- Tech Insights
Today, besides the constant cost reduction pressures in the industry, fostered by the Chinese Tariffs implemented by the US, the pandemic and post-pandemic time is challenging, especially with an overheated labor market and ample supply chain constraints. MERKA Lang is addressing these issues with production in best-cost countries with available highly qualified labor, insourcing of production and localization of material purchases, and design-driven cost reduction initiatives.
MEKRA is an independent company of the MEKRA Group, the leading manufacturer of rearview vision systems for commercial vehicles. This North American facility also houses the primary engineering, research, and design operations for the Western Hemisphere.
The transformation of MEKRA Lang into a World Class organization depends on each team member and takes several years and is not yet finished. Even more, the pandemic induced a setback in the transformation process.
• At the beginning of the transformation, the leadership team developed a holistic business strategy that is reviewed yearly and tracked monthly, in some cases even daily, measured indicators down to the Shopfloor to assure that the implementation stays on track.
• The Quality and Manufacturing Engineering Teams set the basics with improved quality performance through training, reporting, and especially error-proofing manufacturing processes.
• Product engineering supported with an innovative design for manufacturing to give
• Sales the opportunity to convince the customers of the potential of MEKRA Lang and gain truck programs to give high cost and lead time benefits to the OEM customers.
“MEKRA Lang’s digital vision system, developed to replace standard door mirrors, improves fuel economy and vision for the drivers. The unique design is “functional safe,” meaning it detects potential malfunctions and alerts the driver.”
For many years, the MEKRA Lang group has investigated and produced camera solutions to support the commercial vehicle driver’s needs. The latest innovation in partnership with Bosch is the only mirror replacement system (digital vision system) in the World Market on the roads in Europe, which won the Daimler and the CES innovation awards in 2019 and is currently in an introduction in North America, giving additional features required by this market and developed in the US in MEKRA Lang’s “Innovation Center” in Charlotte/NC.
MERKA Lang, as a German company as a powerful engineering team in its headquarters in Ergersheim. Paired with the team members in Ridgeway/SC, Charlotte/NC, Escobedo/MX, and Sao Paulo, cultural differences foster innovative solutions and robust implementations, not only for the traditional commercial vehicle mirror systems but also for digital vision systems. Standardization of development processes and project management helps organizations stay ahead of the competition and implement innovations in short timeframes.
MEKRA Lang’s digital vision system, developed to replace standard door mirrors, improves fuel economy and vision for the drivers. The unique design is “functional safe,” meaning it detects potential malfunctions and alerts the driver. High-end visualization simulates the 3D effect of a real mirror crisp and clear, and the night vision mode enhances visibility. All this at a better fuel rate economy and enhanced field of view, not only by unique features of the system like trailer panning (which keeps the end of the trailer in the field of view of the driver during maneuvers) but also by avoidance of a bulky door mirror on the side of the truck.
As a technology-based company focusing on innovation and the design of high-quality products, MEKRA Group has achieved a position of global leadership within the industry. However, even that customers save avoid many costly problems by using suppliers with high-quality performance, most of them don’t honor a 0 defect approach with higher prices; it is “just” the requirement in the industry. Top-quality doesn’t come at zero cost for the supplier. Thus, efficient processes, best-cost country footprint, and practical design solutions need to be paired with a motivated team and robust supply chain.
MEKRA Lang is partnering with several customers to introduce new mirror systems for their new truck programs. Also, newcomers in the market with electric drivetrain commercial vehicles rely on the expertise of MEKRA Lang. They will launch their products with MEKRA Lang’s mirror system in the upcoming months. The next big step forward in growth and innovation in implementing the digital vision system in 2022. It is currently in testing and refinement for the local market.IE
Dr. Werner Lang
Managing Directors of MEKRA Lang GmbH & Co. KG
MEKRA Lang is a globally active family company in the commercial vehicle industry and employs around 2,500 people at 18 locations in Europe, Asia and America. Particular attention is paid to safety through sight. MEKRA Lang develops and produces mirror systems and camera monitor systems for particularly demanding applications in the commercial vehicle segment - for trucks, buses, agricultural and construction machinery as well as for mobile homes - worldwide. MEKRA Lang is a global family business with focus on commercial vehicle industry and approx. 2,500 employees at 18 entities in Europe, Asia as well as Americas. We develop and produce mirror and camera monitor systems for the demanding use in the commercial vehicle segment - consisting of trucks, buses,