Schöpf, as the Stuttgarter Newspaper said in a portrait in 2018, you were »on
the payroll« at CHIRON for 37 years. And now you're back in the CHIRON Group.
Well, I wanted to celebrate my 40th of course!
Joking aside, CHIRON has always been much more than an employer to me. I've
always been thoroughly inspired by what we do here and I never really felt like
I left. I stayed in contact, kept communicating and followed the exciting
developments with great interest. In my role for Gühring I had the opportunity
to look at the market competitors in machine-tool engineering and, to be
totally candid, CHIRON and the CHIRON Group today is really something special.
explain in more detail? Special in which respect?
It's the employees that make the difference for
me. Their skills, their innovative spirit and the courage to follow untrodden
paths; these are these bases for all the developments which have kept us as the
front-runner in machine-tool engineering for decades. The »CHIRON-Spirit« is
not an empty phrase – it's really there. This will, to work together to
succeed, is really unique. If you look at how many employees this year are
celebrating their 10th, 25th or even 40th work anniversary, I think that speaks
for itself. This spirit is in the CHIRON Group DNA and I am convinced that it is
a key ingredient for our future success, too.
as Head of Application in the CHIRON Group, you were responsible for turnkey
projects, now you are Head of Global Operations and are in charge of all
production locations. What drew you to your new role? What are the similarities
Application is customer-facing and you receive
immediate feedback. And it is, if you will, the customer to our Production
sites in Neuhausen and Taicang. Now I'm sort of on the other side – I'm a
supplier. If something isn't going well, we only find out about it indirectly.
You could see that, as well as the field of duties, as a difference – but I
don't. It doesn't matter if we're realizing our turnkey projects here, in China
or America, whether we manufacture in Taicang or Neuhausen... it's the »How«
that matters. It's about a shared understanding, following unified structures
and processes. In the end, we want to serve all our customers as well as we
can, whether internal, external or wherever they're based in the world. The
global aspect is something that's stayed the same for me, thinking and acting
while considering the CHIRON Group as a whole has always been my task. Bringing
people and cultures together, learning from one another, motivating each other
to perform at our best; that's something I can really get stuck into.
moved to Gühring in 2019, the CHIRON Group Precision Factory was about to open.
Now the halls are full. What was your first impression and what tweaks still
need to be made in your opinion?
The CHIRON Group Precision Factory was dubbed
unique – and it is, even more so today than when it first opened. Firstly, all
the product areas which are involved in the final assembly are brought
together under one roof, as are the CHIRON and STAMA brands. In Neuhausen there
are the Production Areas One, Two and Three, but we can use the synergies
better, slot everything together more tightly and blend ever-more into a single,
seamless unit. And for this, I'm relying on my »most valuable asset« – the
employees. Also on close, constructive dialog with the team and group leaders in particular. On the
point of tweaks... Of course, the restructuring has left space for optimizations
and the current tense situation regarding material procurement is demanding
more flexibility and resilience from all of us. However, I am positively
surprised and impressed by how well we're managing these challenges in already
difficult times. In times like these especially, our CHIRON Spirit is in demand
more than ever.
the restructuring, what else has changed in your absence? Where is the CHIRON
I'm impressed by the new series, the highly complex technology. DZ 25 and 28
for large volume components, the new 715 Series for bar machining – these
developments are the culmination of experience and knowledge from decades of
successful mechanical engineering. We've also come on leaps and bounds in terms
of digitalization, offering digital systems and services with SmartLine and the
SmartServices that make us front runners in this area too. Of course, the
market is getting trickier and our competitors are doing their homework. But we
have achieved our »Seconds ahead« advantage, setting the bar not just in
chip-to-chip times but also in terms of innovation, expertise, service and
sustainability. These are fields we need to keep working hard on to ensure that
we're still head of the pack for our customers.
does the Head of Global Operations do in his free time? How do you recharge?
I have always loved to
travel. I lived abroad for a long time, which wouldn't have been possible
without the support of my family. A few years ago my wife and I discovered
camper-van travel and now we love to get away whenever we have the opportunity.
It's our new passion. That, and Bruno, our new four-legged addition to the
family. He's a Golden Doodle who comes with us in the camper around Germany and
Europe. Apart from that, there are two things I've always enjoyed, for decades
now: My work and heavy metal. Especially my favorite band Accept. I've been a
fan since they first started in the 1980s, and I can hardly wait to see them
and hear »The Best is yet to come« live in the new year. That will give me a
loud, powerful boost of motivation for the work to come :)
1982 Trained as Industrial Engineer
1985 Industrial Engineer in Fixture
Construction, Assembly and Final Inspection
1989 Application Engineer
1994 Manager Application Engineering
2000 Head of Application Turnkey Projects
2014 Director Turnkey Projects
2019 Division Manager Core Functions, Technology
& Production Gühring KG
2021 Head of Global Operations