Siemens ranks among leaders in the fields of smart cities and digital production plants. That is the vision for the future which the Moravian-Silesian Region is actively engaged in bringing about. How do you participate in these projects? Digitization will soon affect each enterprise, and it is obvious that companies prepared for this future will prosper in the harshly competitive atmosphere. We consider the digitization of production (which we have been working on for a few years already) one of the crucial elements in our strategy. We are one of the leaders in this field, and our plant is annually visited by hundreds of customers who want to see the digitization of industry in action. Within the region, we collaborate with VSB – Technical University of Ostrava as one of the main partners in the Platform for Research in Industry 4.0 and Robotization project in the agglomeration of Ostrava. You employ significant numbers of people not only from our region. How do you attract and keep young new employees? How does the company contribute to social responsibility in the region? I believe that the success of each enterprise is based on its positive corporate culture.
It cannot be measured and expressed in numbers, yet it is considerably reflected in a job satisfaction of the staff and their performance. With increasing innovations and growing volume of production, we needed more employees. I am not the kind of manager who would sacrifice what the previous generations achieved for an instant profit. In the past two years we have employed over 400 new employees not only from our region. We do not employ any staff through job agencies and we do not import people from abroad. I personally seek long-term effects, satisfied employees who bring innovation and good performance based on their positive attitude towards the company and our products. That is the only way to keep the present staff and win new employees. The same applies to social responsibility: we want to be a good neighbour in our area, therefore we support charities and education as well as the environment and culture. We donate hundreds of thousands of Czech crowns on projects to non-profit organizations, and closely cooperate with secondary schools and universities. We focus on the culture in Frenštát as our priority. We support events held by the town, including the renowned music festival Horečky Fest.
I personally seek long-term “effects, satisfied employees
who bring innovation and good performance based on their positive attitude towards the company and our products.
Will you let our readers know what your favourite place is and share culinary tips of the region? I have many favourite places in the region. I love mountains in general and the Beskids in particular. I cannot pinpoint one location only. Štramberská Trúba is beautiful; I love Pustevny; and my most beloved mountain is Velký Javorník. Even though I enjoy good meals, gastronomy is not my priority in the region. I feel happy to feed my eyes with the views of mountains from the valleys in our picturesque region. I may have a simple snack of a hot dog with a beer from a local brewery. Thank you very much for the interview. Editorial of Magazine. POSITIV 2/2019 ǀ 13