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Idea management
3i is the Siemens-wide program that promotes, implements and rewards employee ideas and initiatives. What is a good 3i idea? It is one that identifies "what" should be improved, outlines "how" something can be improved and explains "why" the idea's implementation will be a real improvement for our customers, employees and/or Siemens itself.

Siemens wins first place for "Best Idea Management"

Further Information

400 good ideas – every day

The inventiveness of Siemens employees can be relied upon – and so can 3i, too. During fiscal year 2017, idea management activities within the company, known as "3i – Ideas, Innovations, Initiatives", again made a solid contribution to the success of the company. Overall savings and benefits worth a record amount of 300 million euros provide further evidence that employees in more and more countries are able to submit ideas for improvements – a true testament to our active ownership culture.
Making processes faster or more secure, improving products, boosting customer benefits – during fiscal 2017, Siemens employees have contributed over 160,000 improvement suggestions through the 3i Program, representing an average of more than 400 each and every day. Nearly 125,000 suggestions that have gone on to be implemented have brought the company measurable savings and benefits worth more than 300 million euros – the largest amount so far.

Event Pictures: Siemens wins first place for "Best Idea Management"

Siemens wins first place for ist idea management at the German congress of the Zentrum Ideenmanagement.
Siemens wins first place for ist idea management at the German congress of the Zentrum Ideenmanagement. On behalf of Siemens (f.l.t.r.): Markus Wegmann, Nina Günther und Peter Heck.
Siemens wins first place for ist idea management at the German congress of the Zentrum Ideenmanagement. On behalf of Siemens (f.l.t.r.): Markus Wegmann, Nina Günther und Peter Heck.
Siemens wins first place for ist idea management at the German congress of the Zentrum Ideenmanagement. On behalf of Siemens (f.l.t.r.): Markus Wegmann, Nina Günther und Peter Heck.

History – Idea management for almost 110 years

Idea management has a long tradition at Siemens. The first documented profit-sharing program was introduced by Werner von Siemens in 1858 as a stock-taking bonus. The first submitted idea was dated February 22, 1889 (photo). In 1910, the rules and rewards for improvement suggestions were put into writing for the first time. Idea management at Siemens will soon be 110 years old. The current 3i program was introduced in 1997 and has been continuously refined since then.


Dummies for 3-D printer:
In the job of manufacturing compressors with the appropriate peripheral devices, every small component is required before the piece of equipment is complete. To prevent delays, it has been necessary up to now to use dummies that are replaced with original parts at a later time. This is the case for certain valves that can occasionally have weeks-long delivery times. Because suppliers are frequently unable to provide such dummies, a colleague at Siemens' compressor plant in Duisburg came up with the idea of producing the parts herself with a 3-D printer. And the idea works: The valve dummies can now be produced when needed and at a lower cost. This, in turn, lowers the risk of delays in compressor manufacturing.
One for all:
To ship generator rotors throughout the world, a customized transport frame that complies with regulations of the destination country had to be designed and built up to now. A cross-function and unit team at Siemens' location at Mülheim an der Ruhr has recently developed a modular and variable transport frame: It can be used for nearly all generator types that weigh up to 100 tons. The frame can also be used for transports by truck, train, ship and, in particular, plane, an area subject to especially strict security regulations. This invention will drive down costs significantly because the frame can be reused unlike the custom-made units used in the past. 
DSL modems for fire-alarm systems:
Disruptions continuously occur inside networks of fire-alarm stations in various buildings over long distances. The use of fiber optic cable to link fire-alarm stations located up to several kilometers from one another had been the only way up to now to prevent interference. But fiber optic cable is a relatively expensive option because the cable frequently has to be laid first. A Siemens technician has come up with a way to use the existing copper cable to do the job. Best of all, this idea prevents outside interfering factors from having a negative impact on data transmissions among fire-alarm stations. The simple and very effective solution: DSL modems are used among the fire-alarm stations. In the process, interfering factors are eliminated. Field trials at customers' locations have already been successfully carried out.
Smart solution:
Electrical minimum clearances complying with particular standards must be adhered to in order to avoid electric flashovers. This means one thing: For structures like bridges and tunnels, a sufficient distance must be maintained between the structure and the electrical conductor of the overhead contact line system, particularly when the overhead contact line system is exposed to climatic conditions like wind and ice or dynamic forces produced by pantographs.
Measures taken to comply with the required distances – structural changes or the lowering of the rails – can cause budgeted construction costs to skyrocket and extend construction times.
A voltage surge arrester solution specially developed by Siemens enable the reduction of power surges created by lightning or switching overvoltages on a structure to a lower level. As a result of this reduction, the smaller electrical minimum clearance for a lower voltage level can now also be applied. The solution developed by four colleagues from the Mobility Division is therefore ideally suited for use with low bridges and tunnels, avoiding costly restructuring measures.


Wolfram Trost

Siemens AG

+49 (89) 636-34794

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