Green deal
15. September 2021

Interview with Milan Jurky

Mr. Milan Jurky is the Managing Director of Schaeffler Kysuce, one of the largest production plants of the Schaeffler Group, a leading global supplier to the automotive and industrial sectors. He has been working for Schaeffler for more than 20 years in various job positions –  ranging from experience in product design, construction technology and tool preparation to becoming the Managing Director
of the biggest employer in the Kysuce region. Thanks to him, the production plant succeeded in gaining an important investment and a priority research and development partnership for electric vehicles within the Schaeffler Group. Milan Jurky is an university and PhD graduate of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the Zilina University. From 2011, he serves as an ambassador of this university and actively promotes studying of the technical fields.

We’re pioneers, when it comes to motion
Schaeffler as a leading supplier of sustainable electric mobility

1. Schaeffler is undergoing a comprehensive transformation towards electric mobility. What does the company exactly focus on in this field?
The Schaeffler Group establishes itself as a leading supplier of various solutions for sustainable electric mobility across all electrification levels. We have been engaged with electric mobility for more than 20 years and understand the requirements of our customers. Besides our modular, highly integrated technology platform for electric motors, we offer innovative and highly profitable hybrid modules, hybrid drive units and all-electric axle transmissions. Through our strong expertise in mass production and high innovation capacity, we want to become the preferred partner for e-mobility solutions for our customers.
2. What role plays the Slovak site Schaeffler Kysuce in this transformation?
Our location in Kysucke Nove Mesto is one of Schaeffler´s key centres of competence regarding e-mobility. Since 2020, we have been producing electric axels for the premium automotive segment and want to further strengthen our    e-mobility scope. This is achieved through one of the most advanced and extensive research and development centers within companies operating in Slovakia, which we can draw on in Kysuce. This gives us a high level of technological expertise and the ability to develop and launch new products.
3. How can companies like Schaeffler make e-mobility a success?
At Schaeffler, we said earlier than others that we expect around 30 percent electric, 40 percent hybrid, and only 30 percent internal combustion engines in new cars in 2030. To achieve this, e-cars must of course be affordable and have sufficient range. But there are other factors as well.
In my opinion, the expansion of the charging infrastructure plays a crucial part in the field of electromobility. The attractiveness of an electric vehicle for the end customer depends on the simplicity and comfort of their use. Therefore, easily accessible charging points are essential. In addition, most European households do not have a budget for large and expensive batteries, and without the possibility of charging, mobility for these customers will be really limited. What we need are commitments by national governments and binding targets to set up a sufficient infrastructure of charging points and hydrogen stations. Schaeffler will contribute its part by providing charging stations our employees and guests at all our sites.
4. With the Fit for 55 program, the EU has set high targets for reducing CO2 emissions. Is e-mobility the ideal way to achieve them?
The proposed CO2 reduction target for cars of 55% by 2030 will be very challenging for everyone and requires a corresponding binding target for all member states to build up the required infrastructure. To achieve the goals, all options including highly efficient internal combustion engines, hybrids, battery electric and hydrogen vehicles must play a role. That is why we at Schaeffler are not focusing exclusively on e-mobility, but also on the topic of hydrogen. We are convinced that the hydrogen energy chain is an important building block for a carbon-neutral future and will play a central role in achieving climate targets. To reach them, we need electricity from renewable sources that is used for electrolysis. At Schaeffler, we then have technologies along the entire chain: solutions for hydrogen generation through electrolysis as well as for its use in fuel cells.
5. How will the transformation towards new ways of mobility affect the location in Kysuce in terms of jobs?
By winning a priority partnership in research and development of e-mobility solutions within the Schaeffler Group, a field in which we already employ around 100 people, Schaeffler Kysuce will grow and create new jobs. Until 2023, we want to employ another 250 colleagues for projects related to electric mobility. We are currently looking for university-educated people in the fields of electrical engineering and mechatronics, as well as software and application engineers. By then, approximately 10 percent of our currently around 4.300 employees will be working on electromobility projects.
6. Are employees with excellent qualification one of highest importance?
The technological transformation is a huge challenge for Schaeffler and its employees, but it also offers us many interesting opportunities. To use them, Schaeffler is developing qualification programmes for its employees to adapt them to the work requirements arising from new technologies. At Kysuce, we prepared a concept to gain theoretical as well as practical experiences in the most dominant area within electric mobility: Mechatronics, which combines the fields of Mechanics, Electrical Engineering, as well as Software Engineering. This program has been developed in collaboration with major institutions and universities, linking academic education with Industry. Through highly professional trainings provided by our experts from the corporate training centre Schaeffler Academy, our employees can constantly improve their qualifications.
7. To what extend does Schaeffler also coperate with local universities in ordner to promote the Know-How in Slovakia?
We launched an active partnership with the University of Zilina with the aim of building a team of qualified teachers in the important area of electric mobility through the “Train the Trainer” educational programme. In the course of this, German experts pass on their knowledge to selected lecturers at the University of Zilina. As a result, since June of this year, some content from our Fit4Mechatronics educational program has already been integrated into teaching by certified lecturers at the University.
Of course, we also cooperate with other universities, for example by providing experts from the field of e-mobility as guest lecturers. In addition, through our Young Engineer Program, the company offer students who are about to graduate the opportunity to supplement their theoretical knowledge with practical experience. A highlight of this program is certainly the opportunity to become part of the R&D team at a German Schaeffler location for 3 months as part of an Erasmus+ program. Furthermore, there is the annual Schaeffler Day, an event where students can get to know our company and learn more about opportunities during or after their studies.

Schaeffler Kysuce is one of the largest production plants of Schaeffler Group – a leading global supplier to the automotive and industrial sectors, which has been driving forward groundbreaking inventions and developments in the fields of motion and mobility for over 70 years. The production plant Schaeffler Kysuce is located in Kysucke Nove Mesto and has been operating in Slovakia for 22 years. With its approximately 4,300 employees, the company contributes to the growth of living standards in the districts of Kysucke Nove Mesto, Cadca and Zilina. The company’s product portfolio in Kysuce consists of precise components and systems for engines, gearboxes and chassis, as well as rolling and plain bearing solutions for a large number of industrial applications. The company also provides e-mobility products for leading automotive suppliers (electric semi-axles, modular clutch actuators, electronic parking brakes and mechatronic tilt stabilisers).