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Hidria announces innovators of the year

At today’s 6th Hidria Innovation Forum in Kendov Dvorec, Spodnja Idrija, Hidria conferred awards to the innovators of the year, the authors of improvements involving the greatest economic benefit and the authors of the best graduation theses in 2011.

In the products category, the title Innovator of the year 2011 went to Iztok Skočir, Igor Dolenc and Aleš Bizjak for developing the oil heater with integrated temperature sensor and water level. Heater with two integrated sensors, temperature and water, is an innovation on the global market. Patent application is pending for the solution which places Hidria among the leading global producers of diesel engine cold start systems. The rewarded heater will be integrated in Opel and other trademark vehicles.
In the technology and technological solutions category, the first prize was awarded to Davorin Rejc. The innovator optimised the production of air heaters by developing a device for bending resistors for air heaters, which is a new product on the market. The device is ecological and energy efficient and operates at low-level noise, meeting the highest European standards.
The winners in the category of business models were Renato Gnezda, Aleš Poljanšek, MSc, and Boštjan Zajec, DSc, with the WESPA Project, an interdisciplinary approach to resolving customer needs which combines the engineering support and the pre-development and sales activities, yielding significant advantages over the competitors.
The award for the improvement of the year 2010 was presented to Uroš Bucaj, Alfio Krivičič and Boris Stanič who updated, upon their own initiative, the system for cooling the vehicles on dynamometer, thus generating more than EUR 45,000 of annual savings.
The title of the organisational unit of the year in terms of the number of improvements per employee went to the unit Flame plugs, and its manager Bogdan Lapanja was selected as the best head of organisational unit, generating the largest number of improvements, together with his colleagues.
At the Hidria’s Innovation Forum, the author of the best graduation thesis in 2010 was also announced. David Mašera successfully completed his studies with the graduation thesis entitled “Optimisation of the electronic board production process”. The graduation thesis had been written simultaneously with the implementation of innovations and changes and contributed to the improvement of quality in electronic board production in the electronics department.
More than 150 leading managers of Hidria, innovators and award recipients attended the 6th Hidria Innovation Forum, which was also intended for getting to know the strategy in the field of innovation culture in Hidria, exchange of experience and opinions on the innovation process. Following the introductory speech of the Chairman of Hidria and the President of the Management Board Edvard Svetlik and Iztok Seljak, MSc, who focused on the management and motivation of employees and the competence and innovation, Tanja Mohorič, Director of Innovation Culture, spoke about Hidria’s innovation and improvement models.
The guests of this year’s Hidria’s forum put different perspectives on the innovations. Prof. Dr. Borut Likar from the Innovation and technology institute talked about the role of managers and the process of identifying the opportunities for improvement. Dražen Carić from the consulting company I.C.I.C. presented the new models of innovation and the tools for achieving excellence in the innovation process. Gonzalo Hennequet from Renault focused on the development of competencies with the emphasis on the method of developing competences used in pre-development process by the Renault Corporation.