By Alex Benham Picture this: You’re lying in bed, fast asleep, when your phone rings.…
Greetings to our customers, partners and AM industry colleagues – from the newest member of the Sigma Additive Solutions Management team. My role is to serve as General Manager of Sigma’s European Operations. In case you are wondering what an operations GM does, the short answer is, “plenty”. For one thing, I manage all direct and channel revenue activities, including management of the worldwide OEM and independent software vendor (ISV) network programs (you can read about both of these programs here). That’s a lot, but the mission is crucial and I am pleased to play a leading role in the future of this great company.
Prior to joining Sigma, I spent the past 10 years automating workflows with AM software, as CEO and co-founder of 3YOURMIND, a leading manufacturing execution system (MES) software provider based in Berlin, Germany. I was proud of what we accomplished and found the work interesting. Industry colleagues have asked me the obvious question:
Why did you leave a successful company that you co-founded, and served as CEO, to join Sigma?
For one thing, it always struck me that companies used the 3YOURMIND solution to capture lots and lots of data, but we, and others in the AM industry, lacked the tools to capture, organize and analyze this data in a way that is easy and actionable. Sigma, with its deep expertise in tackling one of the most important challenges in AM – assuring the right quality during the printing process – is the ideal company to cover this gap. I have known about Sigma for quite a while, and found their vision to be the number one company to create a digital quality framework and assure AM quality by storing, visualizing and analyzing all the data that printers and third-party systems produce, compelling.
As I said in the press release announcing my joining Sigma. “It is an honor and privilege to be part of Sigma Additive Solutions. Over the past decade as Co-founder and CEO of 3YOURMIND, I have been heavily involved in promoting the digital manufacturing future and have witnessed Sigma’s positive impact in the marketplace. As the market moves more to serial production, quality assurance becomes paramount to industry success and scale. I believe a digital quality infrastructure is a key component of this future and Sigma is positioned to lead this space. I look forward to deepening relationships with our customers, OEMs and ISV partners, as well as establishing new partnerships and growth paths for the additive industry as a whole.”
One more factor is that I really love a challenge. Actually, I can modify this to say that I really love a challenge that is both compelling and achievable. I’m not a Don Quixote type that enjoys tilting at windmills. Believe me about this – I worked many years in the wind industry!
Fortunately, at Sigma, we have big plans, but we also have the technology and the team to back up these plans. As the AM in process quality assurance leader, we can play a big role in moving the industry from its research focus towards reliable and cost-effective serial production. How many other places can you work with such an opportunity to be part of an industry transformation – especially an industry that is so crucial to the future of individuals, companies, and nations.
What I/we do is beneficial both to in-house and contract manufacturers, and also to our OEM and independent software vendor (ISV) partners. One of our mantras is the importance of what we call “radical collaboration”. I am a huge believer in synergy, where two companies can bring together unique skillsets and technology and create a solution that is greater than the sum of its parts. Multiply two companies by two, or ten, or one hundred, and truly great things can happen. As an example, check out our announcement about the AcGovDustrial Network – bringing academia, R&D, government and industry together to accelerate the advancement of metal AM into production through collaboration on next generation technology development in areas like sensor fusion, machine learning and AI.
Thanks for reading. I hope to meet you virtually, or at an industry event. In the meantime, feel free to reach out to me at Stephan.Kuehr@sigmaadditive.com.