A cooling appliance produced every 53 seconds: as Senior Strategy Manager, Edin Muslic ensures that there is good chemistry between the machines in Sulgen.
What is the difference between a hummingbird and a dinosaur? Dinosaurs are extinct. The hummingbird, on the other hand, lives on because it has evolved a beak designed to extract nectar. Edin Muslic enjoys drawing parallels between nature and the business world: “Evolution has shown that size and strength do not always prevail. It’s more about adapting to changing conditions.” This story of the hummingbird – this vision – is something he has for V-ZUG Kühltechnik AG: “With our small production volume of 75,000 cooling appliances a year at the moment, we are unique. But how can we survive against the industry giants?” The man from Bosnia already has the answer: “By remaining flexible, identifying opportunities and adapting our production facility.”
Came to Arbon with 3000 contacts and 30 years of experience
The Senior Strategy Manager has been responsible for the complex Sulgen project for over five years. He designed the layout for the new production facility. His tasks include procuring and introducing production facilities, equipment and production lines for pre-assembly, assembly and foaming lines. In other words, Edin Muslic is the brains behind the new cooling appliance production facility in Sulgen.
The qualified mechanical engineer came to V-ZUG in Arbon in 2013. “At that time, I brought with me 3,000 business cards and a career spanning almost 30 years in the cooling appliance sector”, smiles the father of two adult children. He completed his studies in 1985. Afterwards, winning a student competition in the disciplines of thermodynamics and statics was his ticket into international household appliance manufacturers in South-East Europe: “I started out as a young engineer and, over the years, worked my way up to technical manager and general manager.” He has contributed his many years of multidisciplinary expertise to the planning and production setup in Sulgen: he is just as familiar with mechanical engineering as with cooling, polyurethane foam and vacuum forming technologies. On top of this, he also has extensive experience in business administration, management, quality assurance, supply chain management and sales management.
As with an orchestra, everyone plays their own tune
The new production facility in Sulgen represents more efficiency, reliability and quality. And innovation, to further develop the premium segment of cooling appliances and inspire customers. “The biggest challenge is synchronizing the machines from different suppliers from different countries”, says Edin Muslic. Each machine has a job – one manufactures doors, another evaporators, etc. These individual modules are put together like a puzzle. “It’s like an orchestra – everyone plays their own tune. Together, they have to harmonize.” The 58-year-old laughs: “Basically, I make sure there is good chemistry between the machines.”
Innovation, evolution – these are his values. New solutions can be created where engineering, facility construction, the right choice of products and components, design and installation all combine. This is why, in terms of technology, V-ZUG Kühltechnik AG is one of the leading providers of cooling technology. However, the expert always keeps his eyes on the big picture: a sophisticated process control system coordinates the entire production process. The efficiency and capacity – the speed of the interactions between the machines – is impressive: it takes just 53 seconds to produce one individual refrigerator casing out of polyurethane foam. This is the benchmark. The whole system is timed in line with this cycle. If certain manufacturing steps take longer, they are subdivided. So, if work on the assembly line takes several minutes, it is completed at several locations.
“It’s like an orchestra – everyone plays their own tune. Together, they have to harmonize.”
Edin Muslic, Senior Strategy Manager
Thinking about tomorrow, today
Edin Muslic commutes every day from his home in Arbon to his improvised desk in the production hall in Sulgen. While his focus is entirely on the new generation of V-ZUG cooling appliances, he also has the following generation already in mind: “We built our automation architecture for the requirements of Industry 4.0. One of the next evolutionary steps may be intelligent networking between the machines.”
Production will begin in Sulgen from 2022. Then Edin Muslic’s complex planning project will be complete for the time being. How will he personally adapt to the new conditions? In his future, he would like a balance between his passion for the cooling appliance business and time for himself. Although he no longer plays basketball in his free time, he does like to cook. He never planned out his career in advance – he simply took new opportunities and also had a little luck. “If new, interesting projects come up, then we are sure to rediscover ourselves.” As he put it earlier: “V-ZUG and I – we fit together like a key and the right keyhole.”