How are changes and developments in technology a key driver to efficient production?

Smithers Rapra conducted a Q&A session with Thermoplastic Elastomers World Summit 2016 speaker Markus Landl, Head of International Business Development at Rico Elastomere Projecting GmbH on the changes and developments in the silicone elastomers industry.

Markus Landl, Head of International Business Development, Rico Group

Since November 2015 Mr. Landl has been responsible for developing global strategies and he coordinates the development of markets and innovation potentials for the RICO GROUP locations in Austria, Switzerland and the United States.

Previously Mr. Landl worked for global acting companies in the areas of tool-making, automation and the development of complete production solutions.

He started working as an engineer with focus on parts machining and tool-making and then he became a project manager for worldwide activities in the plastics business. 

From February 2004 to October 2015 he was employed as an Area Sales Manager and as a Sales Director. Through his national and international experience, he has a broad network in the industry. Mr. Landl received his Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Applied Science in Steyr, Austria

Smithers Rapra: Your presentation refers to providing an overview to the audience regarding requirements for a supplier to industry in the field of LSR, what would you say does this include?

Markus Landl: To give an answer to this question we have to draw the complete picture of the value chain. The requirements of the customers have changed and this change has to be covered by the suppliers. In our opinion the customer does not want to buy just a single piece of equipment anymore. Customers are more and more looking for, how we at the RICO-GROUP call it, the comprehensive carefree package. At the centre of it is the customer`s idea of a new product. Around this idea is the complete package from the development to the finished good, produced efficiently in the adequate quality delivered to the required place in time. Putting together this complete package, that will be the requirement for the future.

Smithers Rapra: Within the industry you serve, what changes or developments have you noticed recently?

Markus Landl: I would like to use the famous proverb from Heraklit of Ephesus: The only thing constant in life is change.

We are serving industries like, but not limited to automotive, Life-science, Medical, Sanitary, Home-appliances or Packaging. For each of this industries the requirement on solutions for efficient production is a given fact. You will find developments in each part of the value chain, beginning from the material, the products, the production equipment including machines moulds and automation. It would not be fair to dedicate the major progress of a complete technology segment to just one development. In my opinion it is the sum of all small steps of improvements which provide a huge step ahead in technology. At the end of the day you could say that one major development is the reduction of interfaces in any given project. Rather than having multiple points of contact throughout various companies customers are looking for one reliable system supplier for the complete value chain.

Smithers Rapra: You mentioned in your abstract that changes and developments in technology as a key driver to efficient production, how has this happened?

Markus Landl: The injection molding technology, in particular for thermoplastics as the Basis-technology which provides a wide range of possibilities and which already has no limits in parts design, molding and automation is in a very late stage of maturity. In comparison, the LIM technology is still in an earlier stage of development or you also could say an earlier stage of maturity. But, the LIM-process becomes more transparent to the industry. Thinking back in time a decade ago the thinking patterns about LIM have changed in a way that many solutions are possible nowadays which were impossible a couple of years ago. People now think how a product can be produced efficiently compared to if a product can be produced at all. This is the transition we are currently experiencing.

Smithers Rapra:  What is it about attending the Silicone Elastomers conference that you’re most looking forward to?

Markus Landl: The conference covers a wide range of topics and is therefore a hot-spot for meeting people from various industries. It is the complete package what makes the summit attractive and personally I am looking forward to the interesting presentations and to the networking opportunities. Both provide a chance to develop new ideas and to gather state of the art information first hand.

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