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VDMA elects new leadership

Oct. 5, 2021

Frank Konrad (Chairman) CEO, HAHN Automation GmbH, RheinböllenSource: VDMA eV

Frank Konrad, CEO of Hahn Automation GmbH in Rheinböllen, Germany, has been elected as the new chairman of the VDMA Robotics + Automation Association. He succeeds Wilfried Eberhardt, chief marketing officer of KUKA AG, Augsburg, whose three-year term of office as chairman ended in accordance with the rotation principle of the association’s statutes. Eberhardt was honored for his services and extensive commitment to the industry at this year's Members‘ Assembly of VDMA Robotics + Automation and elected as a regular member of the new board of VDMA Robotics + Automation.

"The robotics and automation industry continues to grow. We see increased global competition and accelerated transformation processes. The strong network of the VDMA helps us seize opportunities arising from advancing digitalization and rapid technology development. Medium-sized mechanical engineering companies in particular need to realize that cooperations speed up innovations. This will make us more sustainable and efficient and enable us to respond to fluctuations in a more stable manner," Konrad said.

Dr. Dietmar Ley, CEO of Basler AG, Ahrensburg, Germany, was elected Deputy Chairman of the VDMA Robotics + Automation Association.

The new Board of the VDMA Robotics + Automation Association comprises the following members:

  • Frank Konrad (chairman), CEO, Hahn Automation GmbH, Rheinböllen
  • Wilfried Eberhardt, chief marketing officer and member of the supervisory board, Kuka AG, Augsburg
  • Dr. Lars Friedrich, president & CEO of the division application technology, Dürr Systems AG, Bietigheim-Bissingen
  • Dr. Heiko Frohn, CTO, Vitronic GmbH, Wiesbaden
  • Dr. Horst Heinol-Heikkinen, CEO and owner, Asentics GmbH & Co. KG, Siegen
  • Jörg Kipper, managing director, Festo Vertrieb GmbH & Co. KG, Esslingen
  • Dr. Klaus Kluger, general manager, Omron Electronics GmbH, Langenfeld
  • Dr. Dietmar Ley (deputy chairman), CEO, Basler AG, Ahrensburg
  • Johannes Linden, CEO, PIA Automation Holding GmbH, Bad Neustadt
  • Dr. Olaf Munkelt, managing director, MVTec Software GmbH, München
  • Cornelia Püschel, managing director, Püschel Automation GmbH & Co. KG, Lüdenscheid
  • Volker Spanier, head of manufacturing solutions, Epson Deutschland GmbH, Meerbusch
  • Ralf Winkelmann, managing director, Fanuc Deutschland GmbH, Neuhausen a.d.F.

Within the context of the members' assembly of the VDMA Robotics + Automation Association, the members of the VDMA Machine Vision division elected a new board. Mark Williamson, managing director of Stemmer Imaging Ltd. and member of the Stemmer Imaging AG’s senior leadership team was subsequently appointed chairman by the newly elected VDMA Machine Vision Board.

The board of the VDMA Machine Vision department 2021-2024. From left to right: Donato Montanari (Deevio), Martin Klenke (Teledyne Imaging), Mark Williamson (STEMMER IMAGING), Uwe Wiedermann (ISRA VISION), Olaf Munkelt (MVTec Software), Horst -Heinol Heikkinen (Asentics), Olaf Munkelt MVTec Software), Heiko Frohn VITRONIC). Not pictured: Hardy Mehl (BASLER AG). Source: VDMA eV

"The machine vision industry is in a state of transition. In recent years, we have seen many changes including company consolidations along with significant technological developments. We have the emergence of new players including start-ups, international corporations, and internet giants. Vision is seen as a key technology in the trend toward digitalization, both in and outside the factory environment creating a lot of interest in vision technology. The European machine vision industry is in an excellent position. Between 2013 and 2019, turnover in Germany alone grew by an average of 9% per year. In 2020, while turnover declined by 4% due to Covid-19, the decline was nowhere near as drastic as in many other industries with good prospects for future growth. It is important to strengthen this excellent standing, to open up further growth markets in the industrial and non-industrial environment and to include new players. The VDMA Machine Vision division, with over 115 members across Europe, has an important role to play in enabling this potential growth," Williamson said. "Our thanks go to the former chairman, Klaus-Henning Noffz, who during his 9 years on the board of VDMA Machine Vision (including the last three years as chairman) has achieved many things for the industry with a great deal of commitment.”

Klaus-Henning Noffz has decided not to stand for re-election for personal reasons.

For the period 2021 - 2024, the following industry representatives will lead and guide the affairs of the VDMA Machine Vision division:

  • Dr. Heiko Frohn, CTO, Vitronic Dr.-Ing. Stein Bildverarbeitungssysteme GmbH, Wiesbaden, Germany
  • Dr. Horst Heinol-Heikkinen, founder and CEO, Asentics GmbH & Co. KG, Siegen, Germany
  • Dr. Martin Klenke, director business development, Teledyne Imaging, Heidelberg, Germany
  • Hardy Mehl, CFO, COO and CMO product business, Basler AG, Ahrensburg, Germany
  • Donato Montanari, board member, Deevio GmbH, Berlin, Germany
  • Dr. Olaf Munkelt, co-founder and managing director, MVTec Software GmbH, München, Germany
  • Uwe Wiedermann, vice president smart factory automation, Isra Vision AG, Darmstadt, Germany
  • Mark Williamson, part of Stemmer Imaging AG’s senior leadership team and managing director, Stemmer Imaging Ltd., Tongham, Surrey, United Kingdom

At the VDMA Robotics Group meeting, which took place online within the VDMA Robotics + Automation Members' Assembly, a new board was elected for the period 2021-2024. Volker Spanier was confirmed as chairman of the board for the robotics group.

After a sharp decline in sales last year, robotics is undergoing a positive turnaround with a high increase in sales for the current year. Significant application potential for robotics exists in the area of small and medium-sized enterprises and in human-robot collaboration. According to Spanier, the Executive Board expects the positive development to continue in 2022.

The new board of the VDMA robotics department is composed as follows:

  • Andrea Alboni, general manager Western Europe, Universal Robots (Germany) GmbH, Munich
  • Daniel Bunse, CEO, Rethink Robotics GmbH, Bochum
  • Dr. Klaus Kluger, general manager Central East Europe, Omron Electronics GmbH, Langenfeld
  • Martin Kullmann, head of customer service, ABB Automation GmbH, Friedberg (Hesse)
  • Alexander Mühlens, head of business unit low cost automation, igus GmbH, Köln
  • Michael Otto, chief sales officer, robotics, KUKA Deutschland GmbH, Augsburg
  • Volker Spanier, head of manufacturing solutions, Epson Deutschland GmbH, Meerbusch
  • Ralf Winkelmann, managing director, FANUC Deutschland GmbH, Neuhausen a.d.F.

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