Visit to SAR in Gunzenhausen - a company breaks new, innovative ground

District Administrator Manuel Westphal visited the SAR company in Gunzenhausen together with the business development department of the altmühlfranken future initiative. He was able to gain an impression of the latest technologies in robotics.
"SAR - Steuerung, Automation, Regeltechnik" was founded by Konrad Sigl in Dingolfing in the mid-1980s. The globally operating system supplier for industrial and process automation has more than 800 employees at various locations in Europe, Africa, Asia and America.

In 2005, DAT Automatisierungstechnik, which had its origins in the Übermatzhofen district of Pappenheim, was taken over by SAR. Since then, SAR has invested heavily in Gunzenhausen and its current workforce of around 120 employees at the site. The company has been based in a new building in the Scheupeleinsmühle since 2015. "We are a family-run company that grows with the market and always pursues the goal of securing jobs," emphasizes Rainer Schneider-Schnappauf, Branch Manager of SAR in Gunzenhausen.
The automation pillars at SAR are diverse. These range from process and environmental technology, special machine construction and surface systems to IT services and robotics. The focus and expertise at the Gunzenhausen site is on plastic systems.

"Three quarters of the workforce in Gunzenhausen are technicians and engineers. This shows the high level of development and innovation that prevails in the plastics sector at the site. An important point is the development of new areas of technology in new systems, interlinking and programming complex interfaces optimally for the customer," says Peter Sudler, Sales Manager Plastic Systems.
In the interests of the customer, SAR pursues a holistic service approach. The aim is for software systems to reliably manage the smooth running of production - from the receipt of goods to the delivery of the finished product. Modern production control systems plan, control and monitor production in real time. Ideally, information is collected continuously at all stages of production. This allows an efficient environment to be created for the customer between the planning and production levels.

"Artificial intelligence is increasingly coming into focus here," says Schneider-Schnappauf. With its innovative automation and intelligent information technology and its interdisciplinary engineering expertise, SAR meets the special requirements of almost all sectors of the economy.

Market maturity of new, future-oriented technologies

KNEXT is a subsidiary of SAR that supports highly innovative topics in robotics. With the KNEXT products, SAR offers individual automation solutions for every application. Mobile service robots, for example, for reception, trade fairs, for escorting in department stores or for support as waiters in restaurants. The cleaning robots are particularly useful in premises with large floor areas. Whether in department stores, supermarkets or public buildings such as schools and gyms.

Managing Director Harald Rohrmoser emphasizes the importance of working with specialists from other fields: "We have the know-how in measurement and control technology, but we are not experts when it comes to cleaning very different floors properly. Here we work together with cleaning experts and in many cases have been able to reduce the consumption of cleaning agents many times over, as in practice far too much cleaning agent is often used".

The fully automated KNEXT coffee bars are a particular highlight. Fully automated, a robot prepares coffee specialties on eight square meters of space and also serves customers with baked goods. This can be admired in practice at BMW Welt in Munich, for example. Such automated robot systems are also highly interesting for companies in view of the prevailing shortage of skilled workers.

However, Harald Rohrmoser emphasizes: "Such systems should not be seen as a complete replacement or even a one-to-one replacement of workers, but rather as a supplement to the workforce and as a way of making work easier". "It is important that these future-oriented technologies are considered from the outset when planning new buildings and modernizations," emphasizes District Administrator Manuel Westphal. "One or two robots will certainly also be used in our district in the future, providing real added value," District Administrator Westphal is convinced.

Awakening enthusiasm for robotics in schools

SAR takes its robots to various schools and vocational training centers in the region. "We want to get pupils interested in the highly innovative topics of the future relating to automation and programming," says Commercial Director Christine Schönweiß.

Training opportunities in the industrial, technical and commercial fields are available at the company, as are working student positions as part of a bachelor's degree "At the request of trainees and students, it is also possible to spend time abroad at SAR locations around the world. This is an interesting aspect for many young people", emphasizes Schönweiß from experience.
Text and pictures by Zukunftsinitiative altmühlfranken


District Administrator Manuel Westphal during the factory tour with (from left)
Christine Schönweiß (SAR Commercial Manager Gunzenhausen),
Rainer Schneider-Schnappauf (SAR Branch Manager Gunzenhausen),
Harald Rohrmoser (Managing Director KNEXT),
Peter Sudler (SAR Sales Manager Plastic Systems)
and the two business promoters of the district
Sabine Unterlandstaettner und Sebastian Regensburger
(Foto: District Office Weißenburg-Gunzenhausen / Sebastian Regensburger)


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