The best partner for product innovation
It might not be Silicon Valley, but the quiet Münsterland setting where Karl Lampe and Falk Silbermann work is a real hive of R&D activity. “We’re currently working on around 20 projects in parallel,” says Falk Silbermann on a guided tour of the research and development center in Ennigerloh. Established in 1968, the center today has grown to 50,000 square meters and employs around 100 people. At thyssenkrupp “it’s the heart of plant engineering research,” says Falk Silbermann.
As you walk through the center and the laboratories, you can’t help but wonder where the ideas for new products and processes come from, who actually kicks off new developments? “It varies,” say the duo. Mostly the departments themselves approach R&D with current topics and customer inquiries. Inquiries come in from all over the world. Also, to maintain competitiveness, existing technologies are continuously improved. “We always have one ear on the market and the other open to our customers,” says Karl Lampe.
Of course, the products developed by Karl Lampe and Falk Silbermann have to be customer-focused, marketable and efficient. To achieve this, innovations at thyssenkrupp are always brought to market in close collaboration with customers. The aim is to keep pace with ever shorter innovation cycles and avoid costly investment mistakes.
And Karl Lampe and Falk Silbermann are already working on new projects: They are currently testing the prototype of a new crusher for use in underground ore mines. “It’s a real challenge, because we have to come up with a design that is as space-saving as possible,” says Falk Silbermann. After the tour of the R&D center it’s straight back to work for the duo: This time they’re discussing potential new developments with a customer from the Netherlands.