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Berlin to go, english edition, 01/2017

  • Text
  • Berlin
  • Digital
  • Startup
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  • Digitization
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SERVICE NEW

SERVICE NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR BERLIN INDUSTRY Peter Wetzel and Gisbert Heining, Berlin plant managers for LEDVANCE, on the future of the company and cooperation with local enterprise LEDVANCE is a wholly owned subsidiary of Osram and is one of the world’s leading providers of lamps for professional and private customers. The product line includes state-of-the-art LED lamps as well as traditional lighting sources, standardized lamps and intelligent and networked solutions for Smart Homes and Smart Building. LEDVANCE operates in over 120 countries and, as of 1 July 2016, employs around 9,000 individuals. In fiscal year 2015 the general lighting lamps company earned around two billion euros, accounting for 40% of OSRAM’s total revenue. LEDVANCE IS A SPIN-OFF AND LICENSEE OF THE OSRAM BRAND OF GENERAL LIGHTING PRODUCTS. WHAT ARE THE COMPANY’S PRIORITIES IN THE MARKETPLACE AND IN PRODUCTION? PETER WETZEL (PW): LEDVANCE is currently focusing on the manufacturing of conventional lamps for the consumer market. This includes not only incandescent lamps and energy-saving lamps, which can be found in nearly all of today’s homes, but also high-efficiency high-intensity discharge lamps for professional use as well as LED lamps, or so-called retrofits. Complete luminaires have thus far constituted a smaller share. This facet of the business will be greatly expanded in the future. LEDs are used almost exclusively in this regard. In the upcoming phases, more and more networking will be integrated into lighting solutions – so-called Smart Home applications. The consumer market, that is, the mass market, is always a priority here. In Berlin, we are currently specializing in the development and production of high-intensity discharge lamps. Although in small projects, we are already working on LED-based lighting solutions. AT THE END OF JULY 2016, OSRAM ANNOUNCED THAT LEDVANCE WOULD BE SOLD TO A CHINESE CONSORTIUM FOR €400 MILLION. COULD YOU TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT THE CURRENT STATUS AND CAN YOU ESTIMATE HOW THINGS WILL GO FOR THE COMPANY FROM HERE ON OUT? GISBERT HEINING (GH): We are currently in a phase where we know the new ownership structure, but the change of control has not yet taken place. This means we’re still a wholly owned subsidiary of Osram, although the path before us is clearly marked. For us at the factory, the concrete effects of this are still unknown. Generally, the businesses of LEDVANCE and the new owners prove highly complementary; while LEDVANCE has traditionally had its strengths in Europe and America, the new owner is strong in the Asian market with its LED lighting systems. Both sides can profit from this situation. In the end, however, it’s always about maintaining the capacity to compete. Any company that fails to develop and manufacture its products economically will have difficulties in any ownership configuration. 24

LEDVANCE HAS 250 EMPLOYEES IN PRODUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT AT ITS BERLIN LOCATION. WHICH ISSUES AND PROJECTS ARE THEY RESPONSIBLE FOR? PW: Berlin is the center of expertise for high-intensity discharge lamps. This was already the case during our joint operations with Osram. The LEDVANCE development division develops and oversees products and production not only here in Berlin, but at other manufacturing sites in Germany, Europe Asia and America as well. While the products we currently manufacture almost exclusively employ this technology, we are focusing energy on the development and engineering of future technologies. Our expertise in current lighting applications for shops and streets serves us well in this regard. For example, we understand the needs of municipalities in terms of the efficient lighting of streets and buildings. In engineering we have great expertise in the networked monitoring and visualization of production and consumption processes, and we’d like to make this accessible to other operators as well, such as our partners and customers. HOW SIGNIFICANT FOR YOUR COMPANY IS YOUR BERLIN LOCATION AND WHAT DO YOU FEEL ARE ITS ADVANTAGES? PW: First of all, Berlin is the city, and region, where I live. It’s unique. Everything converges here in the metropolis – politics, industry, culture and nature. GH: But Berlin is also a mecca for science. It has 4 universities, 37 institutions for higher learning, over 20 technology parks and around 70 independent research facilities. Berlin is a hub for the creative industries. New ideas are born here every day. People come to Berlin to use what the city has to offer for developing their projects. There are more and more business incubators and networks where startups and large companies can work together. These collaborations are a boon for the young startups as well as for the established firms. YOU’RE PLANNING TO SEEK MORE COLLA- BORATIONS WITH LOCATION PARTNERS AND YOU’VE ALREADY JOINED THE NEW NETWORK INAM, INNOVATION NETWORK FOR ADVANCED MATERIALS. HOW CAN OTHER INDUSTRY PLAYERS FROM BERLIN- BRANDENBURG COOPERATE WITH YOU? GH: At the LEDVANCE plant in Berlin we’re trying to take advantage of precisely these opportunities. In Spandau we have a facility for the development and production of lamps. Our many years of experience have awarded us great expertise in the industrialization and production of premium products. At the plant we possess extensive know-how on development, laboratory work and analytics; we’ve mastered the methods of quality assurance, can build small machines and appliances, and are adept at machine controls and the data visualization of processes. We know what it takes to take a good idea and make into a market-ready product. We want to use these capabilities in cooperation with other companies. Young companies in particular can benefit from these services. They oftentimes have a terrific idea or product, but then fail in bringing it to the market. It’s here that we can and would like to offer our expertise. At our LEDVANCE plant in Spandau we have highly equipped production facilities, where we can map a wide range of manufacturing processes, from prototypes to articles for mass production. We’re also in contact with Berlin Partner for Business and Technology, we’ve joined the INAM network, we’ve taken part in various events, such as the startup competition AdMaCom, and we’ll soon be offering up our services on our own website. With the help of Berlin Partner we were already able to navigate a potential collaboration with a startup in the lighting industry. Interview: Markus Wabersky 25

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