KOMET of America Recognized for Excellence in Training and Education

The German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest (GACCoM) has recently recognized outstanding German American business achievements during its 12th annual MERLIN Awards Gala. KOMET of America took home the prestigious 2012 Award for Excellence in Training and Education.



Chicago – May 14, 2012. “Perseverance will be rewarded sooner or later - usually however later...” said Dr. F.- Hans Grandin, President/CEO of KOMET of America, quoting Wilhelm Busch during his acceptance speech at the German American Chamber of Commerce’s MERLIN Awards Gala on May 4th. It is indeed perseverance and unconventional thinking during the economic downturn of 2009 that was saluted when KOMET of America was honored with the 2012 MERLIN Award for Excellence in Training and Education.


At the onset of the economic crisis KOMET, a manufacturer of highly engineered hole making tools such as drills, reamers and threading tools located in Schaumburg, IL made the conscious choice to keep more employees on board than what was required for production. It saw the slowdown as an opportunity to overhaul its processes by investing in its workforce. It retained its skilled and well-performing workers and embarked on a Lean Manufacturing initiative which started with a basic Lean and 5S training for all employees, followed by classroom and on-the-job training, as well as ideas management and KAIZEN initiatives. These training initiatives led to a culture of continuous improvement, which translated in an increase in productivity of over 30% compared to pre-crisis levels. Grandin comments: “We invested time and resources to working on the business, and we did so as a team with our employees. Consequently, we emerged with much quicker reaction times and excellent reliability that have helped us generate remarkable growth. Now we need to stay focused on continuously improving our efficiency even further in order to master this growth.” 


Visibly touched by the recognition of KOMET’s efforts and successes, Grandin also expressed his gratitude: “I want to thank the company’s stakeholders for supporting our ideas and decisions through the tough times; our employees who have invested long hours in turning the vision into reality; our spouses and partners for their understanding and support; and the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest for being such a great platform for networking and highlighting true excellence in German American trade.”   


Celebrating its 30th Anniversary in the U.S. in 2012, KOMET of America intends to further its steady growth by constantly investing in new, technologically-advanced equipment, training its workers, many of which are veterans cumulating 20, 25 and even 30 years with the company, and promoting team work. It will also maintain ongoing initiatives such as frequent exchanges of employees between Germany and the US, virtually-linked international project teams and global management of key accounts, which provide for technical and cultural information exchanges and help define the unique German American identity of the organization. The company employs approximately 220 people in North America, and is the fastest growing subsidiary of the KOMET Group®, headquartered in Besigheim, Germany. 


The GACCoM also honored 3 other companies at its annual elegant MERLIN Awards Gala, which took place at the InterContinental Chicago on Friday May 4th under the theme “A World of Excellence in German American Trade”. 004 Technologies USA was recognized as Best New Company, Rittal Corporation as Best Innovator and Barnes & Thornburg LLP as Best Service Provider.

KOMET accepting the Merlin Award for Excellence in Training and Education
Dr. F - Hans Grandin speaking at the 2012 Merlin Awards ceremony