Company succession at Accutron AG Bassersdorf
By Jürg Fehlbaum
I talked to the company founder Guido Küng, who is retiring, and his successor Ruedi Gürtler, who has definitely taken over the company on March 1, 2022.
JF (Jürg Fehlbaum): You will soon be retiring when you look back on the past few years, what sticks and what special incidents do you still remember?
GK (Guido Küng): I founded the company on January 1, 2005, 17 years ago, and the first 2 very difficult "start years" will of course remain in special memory. Afterwards it went steadily uphill, of course with a lot of help from the environment, such as our "firmengötti" Walter Ruf, the company Simpex Elektronik, and the friendly company Easytext among others. Very important are also our Chinese partners, who provide us with great quality and have become very good friends. I have visited China a total of 28 times, and have always spent a royal time there. But it is clear that it also took some luck. Today, it is a successful and respected company that deserves and needs a succession. So, I can look back on a lot of good things, I'm also a little proud.
JF: How do you support the new owner in the introductory phase and what does this look like in concrete terms?
GK: For about 3 months, or at most for further notice, I will train Mr. Gürtler so far to enable a good future. We will visit our customers together for the presentation. What remains for later is the trip to China to present him personally to the suppliers, the time is unfortunately not yet foreseeable.
JF: Mr. Gürtler (RG), please introduce yourself briefly.
RG (Ruedi Gürtler, photo): I am 54 years old, originally from mechanical engineering, then switched from design to sales and trade in electrotechnical products. I worked in these activities for about twelve years. After that, I came into the SAP environment and am now an SAP consultant, specialized in authorizations, audit and compliance.
JF: What was the reason for your acquisition and what business objectives do you have, for example, with regard to the product range and general marketing? Do you want to expand significantly in the medium and long term?
RG: By chance I came to this opportunity of this company acquisition and since I have always liked my product manager jobs in retail very much, I had to take advantage of this opportunity. First, I have to grow into the company, get to know the customers, suppliers and products. Then I see further.
JF: What future opportunities do you generally see in your new business model and how do you assess the current situation in your specific industry?
RG: I think if I continue with the same philosophy in terms of quality and customer service, we also have the chance for growth.
JF: Mr. Küng, soon you will have much more free time. What hobbies do you have?
GK: The "main hobby" was the company, but of course there are also existing hobbies, such as making music (guitar and drums), singing, listening to music, concerts, using my boat on the lake more, dealing with various languages, more time for the family, my godchildren and friends. Also increased wellness stays, and a few other trips could become a variant. Stay on standby for the company... (Maybe also rest a little more....).
JF: I wish you Mr. Küng a lot of fun, and I wish you, Mr. Gürtler, a successful start in your own company. Certainly a real challenge.
In March 2022
Project solid battery cells
Solid battery cells
Smaller and lighter batteries for electric vehicles: Mercedes-Benz has entered into a partnership with a supplier for the development and production of solid-state batteries. A time when the first solid-state batteries will be used in test vehicles has also already been determined. The first jointly developed solid-state batteries could already be used in Mercedes-Benz test vehicles in the coming years. Furthermore, the companies have agreed on technological milestones aimed at integrating solids technology into selected models within the second half of the decade. Solid-state battery cells enable more range, higher performance and more safety. Mercedes-Benz wants to become fully electric by the end of the decade – wherever market conditions permit. That is why the car manufacturer is actively driving forward research and development activities in the field of solids technology with partnerships in order to achieve rapid progress in battery technology and secure access to new technologies. Solids technology can be used to redefine costs, scalability and energy density in the field of batteries for electric vehicles. The solid-state electrolyte allows the use of materials with large storage capacity, high ionic conductivity and better chemical stability. As a result, the materials and design of solid-state batteries have the potential to almost double the range of today's conventional Li-ion battery cells.
In February 2022
Strategic technology trends for 2022
Gartner: These are the strategic technology trends for 2022
The independent research institute Gartner assumes that the 12 technology trends described here will act as multipliers for digital business, production facilities and innovation in general over the next three to five years. Here's a quick guide to the technologies and why they're so valuable. There is additional information about these technical terms and trends on the web. In the end, the trends should primarily lead to these results:
• Reliable digital connections for employees and devices everywhere
• Solutions to quickly scale digital creativity anywhere
• Innovative features to accelerate business growth, now and in the future
Trend 1: Data Fabric
Data Fabric provides flexible, resilient integration of data sources across platforms and business users, so data is available wherever it's needed, regardless of where it's stored. Data Fabric can use analytics to learn and actively recommend where data should be used and manipulated. This can reduce data management overhead by up to 70%.
Trend 2: Cybersecurity Mesh
Cybersecurity Mesh is a flexible, composable architecture that integrates widely distributed and disparate security services. Cybersecurity Mesh enables industry-leading, standalone security solutions to work together to improve overall security while bringing control points closer to the assets they are designed to protect. It can quickly and reliably verify identity, context, and policy compliance across cloud and non-cloud environments.
Trend 3: Privacy-enhancing computation
Privacy-enhancing computation secures the process of processing personal data in untrusted environments – which is becoming increasingly important due to evolving data protection and privacy laws and increasing consumer concerns. Privacy-enhancing computation uses a variety of privacy protection techniques to extract value from data while meeting compliance requirements.
Trend 4: Cloud-native platforms
Cloud-native platforms are technologies that enable you to create new application architectures that are resilient, elastic, and agile, allowing you to respond to rapid digital change. Cloud-native platforms improve on the traditional lift-and-shift approach to cloud, which fails to meet cloud benefits and adds complexity to maintenance. With the lift-and-shift approach, an application and its associated data are moved to a cloud platform without changing the application design.
Trend 5: Composable applications
The idea of composable applications allows functional blocks of an application to be separated from the overall application or process. This means new, more competent applications can be built with better functionality and purpose. Composable applications are built from business-centric, modular components. Composable applications make code easier to use and reuse, speed time-to-market for new software solutions and unlock business value.
Trend 6: Decision Intelligence
Decisions can be influenced by multitudes and biases, but in a rapidly changing world, it is imperative for companies to make faster and better decisions. Decisions Intelligence is a practical approach to improving organizational decision making. He models each decision as a series of processes, using intelligence and analytics to make decisions, learn from them, and refine them.
Trend 7: Hyper-Automation
Hyperautomation (hyperautomation) is a disciplined, business-centric approach to quickly identify, inspect, and automate as many business and IT processes as possible. This requires the orchestrated deployment of multiple technology tools and platforms, including robotic process automation (RPA), low-code platforms, and process mining tools. Hyper-automation enables scalability, decentralized operations, and the disruption of business models.
Trend 8: AI engineering
AI engineering automates updating data, models, and applications to optimize AI delivery. Combined with strong AI governance, AI engineering will operationalize the delivery of AI to ensure its ongoing business value.
Trend 9: Distributed Enterprises
Distributed Enterprises reflect a digital business model that focuses on people, customer and partner touchpoints are digitized, and product experiences are developed. Distributed Enterprises better meet the needs of remote workers and consumers that are fuelling demand for virtual services and hybrid workspaces.
Trend 10: Total Experience
Total Experience is a business strategy that integrates employee satisfaction, customer satisfaction, user satisfaction and multiexperience across multiple touchpoints to accelerate growth. Total Experience can increase customer and employee trust, satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy through holistic management of stakeholder experiences.
Trend 11: Autonomous systems
Autonomous systems are self-managing physical or software systems that learn from their environment and dynamically change their own algorithms in real time to optimize their behavior in complex ecosystems. Autonomous systems generate a set of flexible technological capabilities capable of supporting new demands and situations, optimizing performance and repelling attacks without human intervention.
Trend 12: Generative AI
Generative AI learns about objects from data and generates innovative new creations that are similar to the original but don't repeat it. Generative AI has the potential to generate new forms of creative content, such as video, and accelerate research and development cycles across fields and industries.
In February 2022
Harmonisation of Vehicle Regulations
Reliable information for e-car drivers
Until now, consumers have not had access to reliable information about the long-term performance of vehicle batteries, raising doubts about the sustainability of their investment. This could change thanks to a proposal for a new legal instrument to ensure a minimum durability of batteries in electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. This proposal has been endorsed by the World Forum for Harmonisation of Vehicle Regulations (WP.29) under the auspices of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).
First international effort
This is the first international effort supported by Canada, China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United States of America and the European Union to address the issue of battery degradation. The new regulations, drafted in the form of a United Nations Global Technical Regulation (GTR), require manufacturers to certify that batteries installed in their electric vehicles lose less than 20 percent of their original capacity within five years or 100,000 km, and less than 30 percent within eight years or 160,000 km. This would prevent the use of poor-quality batteries and ensure that only long-lasting batteries are installed in e-vehicles. This is crucial to boost consumer confidence and improve the environmental performance of e-vehicles beyond their low emission output. Longer battery life would help reduce pressure on the critical raw materials needed for their production and reduce waste from used batteries.
In Decembre 2021
Lightweight materials for e-car batteries
Reduce battery weight
Lightweight materials can significantly reduce battery weight. All the better if they integrate fire protection from the outset, as is possible with a new type of fiber composite. The solution is safe, user-friendly and extensively tested. Ambitious climate goals cannot be achieved without electromobility. But here, too, there are still many ways of increasing the energy efficiency of the drive systems and at the same time using fewer resources.
For the validation of fire protection materials for battery systems, collaborations between corresponding organization have recently been established. Their goal is to work together to provide the best possible fire protection throughout the entire battery life cycle. From the first quarter of 2022, manufacturers and developers of fire protection materials in Aachen / Germany will be able to have their products examined and tested in one of the most up-to-date test laboratories in Europe in accordance with a wide range of national and international specifications and requirement standards.
In November 2021
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