Chief Development Officer, LÄPPLE AG


Markus Knaup

With LÄPPLE AG since 2017.

My tasks

Company development and digital transformation at LÄPPLE AG.


What do you do?

There are fields in which human beings, organisations and technology interface with one other, and that’s where I come in. As such, I’m responsible for company development and digital transformation at FIBRO.


What excites you about your job?

What excites me? Well, when it comes to the fields in which the things I mentioned interface with one another – especially when thinking about the digital revolution or solutions to our problems – I'm not talking about the technology as such. Rather, when it comes to digital transformation, I'm referring to the people that are affected by such processes. I'm also talking about how organisations can deal with these issues, and of course the technologies themselves. It’s finding solutions in these specific scenarios which has always captivated me.


What is Industry 4.0?

What is Industry 4.0? How can I even begin to break down such a subject?! It’s an incredibly exciting idea, but it’s something which eludes a specific definition. However, there is a story to be told about this subject. Industry 4.0 is a uniquely German invention; it’s not something that emerged from any of our international counterparts. Internationally – and this is important to take into account when defining our terms – it’s referred to as IoT, or the Internet of Things. This has a more specific reference, namely how things and devices, such as a clock or smart watch, can communicate with the Internet in order to make processes more efficient, as one example. I think the scope of IoT and smart devices is to determine how we can apply different technologies in order to make processes more efficient and develop new product utilities. The question is, how can I use this technology to ultimately create added value for the customer?


In terms of Industry 4.0 and the digital revolution, to what extent do they form part of your day-to-day operations?

We have several ongoing projects on the subject of digital transformation. One of these is here at the Weinsberg site. We are currently discussing plans to design and build an intelligent rotary table. This means that certain parameters would be registered using sensors and then analysed using intelligent algorithms. The overall system was conceived and developed by us and has been offered to customers as a product associated with the rotary table. When it comes to standard parts, we are working on another project involving intelligent gathering of pressure and temperature data from a gas spring – data which is then transferred to other systems or third-party applications. That’s two projects we are currently working on in this field.


What are the advantages of being part of the LÄPPLE Group?

When you consider the various companies under the LÄPPLE Group umbrella, it's clear that we have a diverse range of technologies on offer. I think that’s a massive advantage. We are active in the field of automation, the standard parts, meaning both standard components and rotary tables. This gives us quite a wide portfolio, allowing me to configure entire process chains from different business areas, as well as tap into the knowledge held by such a broad spectrum using technological means.


When it comes to the digital revolution, where do you think the journey will take us and what do you think will be exciting?

What especially fascinates me are the opportunities we could have in the field of digitalisation if we use these technologies to our advantage. It’s no mystery that the solutions we offer inspire customers. The moment you notice that what you’re doing is impressing customers is when you realise that it’s some of the highest praise you can get, because you are witnessing that what you are doing is finding acceptance and interest on the market. This is what keeps us going and gives us encouragement.