For the latest episode of Additive Insight, Deputy Group Editor Laura Griffiths spoke to Marie Langer, newly appointed CEO of EOS about her ambitions for the industrial 3D printing leader, making additive manufacturing (AM) more sustainable, and the importance of industry partnerships.
Listen to the full episode here.
Speaking about her transition to CEO, Marie told TCT how she spent her first few months at the helm of the company working with her senior management team, understanding current strategy and challenges, getting a feel for the company’s culture, and looking to tech giants like Apple and Microsoft as she champions an “empowered leadership” approach.
It’s a “very exciting” time, the CEO tells TCT, “I’m not bored!”
“Culture is something very dear to me,” Marie said. “My father always said […] ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast’. So, I invested a lot of time in looking at cultural topics at EOS and finding out how to move more closely together [also] globally, as we not only have a headquarter in Germany but also are situated in the US and then in Asia. So all these intercultural topics and how to really present that as a global player and align our internal organisations to that. That’s a lot of fun right now and we’re working very hard on this.”
After holding a number of positions within the wider EOS Group, Marie took over the company from her father Dr Hans Langer who founded the company back in 1989. Renowned for his pioneering work in the laser industry which helped to shape today’s laser-based AM technology, Hans was the second person to be inducted into the TCT Hall of Fame and is set to pick up one of the Additive Manufacturing Users Group’s esteemed Innovators Awards at the annual conference next month. Having been around the technology from a young age, Marie recalled her early memories sat around the dinner table with her brother and hearing her father’s stories about early AM users.
“My dad, of course, he’s a great storyteller and visionary,” Marie shared. “My dad was always very customer focused so he brought home a lot of stories about customers […] also internal topics, but mostly what the technology can do. Of course, we had the small gimmicks […] like the ball in the ball and these kind of things. So, when I was really little, I kind of realised already, okay, that’s something special.”
Throughout the podcast, Marie talks about how sustainability will be a major focus for the company and shares how EOS is investing in social projects within the space to push AM’s eco potential, and also looking internally at challenges such as machine energy waste and the need for biodegradable materials. Additive manufacturing is often seen as an inherently sustainable process due to reduced material usage, the ability to manufacture at the point of need, and the long-term benefits of lightweight design for industries where reduced weight means burning less energy. Marie believes communicating those advantages over that of conventional manufacturing is a vital component of positioning AM as a green technology. To do that, the company is looking to partners.
“I’m all about partnering up for these kinds of things. I think the era of just doing everything [on] your own and the competing with each other, really should be reconsidered because I don’t believe in this concept to be honest,” Marie said. “We see business models changing and a lot of big OEMs open up more because they realised that, with the whole digitisation, there are completely different ways of working together.
“It’s really about partnering up with customers, also partners in our network, to make sure that we really leverage the potential and we’re also working on a positioning right now, calling it ‘responsible manufacturing’, making sure that we actually can communicate better the advantages and then work more together on tackling the issues we still have in that technology.”
Marie also spoke about some of the recent projects and applications EOS has been a part of including its work with Launcher, the New York-based company developing the world’s most efficient rocket with 3D printing, and UK start-up Hexr which is leveraging EOS’s powder-based technology to produce custom fit cycling helmets. Marie also shared how the company views itself as not just a machine manufacturer, but rather an end-to-end solutions business, and how it is working alongside partners on to optimise its smart manufacturing concepts for real factory floors.
We also got Marie’s thoughts on current industry challenges, how EOS engages smaller businesses with the benefits of AM technology, why having diverse teams is important, and her plans for the company’s next 30 years.
“We consider ourself as a market leader,” Marie commented. “We want to lead 3D printing to become a mainstream sustainable manufacturing process and everything we do in the next year will point directly to this goal.
“I don’t know if it will take us 30 years, I hope not, but I’m committed to do whatever it takes to get us there.”
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