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EOS: establishing Additive Manufacturing as an efficient process in industrial production

EOS, the German market and technology leader for design-driven, integrated e-Manufacturing solutions for Additive Manufacturing (AM), aims at establishing Additive Manufacturing as an efficient method of industrial production, at the same time extending its innovation and quality leadership in this area. A new corporate management and ongoing company expansion are helping to prepare the firm for the requirements ahead in this industrial environment.

EOS can look back on a successful year 2012/2013 (10/2012-09/2013) in which turnover increased to EUR 130 million. In the last business year, an additional 70 employees were taken on and the construction of a 17,000 m² customer and technology center is proceeding to plan.

New corporate management

Dr. Hans J. Langer, founder and CEO of EOS, will continue to focus on the strategic business development of EOS. Since April 2013, Christian Kirner, Chief Operating Officer (COO), has been responsible for business operations at EOS. Also in April 2013, Dr. Tobias Abeln was appointed as Chief Technology Officer (CTO). In October of this year, Dr. Adrian Keppler, previously Director of Strategy and Business Development became the new Chief Marketing Officer (CMO).

Integration of Additive Manufacturing into an industrial production

Ever more companies, from diverse branches of industry – from aerospace, through medical technology, to automotive and tooling – see Additive Manufacturing technologies as a means to increase the value proposition for their customers, thereby differentiating themselves from their competitors. In order to adequately serve those customers, EOS is in the process of transforming itself from a manufacturer of systems for prototyping, to a solution provider for additive, industrial series production. This is a shift that will further benefit the company’s customers in prototyping too.

Each of the new members of the corporate management contributes long-term experiences for the further expansion of EOS. Dr. Langer hired Christian Kirner as he brings experience with business process engineering. Building on this, he developed a strategy program for EOS in 2009. Before joining EOS, as a consultant he supported highly-innovative mid-sized companies. Four years ago, Dr. Langer also brought Dr. Adrian Keppler on board at EOS. He came with expertize gained from setting up solution provider businesses. Dr. Tobias Abeln also benefits from important experience forged from his previous positions with the firm. He adds: “Prior to joining EOS I worked for a specialist machine manufacturer and provider of machining centers for series manufacturing. These experiences have readied me for the requirements of modularization, reliability and standardization that production plants must meet today. The systems that EOS is presenting at EuroMold 2013 are a step in this direction.”

Christian Kirner goes on to explain that, “further divisions of the EOS organization are now being aligned, step by step, to meet the demands of the new customer group. To this end, two years ago we for example hired a quality manager from the medical sector. Further leadership positions were entrusted to a software expert from the automobile industry and a chief designer from the industrial laser material processing sector.”

Developing innovation and quality leadership still further

Dr. Adrian Keppler explains how EOS will further expand its innovation and quality leadership: “The criteria for choosing our technology vary considerably between the research and development and prototyping, or the series manufacturing sector. Until now, users of EOS technology have valued components according to criteria such as surface structure, dimensional accuracy, and strength. Freedom of design and a fast time-to-market are at the forefront of their decision making. In a series manufacturing environment, the reproducible quality of components is at the center of customer needs. They also expect consistency of materials and mechanical characteristics, and even micro-structures, which they were able to attain with the technologies that they used up to now. In addition, customers are looking for access to the degree of freedom that only our Additive Manufacturing can offer them.” Besides a reproducible component quality, it is both output and costs-per-part that play more significant roles in series production than in prototype manufacture. Correspondingly, EOS is orienting new products towards productivity increases and reduced costs-per-part.

The new customer and technology center in Krailling, Germany

EOS is currently building a new customer and technology center which is planned to be operational in May 2014. The building will offer more space for customers and employees. The family company is remaining loyal to its roots in Krailling, just outside Munich. The new facility offers additional space for 300 employees which will allow the company to maintain its current growth. The integrated customer center gives the company more flexibility for the development of application solutions together with its customers. In a “transparent facility” on the ground floor, visitors can observe, in action, the complete portfolio of polymer and metal systems offered by EOS – in an environment constructed to perfectly reflect the conditions of the state of the art production facility.

The lead concepts of innovation, quality and sustainability, to which EOS is dedicated, have been pursued for the new facility too. It offers 17,000m² of additional floor space and is being built to an innovative architectural concept which prioritizes the use of space and the working environment. EOS has placed particular value on the subject of sustainability. “In line with our company goals, we have put a strong focus on functional and ecological quality throughout the planning and building of the new facility; on the saving of resources in construction and operation, and in the limited use of ‘gray’ energy. We are constructing today with our mindset fixed on tomorrow. This is the same philosophy that forms the basis of our technology,” says founder, Dr. Hans J. Langer.

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