User login

Forgot your password?

Press detail

Coating solutions Markets Coaters Academy Press Company Glossary

Ewald Dörken AG is one of the TOP 100






Ewald Dörken AG is one of the TOP 100


Herdecke-based company numbers among Germany's innovations elite / Dörken MKS-Systeme, a Dörken Group company, has also been awarded the coveted seal of quality for the fifth time. / Distinction awarded by TOP 100 mentor Ranga Yogeshwar

The TOP 100 list of most innovative small and medium-sized German companies has been published for the 23rd time. Ewald Dörken AG and its four subsidiaries - including Dörken MKS-Systeme GmbH & Co. KG - are amongst the top innovators for the fifth time. The Herdecke-based company was first required to take part in a demanding scientific selection process. This looked at innovation management and innovation success. Competition mentor Ranga Yogeshwar awarded the honour to the top innovators in the scope of the German SME summit in Essen on 24 June.

Committed top management is the driving force for innovation at Ewald Dörken AG of Herdecke, which has been named amongst the Top 100 companies for the fifth time. With a broad range of products from construction foil to construction paints and systems to micro layer corrosion protection systems, the family-run company, founded in 1892, is national leader, with 23 locations worldwide also making it one of the leading players internationally. Management invests a good deal of its working time in the research, analysis and realisation of product and process innovations, as well as further training in the area of innovation management. All of the approximately 1,000 employees of the corporate group are involved in the idea generation process – for example, large groups host events in the style of a "world café".

"Recognising customer requirements and serving these with a tailored solution is innovation for us," says director Thorsten Koch. Innovations Manager Ilias Mokanis consequently trains management in creative process methods that place a focus on customer benefits. "The managers of our business units take the time to accompany me on visits to pilot customers," he explains. "This commitment opens doors and establishes trust." Interaction with users is to the fore in this: "We make prototypes available to our customers at an early stage. Our partners in trade and industry then assist us by evaluating these prototypes for handling and functionality. With their feedback we can then optimise the product further," says Ilias Mokanis. This sometimes even results in completely new perspectives opening up for a longstanding, proven technology. One example of this is the new KTL technology of Dörken MKS-Systeme GmbH & Co. KG with the system named Delta-eLack®. The combination of the system with zinc flake technology and innovative plant engineering from Dörken MKS gives rise to a flexible bulk products system that opens up completely new areas of application for cathodic dip coating: via high-performance cathodic corrosion protection, generated in an extremely economical coating process.

The acid test

This year saw over 4,000 declare their interest in participating in the TOP 100. 366 of these applied for the qualification round. Of these, 284 made it to the final round. 238 achieved the jump into the TOP 100 (maximum 100 in each of the three size categories). Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Franke and his team at the Institute of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Vienna University of Economics and Business once again assessed the companies. They assessed over 100 parameters in five assessment categories: “Innovation-promoting top management", "Innovative climate", "Innovative processes and optimisation", "Innovation marketing/outward orientation" and "Innovation success".

The TOP 100 number amongst the pace-setters in their respective fields. This was backed up by the figures for the assessment: amongst the companies 97 are national market leaders and 32 global market leaders. On average, at the last count they achieved 40 percent of their turnover with new developments and product improvements, which they brought to market before their competitors. In this, their sales growth stood 28 percentage points above the respective average for their sectors. Together, in the last three years the SMEs registered some 2,292 national and international patents. This innovative energy also brings a benefit in the form of jobs: the TOP 100 companies plan to hire around 9,500 new employees in the next three years. The TOP 100 mentor, science journalist and TV presenter Ranga Yogeshwar, is impressed by the quality of the companies and hopes to see a signal effect: "The manner in which the TOP 100 generate new ideas and use these to develop pioneering products and services is remarkable in every sense of the word. I am therefore delighted that the awarding of this distinction makes these qualities visible. Hopefully their success will encourage other companies to do the same. Because this innovations culture will become increasingly significant for all companies."

TOP 100: the competition

Since 1993 compamedia has awarded the TOP 100 seal for particular innovative energy and above-average innovation success to small and medium-sized companies. Since 2002 academic administration has been in the hands of Dr. Nikolaus Franke, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Vienna University of Economics and Business. Mentor of TOP 100 is science journalist and TV presenter Ranga Yogeshwar. Project partners are the Fraunhofer Society for the Advancement of Applied Research and the BVMW. Media partner for the companies comparison is manager magazin. More information at