What does Rutronik System Solutions stand for?
Markus Krieg: We are guided by a question that is central to our customers' business models: How can our customers become and remain valuable partners for their customers? Rutronik System Solutions, therefore, offers its customers an edge in development and highly innovative solutions. To achieve this goal, we combine innovations derived from science and research with our expertise.
Does this put Rutronik in direct competition with its own customers?
Markus Krieg: No. We do not deliver finished products but support our customers with proof-of-concepts, meaning concept studies. This helps to accelerate their predevelopment activities and shorten the actual time to market. We also develop proof-of-concepts together with research institutes and universities to export innovation potential to industrial markets.
What does cooperation between Rutronik and researchers look like in real terms?
Markus Krieg: We have been able to build up a very large networkof university partners in recent years, including the University of Applied Sciences Zwickau, the Chemnitz University of Technology, Pforzheim University, and the Cooperative State University (DHBW) in Karlsruhe. Each university has its own special focus of research, such as power electronics, sensors, and battery management systems. Research is being conducted on incredibly fascinating and trendsetting topics, and we are proud to be able to collaborate with world-leading scientists within these projects.
What kind of expertise can Rutronik draw on?
Markus Krieg: We know the requirements and challenges of the industry and are constantly analyzing the market. And we also know the electronics market inside out. We have a broad product portfolio and the corresponding expertise as to which technologies and components and which basic software are best suited for the respective applications, as well as to which components are available today, tomorrow, and in the future. This expertise enables us to translate research findings into marketable and competitive solutions faster and in a more targeted manner. This is how we create our own IP (intellectual property), which is also patent-protected.
Which proof-of-concepts already exist?
Markus Krieg: We have compiled an overview of the currently available proof-of-concepts. Here, we distinguish between four support levels that complement our basic business model: The starting point and foundation is and always will remain our core business as a broadline distributor with the relevant components, technical and commercial support, and our logistics solutions. Level 1 includes advanced technical support at product and system level. At level 2 - the Design Level - we combine development boards from our suppliers and offer appropriately adapted software, thereby creating new system solutions. At level 3 - the Advanced Design Level - we develop our own boards and the associated software. Finally, at level 4 - the Research Level - everything 1 previously described is brought to full fruition: lt is where we offer our own system solutions, which we have developed together with universities and other partners and which are based on our IP. Some of them have already been patented, while others are in the process of being issued.
Why do patents play such an important role?
Markus Krieg: They help us protect our intellectual property. lt gives us the freedom to disclose our technology and also talk to our customers about the details of our solutions.
Such design activities require a certain amount of manpower. Where is it located at Rutronik?
Markus Krieg: We have established design centers in both Lithuania and Singapore, which are currently undergoing expansion. Moreover, we also have a team of developers at our headquarters in Ispringen. And, needless to say, members of staff work together around the globe with our field application engineers (FAEs). The international team is managed by Stephan Menze, Head of Global Innovation Management. We also have market researchers and analysts in the strategic marketing team who closely monitor global markets and prepare market studies, enabling us to identify and assess trends at a very early stage. This allows us to keep on identifying new approaches with disruptive potential. So, expect to see a lot more in the future from Rutronik System Solutions.
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