Gregor Baumbusch

Wood & Panel Europe had the privilege of speaking to Gregor Baumbusch, the Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, MICHAEL WEINIG AG and gain first-hand knowledge of these innovative technologies. Read his take on Industry 4.0, smart machines and brand building- right from the floors of LIGNA!

woodandpaneleurope As LIGNA puts the major spotlight on automation, where would you place yourself when it comes to Industry 4.0?

Gregor Baumbusch: In general, compared with the best, automation and induction between production systems is getting more and more important. Based on the standardisation, a lot of machining processes and machines will benefit when production comes out of the smart interface of different machines and production systems. So, for example, our intention is always to produce better and more efficient machines but the machine itself is already on the high level that the additional benefit you can create via using an intelligent automation and interaction between the systems is much higher than the benefit you can create if you look on a single machining center.

   
woodandpaneleurope This is your first time as member of the board of WEINIG. What are your expectations from this LIGNA?

Gregor Baumbusch: The year for us started quite well and for me for sure it’s the best opportunity because LIGNA is the world’s leading show for the wood industry where I can see the whole market, the competition- where we have the opportunity to discuss on the global level. For me it’s the possibility to feel the industry and the situation of the market. Now I have to say that this show is really positive for us, we have 22 new developments at the start, and also from the success from the first two days, it’s better than expected. So for me it’s very positive to walk a little bit, here and there and compare our booth and our technologies with our competitors and you can see the advantage of WEINIG because we are capable to offer the whole product range of machines for the solid wood industry from the field market up to the industrial level and also from the wholesale side, we cover all applications and we are also trying to grow like you may have also seen from the normal field to the industrial level.

   
woodandpaneleurope How would the latest version of EasyScan Plus be beneficial for the industry?

Gregor Baumbusch: In the wood industry, the scanner technology is the central scene in production. We all discuss about efficiency and efficiencies of the machines, but if you do it right at the beginning and if you have the best way to analyse the raw material then the output is much higher, and with our new camera systems and with adoption of the cameras in the raw material we have the best possible result in the scanning process and that gives us also advantages for the following operations and a big advantage of this system is that it is able to communicate with the machines and with additional scanners. So this is the first step into an intelligent efficient total process analyse.

   
woodandpaneleurope What are the main features of the new WEINIG multi-blade rip saw ProfiRip 340?

Gregor Baumbusch: The ProfiRip 340 is a saw system that allows highest flexibility. It is quite new in that segment from the speeds and feed, I would say it’s a benchmark and it allows to adjust the saw blades in extremely fast and pre size way and in combination with the scanning system that allows to increase the efficiency and to reduce the scrap in production.

   
woodandpaneleurope Tell us about the Smart Touch function in the new Powermat generation 700 and 1200.

Gregor Baumbusch: SmartTouch for us is very important. It allows using the machine in a totally different way and that is also in line of the Industry 4.0 idea. Industry 4.0 means smart factory, that means smart people who are absolutely online with current technology and this allows to assemble and adjust the machine much easier and faster with less failures on new workpieces and new production condition. So this is an innovation in the wood industry I would say, because this was not used up to now.

   
woodandpaneleurope Talking about smart machines, how smart do you consider your machines?

Gregor Baumbusch: I think specially with our idea that the machines have to communicate with each other in a perfect way with the same philosophy in production, with the same display so that whatever machine is produced, the customer or the operator has the same operation strategy on the displays and that makes it simple, makes it easy and this is an advantage in general. So here we think, we are really, in our industry, on a top level and this is also one of the issues or a target in the future to make it more simple, because at the end in the smart production it does not matter what kind of a production machine you have as long as you can use it in the same way with the same processes, with the same surface and the total process is the challenge and not anymore machine for machine.

   
woodandpaneleurope Recently WEINIG has rebranded two of its manufacturing units. What was the need of that and how has been the feedback?

Gregor Baumbusch: : I think this is logical consequence in our brand strategy. We have the brand WEINIG and under the brand WEINIG we have the solid-wood division and we have the panel division under Holzher so WEINIG is the umbrella and then the logical consequence is that the names of Grecon and Dimter are now WEINIG Grecon and WEINIG Dimter. It’s a clear sign to the market that we have one strategy under the one WEINIG idea- that means more than one brand and we use much more than our symmetries in the industry and that was the reason and the feedback is very very positive because everyone knows. But our attention was not that we lose the brands Grecon and Dimter disappear because they have a history and are well known in the industry with high values, so our idea is to use the strength of the brand under the umbrella of the brand WEINIG as a clear sign to the market.

   
woodandpaneleurope What about WEINIG in the Italian market and other markets?

Gregor Baumbusch: : The Italian market is a difficult market because in Italy they have also a lot of producers and the industry in the last few years was not easy. So a lot of business was transferred from Italy to the Eastern parts of Europe and to the Baltic States. But Italy is a technology market and it’s a high quality market and since the beginning of this year, for the first time since years we see recovery in the Italian market, so we are from our income side we have planned what is positive, so we see that in general the southern European area the industry is a little bit recovering on a low level but we see a good trend. Italy for us is important, like as I said before, it is technology driven market and we think we have the right products and we would like to be present there in Italy.

   
woodandpaneleurope Do you like to share any piece of information to our readers?

Gregor Baumbusch: : In general, I would like to say I have a positive feeling. I was travelling around a lot now like South East Asia, whole Europe, and I think the feeling is positive in general. This is good for the industry because it was not easy in some areas of the world that gives us opportunities also to focus on different areas. I think important is, though the saying is, ‘Think Global and Act Local’, but I think it must be different, like think local and then put it under a global umbrella, because the industries are different and demands of the market are different and if you do that in the right way, we see a good potential in the future to grow our business in a good direction.

   
woodandpaneleurope Since you said you have been travelling a lot, how is the Asian market faring now?

Gregor Baumbusch: : To be honest at the moment, they are also doing good, we are overwhelmed. I travelled to Singapore and also to Indonesia and also there I think the market is recovering. All the companies that work for the American market, they are well in business. What I saw, with the European market a lot of these customers are shipping their goods to Europe, they are still on a lower level, but the trend, in my opinion is also quite positive. I think in general, it’s important to be close to the customers and that must be our intention for the future, especially in these areas, because we as WEINIG, we have to convince via our experience and application know-how and that means we have to be more direct in these areas to support our customers.

   
woodandpaneleurope Are you planning to open any new subsidiary in Asia recently?

Gregor Baumbusch: : At the moment we are in a process of evaluation and analyzing the market potentials, but in my opinion the markets are shifting and you always need to be close to the markets! Let’s see.


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