27th Factory of the Year

The 27th round of this annual benchmark competition concludes with the official Factory of the Year conference on March 21-22, 2019. The Factory of the Year competition is not just the toughest of its kind, it is also the longest-standing. The conference is organized jointly by SV Veranstaltungen GmbH with its partners A.T. Kearney and the industry magazine Produktion.

Competition detailsConference details
  • March 20-22, 2019
  • Forum am Schlosspark,
  • Ludwigsburg, Germany
  • Workshop:
    March 20, 2019
  • Conference:
    March 21-22, 2019

Full conference details

The competition’s traditional grand gala event and official award ceremony for the seven winners will be held on the evening of March 21, 2019. It will be hosted by well-known television personality Katrin Müller-Hohenstein.

  • Attendance and tickets

  • Program

  • Workshop

  • Sponsors and exhibitors

Event details

WORKSHOP: Wednesday, March 20, 2019

CONFERENCE: Thursday, March 21, and Friday, March 22, 2019

Attendance fee

The standard attendance fee for both the workshop and conference is €2,350 plus VAT.

The attendance fee for the workshop alone (March 20, 2019) is €590 plus VAT.

The attendance fee for the conference alone (March 21 and 22) is €1,980 plus VAT.

You can save €150 by taking advantage of our early-bird discount through to January 14, 2019.

The attendance fee includes:

  • Attendance of the entire conference
  • Conference documentation
  • Lunch on March 21 and 22, 2019
  • Refreshments during the breaks
  • Visit to the parallel trade exhibition
  • Attendance of the evening award ceremony on March 21, 2019
  • Tour of winning factories on March 22, 2019, including the bus transfer


To register, please click the “Registration” tab. When we receive your details, you will be registered as an attendee and will receive written confirmation along with an invoice, to be paid prior to the start of the event.

Registration Press Registration


If you cancel later than the final cancellation deadline (14 days prior to the event) or you do not attend, you will be charged the full attendance fee; however, a substitute may attend in your place. Cancellations before the deadline will incur an administrative charge of €150. All cancellations must be made in writing. The organizers reserve the right to relocate, reschedule, change or cancel the event, in whole or in part, at short notice.

27th Factory of the Year conference program

You can download the full, official Factory of the Year conference program here.

Download program (German only)

Workshop: “The Impact of AI on Production”

People and machines work together closely in production. Artificial intelligence now enables machines to learn from experience, to adapt to new inputs, and even perform tasks more or less like humans. This means AI has the potential to permanently change manufacturing tasks such as visual inspection, predictive maintenance and even assembly processes – or so the theory goes.

In our Factory of the Year workshop, we want to see how artificial intelligence has carved out a place for itself in production and to explore the new possibilities it offers. To start off, we will present selected results from an international study titled “The State of Human Factory Analytics” – conducted by A.T. Kearney with Drishti Technologies, a Silicon Valley company – which examines the impact of AI on production and the workforce. In the first part of this interactive workshop, two companies will report on how AI is changing production in practical terms. We will also discuss their experiences with AI, and examine how, and to what extent, they have tapped into AI’s potential. We will then go on to look at technology vendors: What innovations are out there? In which areas could manufacturing companies continue to benefit from AI, going forward? And what risks might AI entail?

We invite you to join us to explore artificial intelligence in greater depth, and to clarify and discuss some of the unanswered questions that surround it.

You can find further information on the workshop agenda in the program.

Download program (German only)

Sponsors and Exhibitors

This is a valuable opportunity to present your company directly and highly effectively to a target audience consisting of industry professionals. The event offers an ideal setting in which to forge ties with attendees in a congenial and personal atmosphere.

You can raise your profile and promote your business by setting up an exhibition stand on site.

Stand out from competitors and engage your future customers with your own unique presentation strategy.

Further information (German only)


A.T. Kearney is one of the world’s foremost management consultancies, advising global corporations as well as mid-sized companies and public institutions. The firm helps clients transform their businesses and organizations to deliver long-term benefits by focusing on growth and digitalization, innovation and sustainability, and the optimization of complex production and supply chains.

A.T. Kearney was founded in Chicago in 1926. It opened its first international office in Düsseldorf, Germany, in 1964. Today, A.T. Kearney employs over 3,600 people in more than 40 countries. The consultancy has been carbon-neutral since 2010.

You can find further information at

Beekeeper is an award-winning communication platform for digitizing the non-desk workforce. Our mission is to unite processes and internal information on a single platform for workers without PCs and thus enhance effectiveness and efficiency. Beekeeper enables employees to be reached across locations and departments in real time by integrating existing IT systems and communication channels on a secure platform. Our smart analytics dashboard helps to make goal-driven decisions and further optimize processes. Customers across more than 130 countries, including Ricola, Leffers and MANN+HUMMEL, use our mobile communication solution.


Media Partner

  • Factory tours

  • Event location

  • Travel and hotels

  • Contacts

Factory tours

Tours of winning factories will take place on Friday, 22 March.

Schubert GmbH, Crailsheim

DR. FRITZ FAULHABER GMBH & CO. KG, Schönaich factory

When you register, please choose which of these two tours you wish to join, as they will take place concurrently. Places on these tours are limited and will be allocated based on the date your registration is received.

Event location

Forum am Schlosspark
Stuttgarter Straße 33
71638 Ludwigsburg
+49 71 41/9 10 - 39 13

Hotel accommodation

We have pre-booked room quotas at discounted rates at the following hotels through to February 1, 2019:

Nestor Hotel Ludwigsburg
Stuttgarter Straße 35/2
71638 Ludwigsburg
Phone: +49 7141 96 70
Fax: +49 7141 967 113
E-mail: ludwigsburg@nestor-hotels.de
Web: www.nestor-hotels.de
Single room: €159 incl. VAT

Hotel Goldener Pflug
Dorfstraße 2-6
71636 Ludwigsburg
Phone: +49 7141 44 110
Fax: +49 7141 44 1142
E-mail: kontakt@goldenerpflug.info
Web: www.koehlehotels.de
€115 incl. VAT (standard single room), €125 incl. VAT (deluxe single room) and €135 incl. VAT (double room, single occupancy)

Best Western Hotel Favorit
Gartenstraße 18
71638 Ludwigsburg
Phone: +49 7141 97677 0
Fax: +49 7141 97677 555
E-mail: info@hotel-favorit.de
Web: www.hotel-favorit.de
€109 incl. VAT (standard single room standard), €119 incl. VAT (deluxe single room) and €134 incl. VAT (double room, single occupancy)

ibis budget Ludwigsburg
Pflugfelder Strasse 18
71636 Ludwigsburg
Phone: +49 7141 911 200
Fax: +49 7141 911 20100
E-mail: h8845@accor.com
Web: www.accorhotels.com
Single room: €62 (March 20-23, 2019) and €79 incl. VAT (March 19-20, 2019)

Hotel City Oase Ludwigsburg
Friedrichstraße 43
71638 Ludwigsburg
Phone: +49 7141 9133 777
Fax: +49 7141 9133 779
E-mail: info@cityoaselb.de
Web: cityoaselb.de
Single room: €109 (March 19-20, 2019) and €119 incl. VAT (March 20-22, 2019)

Please book directly using the code “SV Veranstaltungen”. From February 1, 2019, bookings can only be made subject to availability.

Arriving by rail with Deutsche Bahn

For a relaxed and reliable journey in comfort, choose rail. It’s also a more sustainable way to travel! Book your tickets at Deutsche Bahn’s best rates now.

Our special offer for event attendees: Get your rail ticket at a fixed price nationwide, departing from any Deutsche Bahn train station.

Event ticket – fixed price nationwide for a one-way trip, valid on specific services:
2nd class €54.90
1st class €89.90

Flex event ticket – fixed price nationwide for a one-way trip, valid on any service:
2nd class €74.90
1st class €109.90

This offer is valid through to the end of 2019.

City Ticket: The event ticket and Flex event ticket for mainline rail services now also include local public transport.

New: Across 126 cities, mainline rail tickets for journeys of more than 100 kilometers now include a City Ticket within their area of validity as well.

Book online now for the best ticket price – guaranteed. You’ll also see an overview of all the rail offers available on your chosen route.

Deutsche Bahn rail bookings
SV Veranstaltungen
Division Management
SV Veranstaltungen
Conference Management & Organization
SV Veranstaltungen
Sponsorships & Trade Exhibitions
We frequently follow our own path, so we wanted a benchmark.
Jörg Brenner, CFO, Gerhard Schubert GmbH

This year’s speakers

Prof. Dr.-Ing.

Thomas Bauernhansl

Head of the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering & Automation IPA, Institute for Industrial Production & Factory Operations IFF, Stuttgart University

Jörg Cwojdzinski

Vice President Supply Chain Management

ASM Assembly Systems GmbH & Co. KG

Alexander Diehl

Venture Advisor

Hasso Plattner Ventures GmbH & Co. KG


Martin Eisenhut

Partner and Managing Director

A.T. Kearney Central Europe

Bernd Hoffmann

Vice President Global Manufacturing Network

AGCO International GmbH, China

Heiko Kayser

Plant Manager

MAN Trucks Sp. z o.o.

Marc Lakner


A.T. Kearney GmbH

Wei Hsien Low

Senior Director, Operations

ASM Assembly Systems (S) Pte Ltd

Peter B. Meier

Manager Industry 4.0

ABB Schweiz AG

Felix-Georg Müller

CEO-Business Development and Sales

Plus10 GmbH

Christian Piechnick


Wandelbots GmbH


Wilfried Pinzl

Managing Director

EJOT GmbH & Co. KG

Hubert Renner

Head of Production


Michael Reutter


aucobo GmbH

Ralf Schubert

Managing Partner

Gerhard Schubert GmbH

Prof. Dr.

Günther Schuh

Managing Director WZL, RWTH Aachen

Director Fraunhofer IPT and FIR

Sebastian Seutter

Director Strategy and Business Development


Daniel Stengel


A.T. Kearney

Matthias Wessel

Head of Operations, Division LPS (Lab Products & Services)

Sartorius Lab Instruments GmbH & Co. KG


Philip Wessely


A.T. Kearney

Tse Haw Yong

Director, Operations

ASM Technology (M) Sdn. Bhd.

Advisory Board

Katrin Fricke

Plant Manager, Diehl Controls, Wangen im Allgäu factory

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Evi Hartmann

Chair of Supply Chain Management at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Nuremberg

Johann Kraus

Plant Manager, Rohde & Schwarz GmbH & Co. KG

Prof. Dr.-Ing.Uwe Loos

Former CEO of FAG Kugelfischer AG, Schweinfurt, and DEKRA AG, Stuttgart

Roman Löw

Former automotive company plant manager and managing board member, currently working as a consultant, coach and interim manager for major industrial companies

Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil.Reimund Neugebauer

President of the Fraunhofer Society, Munich

Heinrich Nottbohm

Former manager of the Chemnitz Engine Plant, Volkswagen Sachsen GmbH

Torsten Ratzmann

CEO of Pöppelmann Group

Prof. Dr.-Ing.Gunther Reinhart

Head of the Institute for Machine Tools and Industrial Management (iwb) at the Technical University of Munich; head of the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Casting, Composite and Processing Technology (IGCV)

Dr.Bernd Schmidt

Group Function Quality and Supply Chain, ABB Management Services Ltd.

Prof. Dr.-Ing., Dipl.-Wirt. Ing.Günther Schuh

Director of the Machine Tool Laboratory WZL at RWTH Aachen and the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT

Peter Wiedemann

CTO, Rational AG

Important information on the Factory of the Year competition

  • Process and deadlines

  • Questionnaire

  • Benefits

  • Contact

Process and deadlines

Complete and submit questionnaire: by 31 May 2019

Selection of finalists: June 2019

Visits to finalists’ locations: June - August 2019

Selection of winners: September 2019

Individual evaluation reports for all participants: November 2019

Presentation of the Factory of the Year awards: March 2020 (planned)

The competition is open to manufacturing companies in any industry sector. They can submit applications for factories and business units. Taking part is free of charge. The number of employees should be at least 100.


You must complete the questionnaire to take part in the competition. Typically, the questionnaire takes 5-10 days to complete. The better your company data is already organized, the easier it is to transfer it to the questionnaire.

Once the completed questionnaires have been thoroughly evaluated, the competition finalists are selected and will receive an on-site visit by Factory of the Year representatives for an assessment.

The Factory of the Year competition’s jury panel will then select the winners. To win, contenders have to demonstrate outstanding performance or exceptional creativity in specific competition categories.

The winners will be announced at the end of September and published in the industry journal Produktion. Winners will be visited by a Produktion editor and profiled in detail in a special year-end edition of the magazine.

The prizes will be awarded in February/March next year at the annual Factory of the Year conference.

Information about the 2019 competition

The winners will be selected in two stages. Participating companies must complete a detailed questionnaire, which can be requested online. Taking part in the competition is free of charge.

The questionnaire asks for quantitative and qualitative information on typical factory performance data across the value chain. Leading award contenders are chosen based on this information and will receive a visit from an experienced A.T. Kearney audit team. The competition jury panel, comprising prominent experts from industry and research, then selects the winners on the basis of the questionnaire and the audit team’s on-site findings.

Parallel to this, all participants receive a detailed evaluation in the form of a confidential feedback report, which details their position in the competition and highlights possible improvement potential. We look forward to receiving your application!



Industrial companies can only benefit from taking part in the Factory of the Year competition. Clearly, winning a prestigious award like Factory of the Year is hugely motivating for employees. But any business, irrespective of whether it actually picks up an award, can gain from taking part. In addition, it’s free.

As participants have noted, time and again, the process of completing the questionnaire alone can draw attention to weaknesses in a company’s performance. All businesses taking part receive a detailed, confidential evaluation, that tells them how they ranked in comparison with companies with which they share a similar starting position. Shortlisted candidates receive a visit from an experienced A.T. Kearney audit team and are given initial expert feedback. And the Factory of the Year event offers an ideal opportunity to share ideas and learn the secrets behind the successes scored by the best in the competition.


A.T. Kearney GmbH
Partner & Project Manager

Apply now!

Click here to download the competition questionnaire. Complete it and take part in the competition for free.

Apply now

You could win an award in any of these categories

There are seven main categories, plus a special “Best Startup” category

  • „Factory of the Year“ 2018

  • GEO Award

  • Excellent Big Series Assembly

„Fabrik des Jahres“ 2018

  • Excellence in the factory
  • Strong KPIs and dynamic improvement across all performance dimensions

GEO Award

  • Excellence throughout the value chain
  • Exceptional value creation

Excellent Big Series Assembly

  • Lean
  • Short processing times
  • Exceptional supply performance
  • Excellent Small Series Assembly

  • Excellent Production Network

  • Excellent Location Safeguarding by Digitalization

  • Excellent Location Development

Excellent Small Series Assembly

  • Mastery of complexity
  • Make to order or engineer to order

Excellent Production Network

  • Exploitation of locations’ individual strengths
  • Clearly defined location expertise profiles
  • Global outlook and approach

Excellent Location Safeguarding by Digitalization

  • Targeted use of digitalization solutions to boost efficiency

Excellent Location Development

  • Continuous location development
  • Investment in future technologies
  • Employee development
  • Best Startup Category

    The Startup Challenge, the second of its kind, is being held in association with Hasso Plattner Ventures this year.

  • Best Startup

Best Startup

The winners of the Startup Challenge succeeded in inspiring the conference audience with their vision of the factory of tomorrow. The Best Startup category is about creativity, entrepreneurial spirit and disruptive thinking – in anything from networked production solutions to robotics and process management.

Applications for the Startup Challenge will open in the fall.



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