Kirchheim/Teck is a historic half-timbered town. The homogeneous effect of the old town can be traced back to a catastrophe: the town fire of August 3, 1690. In the years that followed, the people of Kirchheim accomplished an incredible feat of reconstruction. In a very short time they rebuilt their town from scratch. With the exception of the town hall, almost all of the historic buildings that can still be found in the town center today were built in the ten years between 1690 and 1700. Visitors appreciate the special flair of Kirchheim. Those who have been there once will gladly come back. Gastronomy, stores, the market, events such as the wine village or the summer night cinema in August – all these are signs of a lively tradition. In addition, there is the environment: The striking Teck Castle had already gone up in flames during the Peasants’ War in 1525. But in the 19th and 20th centuries, new buildings were erected on the old site and on old foundations. The Teck is a popular destination for excursions in the breathtaking low mountain landscape of the Swabian Alb. This offers ideal opportunities for recreation and for sporting activities – like hiking, running, cycling, climbing and also winter sports.

Max Eyth – a Kirchheimer provides innovations in the steam age

Tradition in Kirchheim has always included innovation. In the 19th century, the name Max Eyth stood for this: As a sales engineer for Fowler & Co. in Leeds, the native of Kirchheim was responsible for the fact that high tech from Europe was able to spread around the world at that time – steam plowing and cable shipping.

Both were the epitome of revolutionary technology at the time. To this day, there are always historical demonstrations of an old team of steam locomobiles in Kirchheim. They impress with solid mechanics that still work smoothly even after 150 years – albeit with a lot of hissing when steam is released.

Kirchheim’s innovative potential in the 21st century

In the 21st century, Kirchheim is once again demonstrating great innovative potential in a much quieter manner: Instead of large steam engines, the focus today is on smart solutions, sensors, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT). Digitization ensures global networking, even without necessarily having to travel around the world in person – as Max Eyth once did.

Dialog Semiconductor works from Kirchheim on the world of tomorrow

For example, a global player like Dialog Semiconductor has had its administrative headquarters in Kirchheim-Nabern for more than 30 years. Products, patents and employees of the semiconductor manufacturer from Kirchheim are so significant and so sought-after that even Apple acquired parts of the business unit at the end of 2018. The application-specific mixed-signal integrated circuits that Dialog Semiconductor has manufactured are used in multimedia and radio broadcasting as well as in mobile communications and the automotive industry.

Whether wireless charging, data storage and logging, building and factory automation or even networked medicine – Dialog Semiconductor is already working from Kirchheim on the world of tomorrow.

Lehner Sensorsysteme reads the communication of plants

Lehner Sensorsysteme, based in Kirchheim unter Teck, is already presenting the “world of sensor technology of tomorrow”. Sensors for medical technology, for the graphics industry or for special machines have been among the innovative products of the Kirchheim-based company – also for more than 30 years. In the meantime, Managing Director Dr. Lars Lehner has tapped into yet another industry: biotechnology. Similar to Max Eyth in the 19th century, Lehner is in the process of revolutionizing agriculture – but not with the mighty power of large steam engines. Rather, the sensors get up close to the individual plant and analyze its needs. The signals that are intercepted are those that travel within the plant from bottom to top or even from top to bottom, i.e. those that convey information between root, stem, leaf, flower or fruit. By meticulously evaluating extensive data, these signals can be used to identify the needs of the plants and the stresses they are suffering from. In this way, temperature, light, water and nutrients can be precisely regulated in line with the actual needs of the plant, which it communicates internally. Even an impending pest infestation or a disease of the plant can be read out from the data provided by the sensors – long before this damage becomes visible to the farmer or gardener. Once the pest or disease is seen, it is usually already too late to take countermeasures. The sensors from Kirchheim, on the other hand, provide timely information on when the plant needs to be protected and against what. Smart sensor technology – made in Kirchheim – therefore secures the future of agriculture.

Pragmatic industries lets machines talk to people

The “rounding out” is provided by pragmatic industries GmbH from Kirchheim, which Dr. Julian Feinauer founded in 2017. If Lehner continues Max Eyth’s work in agriculture, among other things, and “translates” it into the 21st century, pragmatic industries takes on the machines and listens into them. It’s about “using data intelligently and exploiting its full potential – to strengthen SMEs in international competition through forward-looking measurement data management.” The “Digital Cockpit” from pragmatic industries brings Industry 4.0 to the machinery of every manufacturer. It enables “all machine and production data to be stored, evaluated and visualized”. This means that changes can be reacted to quickly and processes can be continuously improved. The “Digital Cockpit” therefore takes a very similar approach to the plant sensors from Lehner GmbH: It “increasingly focuses on communication between people and machines“. This also involves the meticulous evaluation of extensive data. As Lehner does for agriculture, pragmatic industries does for mechanical engineering the laborious work of “tapping the data for each machine” and then “creating meaningful analyses.” The aim is to “identify and understand the interrelationships, especially in complex physical or chemical production processes with a large number of influencing variables”.

With magility, you can hear “the grass grow”

Magility GmbH from Kirchheim always keeps an eye on all these developments. It provides consulting services to many innovative companies – especially in the automotive, mechanical engineering and construction sectors. Innovation and networking are important components for successfully accompanying and continuing the transformation of industry. The Internet of Things also includes cyber security, which magility has paid special attention to from the very beginning. Here, too, threats must be identified through in-depth analysis so that they can be countered in good time. Magility’s approach to the Internet of Things is similar to that of the plant sensors or the “digital cockpit”: the task is to identify developments at an early stage and – long before they become visible to everyone – to pick them up by sensors or almost seismographically. Listening to how the grass grows: this has always been a metaphor for getting ahead through know-how. Magility is offering this know-how and is thus in the best Kirchheim tradition.