MoldMaking Technology

OCT 2018

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moldmakingtechnology.com 25 automotive industry, Siebenwurst supports its customers from the design-model phase to series production. "We have to be there for our customers to provide service, product development, tool maintenance and, last but not least, new product development," Maximilian Siebenwurst, man- aging director of Siebenwurst Mexico, says. "Our customers include German OEMs such as Audi, Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler as well as their suppliers, who currently are expand- ing their capacities in the region greatly. This is why in ‚ƒ„…, with only four employees, we founded Siebenwurst CAD CAM Solution S. de R.L. de C.V. to provide services. "Our cooperation partner CAD CAM Solutions was new to the Mexican market as well," Maximilian Siebenwurst con- tinues. "We knew our existing customers to whom we were delivering tools in Mexico, but we did not have any local contacts in Mexico at the time. To service our customers in Mexico, we then sought out local tool and mold shops in Mexico who worked for us to perform mold modi‰ications." According to Siebenwurst, this was not an easy task, but the company managed to establish local contacts and partners to service the molds through networking, trade shows and existing contacts. "But, you need to carefully consider with whom you want to work. By and large, you have to agree on values, how you deal with customers and the quality of claims, in spite of language barriers and cultural differences." "When we started our operations in Mexico, we already knew two or three moldmakers, as well as some Canadian moldmakers with Mexican subsidiaries, which was a ‰irst contact," Maximilian Siebenwurst says. "The local indus- try is not that huge, so you have to connect with a local Siebenwurst invested in both three-axis and five-axis milling machines from DMG MORI, a 500-ton Williams & White die-spotting press, a mobile laser-welding machine, indoor and gantry cranes, a wire EDM machine from Mitsubishi, a die-sinking machine from ONA and the installation of a CAD/CAM workstation from Tebis. community, like German moldmakers in Mexico. That is to say, you have to organize meetings through the German Chamber of Commerce." Siebenwurst emphasizes that it is important to start with a small team to get a sense of the new market and, in case of failure, be able to pull in the reins. But, a top priority is to have team lead- ers in the country who under- stand the technology, the business and the local market. "Getting successfully estab- lished in a new market like Mexico means working with someone who has market knowledge and contacts." Knowledge Transfer Is a Top-Priority "Our advertising slogan, 'German toolmaker in Mexico,' is synonymous with claims for high quality—claims that our customers expect in the automobile industry and claims that we must live up to," Christian Siebenwurst says. "This is why you not only must have the right partner locally but also must be able to transfer the appropriate expertise." According to Siebenwurst, this means, ‰irst and foremost, locating suitable employees in Germany who are prepared to travel to Mexico to supervise employee training, to ensure qual- ity and to look after the customers. "For smaller companies like ours—in comparison to OEMs like BMW or Daimler who can offer immense incentives for their employees to go abroad—we need to convince our employees that they are part of the team, that they help this team to build up a new company abroad and that this new subsidiary in Mexico or in other countries strengthens the company," Maximilian Siebenwurst says. "It's important to take away their fear that their move is about cutting their job. You need to convince them that it's a positive challenge and a chance." "Once you have set up shop, experience is what counts, especially in tool and mold assembly, which means it is incredibly important to take the time to train employees locally on-site," Christian Siebenwurst says. "The employees receive three to six months of training in Mexico, depending on their educational background. Many of them come from technical colleges with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engi- neering or other engineering disciplines. They are at about the same level as our apprentices during their second year of training and need to be trained on the job. It's not a formal

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