Hansjörg Felder

Wood & Panel gets up, close and personal with Hansjörg Felder, the CEO of Felder Group, as he talks about the group’s 60th anniversary, latest range of planers, the software, the current market and lot more. Read on:


As you are celebrating 60th anniversary of the Felder Group, how is the journey so far? And what are the plans moving ahead?

Hansjörg Felder : The journey so far was not easy. It was a demanding job all these years. I remember quite well because I am as old as the company is. So you may understand that I got into the scene when I was born and got to witness the step by step growth of the company from a one man brand up to the size as it is now. And it sometimes was extremely demanding. In the meanwhile, we have a certain standing which is important to be able to do our marketing and to do so in any market, you have to reach your customers at the end of the day. When you ask me, where the journey shall go, then we have clearly an answer to this. We try to be in the future- one of the ten biggest suppliers in the world for woodworking machinery, and we try to do this not because of ourselves, we tried it for the sake of our customers.


Tell us your presence in the Italian market.

Hansjörg Felder : Now our process in Italy, that may sound funny, is not the biggest. Italy even if it’s a neighbour country, is a very hard market for us. Italy is at the end of the day dominated by one of the biggest woodworking manufacturers. So even for a neighbour country, it’s not so easy to come into that country. At the end of the day, we are quite satisfied with the growth of ourselves in Italy, reaching more and more customers every day.


Now coming to the product. How Format4 Tempora Edgebander is unique in comparison with other brands available in the market?

Hansjörg Felder : Since the Tempora machine is on the market, we can express that more than ever, that the Tempora is this machine which has the fastest change-over time from function to function. Let’s take a case. You are running one board of 50 meter edge and the next board, say if its 60 millimeter high solid wood edge, you can do that change-over with the Tempora really in seconds- it doesn’t take more than 2 to 3 seconds. There is no other machine in the market which has been easier to set up ever in that phase. This is the major advantage of this machine, next to its stability, durability, and next to its user friendly interface what the machine has got. And this is more important because in the market you will see that you have not big series only, but you have changing workpieces. You know, and divert changing workpieces are because of changing orders; because of high end orders are always different.


How user friendly is new Format4 software – F4design? What major advantage Felder customers will enjoy with this software?


Hansjörg Felder : It’s good that I hear that at least somebody else knows about F4 Design, because F4 design is completely new in the market. Now this software, we were working on this software, together with a big software house, for more than three years now. Setting it up, making it that user friendly, this software is one of the easiest softwares ever to use. Meanwhile it’s sold in hundreds already, which shows how easy to use and how good it is. On the other hand, we have the very very profitable offer to our customer. Now when you say what else can you do with that software? It starts with designing, it has its cam versions for all the former format4 machines, and you can build it up to complete company software over. That’s unique about that software by a machine supplier.


If I can ask you, like the main features of A951L planers?


Hansjörg Felder : That’s good to ask us because we are selling in one of these machines. So what else can I say, first of all you can see how massive the machine is. And that’s necessary for heavy-duty pieces. Secondly, not only the stability is important on a simple machine like this, also the accuracy on a machine like this is important. And last but not least, the heart of a planer, on a surface planer is the cutterblock. And the cutterblock on this machine here, you see it as well, is one of our patented silent power cutter heads. A silent power cutter head reduces the noise by 65% through an ordinary cutter head. And its knife lifetime is increased by 20 times of a normal lifetime of a knife.


What are the main competences of Felder Group?


Hansjörg Felder : Now, what is that a customer asks for? The customers ask for getting as much as he can from one single source. A customer does not want to have a hundred of different suppliers- he wants, one single source if possible, who solves his problems, regarding machines and regarding software. Now this is our main competence. When a customer comes to us, regarding machines on a normal case, we can solve his problems, we can offer him the right machine, we have the right after sales service and we have the right software – that’s from a single source- the Felder Group.


We understand that one of the key to Felder Group Success is your services. Can you please elaborate us on the same?


Hansjörg Felder : Depending on the machine type, service is of course different! Let’s start in the highest level, which would be CNC machines or highly automated machines with softwares. Now as a matter of fact, the standard software of the Felder Group is Format 4 machines, controlled by CNC, by computers. We have online support worldwide. This is quite natural and necessary. This is standard what we have, as anybody else may be- but on top of this, you also need a field service which is working! You need a telephone service and this is important – Felder is always close to you! Close to the customer in the short time and we don’t ask for too much money and this is what our customers do like. We don’t sell a machine for almost nothing and get everything back with service, we also ask for a fair service payment.


For the entire interview, watch the video now.


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