EOS Corporate Management
Euromold is EOS’s turf, rather than having to ship their really quite impressive stand over turbulent seas, the formidable Formiga machines are packed up and trucked off 280 miles down the Autobahn. So naturally, the news from the EOS at Euromold 2013 has been coming thick and fast.
The German market leader is signalling its strong commitment to focusing on laser sintering as an end-use manufacturing process by actively supporting customers in the development of their own Additive Manufacturing competences and to support their validation processes.
EOS is expanding its significant and industry-leading service portfolio particularly with view to both application consulting and quality management with the goal of actively supporting its users in the development of their own application competences in Additive Manufacturing and in the validation processes associated with this technology.
Application Services: Customer-specific solutions and active transfer of know-how
In-depth knowledge of Additive Manufacturing is an essential prerequisite for the development of new applications for this still relatively young technology. Experience ensures that customers can use the full potential of the technology. Many new users need first to develop this knowledge independently. As such, EOS offers support already when it comes to the preparation of investment decisions. In order to analyze the potential benefits of Additive Manufacturing this includes the identification of parts suitable for this technology and the performance of feasibility studies.
In order to ensure that users can efficiently take advantage of the benefits presented by this technology, EOS offers extensive advisory services ranging from the product idea up to the final part. This way, the introduction of the EOS technology can happen smoothly, know-how can be built up fast and a quick time-to-market of the additively built parts can be ensured. The user can take advantage of these consulting services from part design to data preparation, to the building process and post processing.
Once it has been defined in which of these phases the user needs support, EOS can help with the following: Consulting to develop real additive solutions based on specified customer requirements. In this case, EOS transfers relevant know-how to the customer so that he can adequately make use of the technology.
EOS offers comprehensive consulting for highly innovative and complex innovations, such as lattice structures for medical implants, including part design and optimization as well as finishing processes. In certain cases EOS can also offer development services based on pre-defined customer target specifications.
Quality Management: Actively supporting internal validation processes for customers
Many users with high quality standards must fulfill the certification and documentation requirements of authorities. EOS can offer support for their internal validation processes. In the scope of customer supervised Factory Acceptance Testing - such as with installation-qualification - he receives, in addition to extensive documentation, an overview of the elements that impact on quality, and can then apply these for their own quality assurance. EOS also offers, by request, advice on those additional steps in the validation process that are controlled by the customer. The process can thereby be accelerated, tying up fewer resources, and as a result, becoming more cost-efficient to implement.
Technical Services: broader contractual offerings, introduction of remote service.
EOS already offers system installation, maintenance, and repair, within its technical services portfolio, while guaranteeing replacement-part provision globally. The company is meeting the increasing variety of customer requirements with an ever more comprehensive offering of maintenance and service contracts.
In order to reduce system downtime for customers, EOS is now offering remote support to customers with a corresponding service agreement. This facilitates the diagnosis of errors, and frequently allows for their resolution by means of remote access. In this way, system availability can be increased while the customer simultaneously saves the cost of on-site deployment.
In addition to the introduction of new products, EOS remains committed to the goal of supporting customer requirements in the area of series production through the provision of relevant services. Already today EOS service technicians receive exceptional feedback in customer satisfaction surveys. Yet, the company focuses on further cutting reaction times and optimizing the service quality.
EOS are not stopping there either, the nearly 25-year-old company are establishing additive manufacturing as an efficient process in industrial design.
A new corporate management and on-going company expansion at EOS are helping to prepare the firm for the requirements ahead in this industrial environment.
EOS can look back on a successful year 2012/2013 (10/2012-09/2013) in which turnover increased to EUR 130 million. In the last business year, an additional 70 employees were taken on and the construction of a 17,000 m² customer and technology center is proceeding to plan.
New corporate management
Dr. Hans J. Langer, founder and CEO of EOS, will continue to focus on the strategic business development of EOS. Since April 2013, Christian Kirner, Chief Operating Officer (COO), has been responsible for business operations at EOS. Also in April 2013, Dr. Tobias Abeln was appointed as Chief Technology Officer (CTO). In October of this year, Dr. Adrian Keppler, previously Director of Strategy and Business Development became the new Chief Marketing Officer (CMO).
Integration of Additive Manufacturing into an industrial production
Ever more companies, from diverse branches of industry—from aerospace, through medical technology, to automotive and tooling—see Additive Manufacturing technologies as a means to increase the value proposition for their customers, thereby differentiating themselves from their competitors. In order to adequately serve those customers, EOS is in the process of transforming itself from a manufacturer of systems for prototyping, to a solution provider for additive, industrial series production. This is a shift that will further benefit the company's customers in prototyping too.
Each of the new members of the corporate management contributes long-term experiences for the further expansion of EOS. Dr. Langer hired Christian Kirner as he brings experience with business process engineering. Building on this, he developed a strategy program for EOS in 2009. Before joining EOS, as a consultant he supported highly innovative mid-sized companies. Four years ago, Dr. Langer also brought Dr. Adrian Keppler on board at EOS. He came with expertise gained from setting up solution provider businesses. Dr. Tobias Abeln also benefits from important experience forged from his previous positions with the firm. He adds: “Prior to joining EOS I worked for a specialist machine manufacturer and provider of machining centers for series manufacturing. These experiences have readied me for the requirements of modularization, reliability and standardization that production plants must meet today. The systems that EOS is presenting at EuroMold 2013 are a step in this direction.”
Christian Kirner goes on to explain that, “further divisions of the EOS organization are now being aligned, step by step, to meet the demands of the new customer group. To this end, two years ago we for example hired a quality manager from the medical sector. Further leadership positions were entrusted to a software expert from the automobile industry and a chief designer from the industrial laser material processing sector.”
Developing innovation and quality leadership still further
Dr. Adrian Keppler explains how EOS will further expand its innovation and quality leadership: “The criteria for choosing our technology vary considerably between the research and development and prototyping, or the series manufacturing sector. Until now, users of EOS technology have valued components according to criteria such as surface structure, dimensional accuracy, and strength. Freedom of design and a fast time-to-market are at the forefront of their decision making. In a series manufacturing environment, the reproducible quality of components is at the center of customer needs. They also expect consistency of materials and mechanical characteristics, and even micro-structures, which they were able to attain with the technologies that they used up to now. In addition, customers are looking for access to the degree of freedom that only our Additive Manufacturing can offer them.” Besides a reproducible component quality, it is both output and costs-per-part that play more significant roles in series production than in prototype manufacture. Correspondingly, EOS is orienting new products towards productivity increases and reduced costs-per-part.
The new customer and technology center in Krailling, Germany
EOS is currently building a new customer and technology center which is planned to be operational in May 2014. The building will offer more space for customers and employees. The family company is remaining loyal to its roots in Krailling, just outside Munich. The new facility offers additional space for 300 employees which will allow the company to maintain its current growth. The integrated customer center gives the company more flexibility for the development of application solutions together with its customers. In a “transparent facility” on the ground floor, visitors can observe, in action, the complete portfolio of polymer and metal systems offered by EOS – in an environment constructed to perfectly reflect the conditions of the state-of-the-art production facility.
The lead concepts of innovation, quality and sustainability, to which EOS is dedicated, have been pursued for the new facility too. It offers 17,000 m² of additional floor space and is being built to an innovative architectural concept that prioritizes the use of space and the working environment. EOS has placed particular value on the subject of sustainability. “In line with our company goals, we have put a strong focus on functional and ecological quality throughout the planning and building of the new facility; on the saving of resources in construction and operation, and in the limited use of ‘gray’ energy. We are constructing today with our mindset fixed on tomorrow. This is the same philosophy that forms the basis of our technology,” says founder Dr. Hans J. Langer.