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Interview with Stefan Voswinkel, Head of Production at German Bionic and responsible for production, procurement and logistics
Stefan Voswinkel | Head of Production at German Bionic
We at KREATIZE give every day everything to enable our customers to design and launch great products sustainably and at a high speed of innovation.
This also applies to our customer German Bionic – the first European manufacturer to develop and manufacture exoskeletons for use in industrial production. We are proud to have been able to support such an innovative customer in his development for more than 2 years. We would like to introduce you to the innovative company based in Augsburg, Berlin and Tokyo in more detail.
Mr. Voswinkel, German Bionic is a technology leader in the field of exoskeletons. What exactly makes your company so special?
That is correct. We are the world leaders in the development of active exoskeletons in the non-medical field. This means that our exoskeletons are mainly used in logistics, in lifting activities, e.g. in order picking or loading. We are also leading in intralogistic processes in production or even in the trade with our 4th generation Cray X.
Of course the bar is also set high: We want nothing less than to combine human intelligence with robotics. With our intelligent power suit, which now even learns by machine and makes suggestions for the optimal use, we are on the right track. For the users, however, another aspect is central: with the use of our orange exoskeletons, slipped discs are a thing of the past!
Exciting, I can imagine that product development and ramping up production was a great challenge for German Bionic. Can you share your most important “learnings” with us?
Absolutely. We have been around since 2017 and since then we have developed 4 generations of exoskeletons. So not just a facelift, but significant changes in production and performance.
We have manufactured generations 1 to 3 in aluminium – and have now switched completely to carbon fibre. You see: If we had built up a machine park for aluminium, we probably could not have taken this step towards an even better and new material without further ado. If we had stored many components from the first three generations, we would have found it rather difficult to “think again and again” and “courageously go ahead”.
German Bionic Cray X | 4. Generation aus Carbon
Investment in machinery and warehousing is a barrier to innovation. We have to react quickly and need a partner who will go along with us – one who is ready to support us in every new step from now on.
Scaling up and fast ramp-ups are essential – because the competition from Asia never sleeps.
Where do you see your production challenges for 2021?
None of us know how the year 2021 will develop in the face of the corona pandemic. Therefore flexibility is the key. We must be prepared to react quickly, depending on developments, in order to always supply customers with the highest quality. Also exciting for the future: we will also have to deal directly with the end customer. Here I do not mean that everyone will have an exoskeleton at home in the near future, but I think it is conceivable in the future that people will borrow one from the DIY store for heavy lifting work (wood, stones or cement bags).
You have been working with KREATIZE for 2 years now? What makes KREATIZE different?
I experience KREATIZE as a partner who works quickly, flexibly, reliably and with a high level of commitment. We are in a really good exchange, develop together and talk openly and honestly with each other. If something doesn’t go as planned, we talk things through directly and look for the best solution for both sides.
How do you want KREATIZE to develop?
Not entirely altruistically, I can say: for us, a further expansion of production technologies would be great! I would like to see KREATIZE become our one-stop shop, where we can handle the entire purchasing process. And who supports us with his expertise in scaling up. I wish KREATIZE that your brand continues to establish itself, that you continue to grow and that word of your crisis-proof concept gets around. Gladly together with us!