HOF ranks among the “TOP 100”

HOF succeeded in belonging to the German innovation elite / A prize awarded by Mr. Ranga Yogeshwar, the "TOP 100" mentor.

For the 23rd time, the event "TOP 100" awarded the most innovative medium-sized companies. HOF previously took part in a sophisticated, scientific selection process. Innovation management and innovation success were considered. On 24 June, in the city of Essen, the mentor of the innovation competition, Mr. Ranga Yogeshwar, a famous german television moderator and scientific journalist, honored the top innovator within this German medium-sized companies Summit.

Every machine is unique

"Just in time quality for demanding customers" - that's the motto of HOF Sonderanlagenbau GmbH. The company is also specialized in the production of individual freeze drying systems for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries and does not deliver any off-the-shelf products; it provides special equipment. In the category "innovative processes and organization", HOF as a special equipment manufacturer, is excellently positioned: its management, its quality management, its software development and its mechanical and electrical engineering departments work closely together. Almost every machine which is delivered by HOF is unique or it is a new development, because it is exactly agreed with the customer and manufactured to meet its specific requirements. Before concluding the contract, HOF receives a comprehensive requirement specification. The processes used for the project execution and realization are precisely defined and are certified according to ISO 9001.

Making decisions together

In this TOP 100 competition, the company could particularly score with its remarkable processes. In order to select the best proposals, the heads of departments regularly meet outside business hours. During the meetings, they decide together in details how to master the challenges and which new technologies can be taken up. The meetings are held once a quarter and often take four to four and a half hours. So that these ideas don't bog down, they are always monitored by external advisors, which keep hold and follow-up on all relevant ideas.

Nothing is left to chance

Before the company management gives it green light for an innovation, it is ensured that all aspects have been exactly checked by every department. The focus will be on the short-term profit, but also on the long-term and future output, which may be connected with this innovation. Also it is important to master together new technological challenges, such as controlled nucleation. New solutions found by the team are immediately checked in-house: in the company's own application laboratory, in which multi-purpose experiments can be made. For this special equipment manufacturer, innovations in the field of freeze-drying are not left to chance; they are prepared and structured methodically.

The company management invested 40 percent of working time in innovations. Last year, the staff submitted 150 improvement suggestions. 85 percent of the ideas were implemented.

This year, more than 4,000 companies showed interest in participating to the "TOP 100" event. 366 of them applied for the qualifying round. 284 of them reached the final round. 238 finally made a leap forward in the TOP 100 (maximal 100 in each of the three size categories). The companies were assessed again by Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Franke and his team from the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation of Vienna University of Economics. They assessed 100 parameters in five assessment categories like "Innovation-oriented Top Management", "Climate of Innovation", "Innovative Processes and Organization", "Innovation Marketing / outward orientation" and "Innovation success".

In their sector, the TOP 100 rank among "the pacemakers". This is confirmed by the following figures analysis: among the companies, there are 97 national market leaders and 32 global market leaders.


"A close cooperation is made with our quality and improvement management to discuss, document and follow-up our ideas"

The HOFs Family