Can you give us a brief account of your professional career so far?
My story at LÄPPLE can be split into two parts. I trained as a machinist here in 1984. After spending a year in the testing department I left the company, before joining again in 1995. Then I worked as a sales engineer and sales manager. Today I’m head of sales and development for FIBRO rotary tables.
What do you like most about your job?
I have a passion for technology, that's what makes my job so exciting. I also love introducing the technology to our customers and talking to my industry colleagues about it. That alone is thrilling for me. But it’s even better when you consider the international nature of the business. We have numerous sites around the world, and they all need visiting. I also enjoy helping out my colleagues on site. All of that makes my job really exciting.
What do your customers expect when it comes to rotary tables?
There are a range of requirements in terms of rotary tables, including technical requirements relating to operating speed, rigidity and load-bearing capabilities. Adapting the products to the customer’s machinery is one of the main challenges for us. And of course we always have to keep an eye on costs. While the customer is obviously buying the technology from us, they’re also paying for adherence to a specific delivery deadline.
What issues are on your mind the most at the moment?
One of the key issues we face today is internationalisation. Not only do we have to look after the customers we have and support them all around the world – we also have to position ourselves internationally in terms of production and assembly. While this has implications in terms of cost, it also impacts on our proximity to customers and our ability to meet delivery deadlines.
A major international market in terms of manufacturing systems engineering is in Asia, particularly China and India. This is where we are setting up production and assembly factories.
The various locations remain under our commercial control, which means that we have sales staff at these international sites who receive technical documents and tenders from us.
To what extent have lean-management principles been applied at FIBRO?
Lean management is an incredibly important topic – more important now than ever, in fact. Cost reductions can only be achieved by streamlining all processes and workflows right up to final assembly and shipping accordingly. So we are putting incredibly ambitious measures in place so that we can make improvements in all departments in this regard.
What sets FIBRO apart from its competitors?
FIBRO offers higher precision, higher quality and shorter lead times while offering a much wider product portfolio and maintaining very close relationships with its customers. What makes FIBRO special is its ability to adapt to customer requirements, which means implementing specific, custom applications for its customers.
What are the advantages of being part of the LÄPPLE Group?
The fact that LÄPPLE a large group of companies has its benefits. LÄPPLE Aus- und Weiterbildung is a perfect example, because it provides the individual companies with qualified apprentices. I think it’s really great to be able to run our operations on the strength of having a larger group of companies.
Can you give us an example of the strengths conferred by the Group?
We build synergistic relationships between the individual companies in the Group. For example, we supply rotary tables that LÄPPLE uses for production facilities as well as ones that FLT installs into their systems.
What motivates you to come into work every day?
I think that there’s a lot of scope for action in this field, together with my colleagues and the LÄPPLE Group more broadly, in addition to the Board of Directors and other management staff. What motivates me is moving towards new horizons every day, with all of the challenges that brings, as well as the opportunity to work with people from all over the world.