Success Story: GIESSER sharpensBlade Production with Process Data

The Customer

As one of the world's leading manufacturers of quality knives and accessories for professional users, Johannes Giesser Messerfabrik GmbH manufactures more than 8,000 professional knives every day at its headquarters in Winnenden, Baden-Wuerttemberg. Around 2,500 forged or stamped knives for the catering and food processing industry are part of the product range of this traditional company. Giesser has been producing knives and cutlery artisanly since 1776.
Today, the manufacturer of hand knives relies not only on craftsmanship but also on computer-aided work to keep pace with market developments. The latest IT coup of the knife factory: The real-time visualization of production processes and data on monitors in the production hall and in offices – so that all employees can see at a glance at any time whether everything is running smoothly in production or where the final touch is still missing.


“Every week we receive around 20 production orders. These result in requirements for sub-articles, which are then manufactured at various stations. The core is the blade production, which takes place in eight different work steps. Up to now, we have used printed plug-in cards to map the order management, which the employees of the various groups had to get according to the work process,” explains Björn Mutschler, Head of Injection Moulding at Johannes Giesser Messerfabrik GmbH. “However, this paper-supported method has its pitfalls: paper printouts are not only expensive, but above all they contain rigid information that only corresponds to the facts at the time of printing. Whenever an order is given a higher priority at short notice or the required quantity has changed, it was necessary to ensure that the circulating slips of paper were captured, reprinted and replaced as quickly as possible. Errors in delivery dates or production quantities are pre-programmed. We wanted to change this with the digital visualization of the orders.”
Since the ERP system used, CimMETAL, did not offer a visualization function and data could only be made visible with great effort, a specific IT solution was to ensure the desired transparency.

The Solution

Giesser has opted for Peakboard. The installation-free all-in-one solution offers all the necessary hardware and software components for aggregating data from various source systems and visualizing them in real time – packaged in a smartphone-sized aluminum box. The management was initially skeptical. “At first you only see a computer in miniature format and wonder why you should spend money on it, when there are small single board computers on every corner for less than a hundred euros,” recalls Mutschler. “As soon as the small computer was able to show what it was capable of during the free trial of Peakboard, the Okay came immediately.”

Solution at a Glance


Visualization of production data from CimMETAL (ERP software for the metal processing industry) on monitors in the production hall and in offices


Connection of the ERP system CimMETAL via dedicated interface to Peakboard, provision of five different Peakboards on four monitors in the production hall as well as one monitor in the master office.


  • More transparent order management
  • Visibility of orders and production progress for all employees in offices and the production hall
  • Real-time data access at any time to show the actual state of the system
  • No quantity and schedule deviations due to direct visualization of schedule and/or quantity changes
  • Greater motivation of employees through transparency about their own work performance

Time to Value

14 days for the development of the interface, connection of the data source including interface development as well as the provision of a first board.


Location Winnenden

Johannes Giesser Messerfabrik GmbH
Johannes-Giesser-Strasse 1
71364 Winnenden

Phone: +49 7195 1808-0
Fax: +49 7195 64466

Application and Benefits

“First of all, we visualized a complete overview of our production orders with all work steps in a Peakboard for the master office,” Mutschler explains. “The basic idea was that we wanted to show what was reported back for which operation: For each production step, a feedback message is sent to the ERP system. For example, when the punching process is complete, the employee at the punching machine reports back on the quantity produced. This quantity is then the starting point for the next operation or is based on this feedback as to whether the quantity has to be completed if there is a shortfall or whether the quantity is sufficient. In the past, we have always had major differences here. Since the number that was reported back was only in the ERP system, thus virtually disappeared in a black box, the employee had no insight into whether he had entered his number correctly. With Peakboard he now has this transparency and we can be sure that the figures are correct.”
In the meantime about 60 employees in the production as well as two employees in the master office use a total of five different Peakboards. The shipping department uses a backorder board to find out which backorders are available for which calendar weeks. Detailed information on which customer orders are affected is available with a click. The Peakboard in the punching shop contains key figures for work steps such as punching and hardening. Another board hangs in the grinding shop: all machines with the respective work orders are managed on this board. The polishing shop also has a board that visualizes the orders for each machine.
“With us, every Peakboard has several functions,” adds Mutschler. “Using function keys on one keyboard, we can call up several screens. For example, we have deposited the shift and vacation plans for the master office as a PDF document on the Peakboard with the complete overview. Or: If a machine fails, the employees can manually set it to red, and at the same time an e-mail is sent to the employee responsible for the respective machine.”
The response of the employees was very positive. The production engineers found it highly appreciated to be integrated into the overall process via Peakboard instead of working more or less isolated from information about the current production status. “Of course, with the newly gained transparency, there is also more pressure, because now you can also see that, for example, you're still behind your target values,” says Mutschler. “But most employees perceive this pressure positively – as an incentive to achieve their production goals and to see how well they work.”
The main benefit of using Peakboard lies in the newly gained transparency over all production steps. As a result, production efficiency has been improved through faster and more precise processes. The elimination of paper-based order management and shift planning has also significantly reduced the amount of paper required.


Further Peakboards or the refinements of existing boards are already in planning. Giesser is currently working on the implementation of a management board that maps the visualization of business data such as cash flow without first having to request reports from the accounting department. In addition, it is planned to program a function key on the Peakboards so that accompanying documents can be printed out if this is unavoidable – for example, technical data.