The search for a suitable partner
In May 1990, SPINNER received a letter from an outfit near Dresden in former East Germany that was offering its services. Dr. Spinner visited the facility of “Coaxial Technology Lauenstein”, as it called itself, and convinced himself that the factory might be a viable alternative to expanding the Feldkirchen-Westerham site. SPINNER wound up changing its plans and acquiring a subsidiary in Saxony that came with a “dowry” of 140 well-trained, experienced employees. After protracted negotiations with the responsible people at the Treuhandanstalt (the agency set up during the last throes of the German Democratic Republic to privatize state-owned East German enterprises), an agreement was finally reached on December 18, 1990. The new company of SPINNER Lauenstein GmbH was registered the following year.
Two companies become one
The transitional management in Lauenstein and the factory’s skilled workers, who were experienced in precision manufacturing, turned out to be a valuable addition to SPINNER’s existing operations and a genuine trump card in the daily battle for market shares and future markets. The Saxons contributed 30 years of experience in radio frequency technology, serial production expertise, well-trained specialists, a positive attitude, and a range of RF plug connectors that had already acquired an excellent reputation in Eastern Europe.
The plant in Lauenstein ushered in a phase in which SPINNER acquired hands-on experience with the process of reuniting Germany. Misunderstandings caused by differing concepts and use of language were quickly laid to rest. RF technology and meeting customers’ wishes provided a common ground for communication. The mood was positive and fertile, and the Saxons quickly began producing connectors according to SPINNER’s specifications while applying their own technical know-how and expertise. In return, the Bavarians adopted some of the Saxons’ design solutions. Opportunities arising from the installation of new telecommunications networks in the new German states were tapped. SPINNER Lauenstein began supplying terminated fiber-optic cables. A brief excursion into the field of accessories for mobile phones also turned out to be an educational experience for both sides.
Lauenstein grows and becomes a competency center for jumper production
The cornerstone for a new factory hall was laid in Lauenstein on October 10, 1995, and by April 1996 the new machine shop was operating on 1400 m² of space. The existing buildings were renovated, transportation and handling requirements streamlined, new logistics and semiautomated facilities for making jumper cables with sprayed-on connectors introduced, and the shipping system modernized.
The single biggest success, however, was jointly creating the jumpers. A mix that involved separating development and design and leveraging the new site’s experience with serial production culminated in truly excellent work. Parallel to developing special customer solutions across multiple design stages, new processes were also created from scratch. High-frequency and micro-flame soldering, automated and integrated testing, multiple overmolding, and state-of-the-art multishift assembly line production spawned a steady stream of technical improvements while slashing costs. The experience gained was also applied to projects for producing woven and semi-flex jumpers.
First fully automated production line for jumpers inaugurated in 2005
The V05 jumper generation, launched in 2005, was manufactured on the world’s first fully automated production line. In 2013 we added complex machines that we designed and built ourselves to support series production.
Like its parent company in Munich, SPINNER Lauenstein boasts an integrated management system certified as compliant with DIN EN ISO 9001 (quality), DIN EN 14001 (environment), and DIN EN 50001 (energy). We also attach importance to having all required competencies available on site. The Lauenstein facility therefore integrates production and logistics and has its own R&D and mechanical engineering departments. Currently we’re developing components to enable series production of 5G mobile communications antennas.