“Balance between mechanics and electronics”
Why was an expert in aerospace engineering appointed General Manager of Brabender Technologie? A look at Dr. Günter Kuhlmann’s multi-stranded CV unravels this mystery.
Günter Kuhlmann’s career history begins in Berlin. This is where he gained both a degree and a doctorate in engineering sciences with focus on aerospace engineering, where he experienced the periods of division and growing back together in reunified Germany’s capital city. This historical watershed meant he had to change his plans at the same time. “After reunification a large number of subsidies were channeled into reconstructing the eastern part of Germany and into infrastructure and less so into aerospace engineering. That’s why I opted to accept a job offer as a research engineer at Sauer-Sundstrand, now Danfoss Power Solutions, after leaving university,” is how he describes the start of his business career. He quickly rose through the ranks to become Head of the Testing Department and ultimately Global Quality Officer.
The next stage in his career took him to Göttingen. He initially designed flow measurement systems for ABB, before he was appointed Product Group Technology Manager with responsibility for seven locations worldwide. “This was a very exciting time, because we developed power generation optimization and monitoring software that proved to be very successful around the world.” But development projects in the Indian city of Bangalore and in the USA entail a huge amount of traveling. “I reached the point where I wanted to do less traveling. That is why I joined Höft & Wessel in Hanover, which was later renamed Metric. After joining as Division Manager, I was then appointed Technical Director.” Günter Kuhlmann focused fully on software and started to miss the mechanics side of things after a few years. “I was keen to reestablish the balance between mechanics and electronics. Therefore the timing of the offer from Brabender Technologie was great.” He joined the senior management team at the start of the year.
One year with Horst Vohwinkel
Horst Vohwinkel, who has been with the company for nearly 33 years and been General Manager for 27 years, will leave Brabender Technologie at the end of 2018. Günter Kuhlmann will gradually assume his areas of responsibility.
“I now head up Quality Management, Production, Purchasing and Electronics. Horst Vohwinkel is concentrating on Design Engineering and Mechanical Development.” This changing of the guard is working very well. “Horst Vohwinkel has built something really special here over the course of many years and has a keen interest in ensuring that everything proceeds at a sustainable rate and continues to evolve positively,” Günter Kuhlmann explains. “That’s why I regard this transitional phase as very fruitful and productive.”
Günter Kuhlmann views control technology as his first challenge. “Like the rest of the industry we too must get to grips more with the Internet of Things and increasing network integration. There will be an increasing focus on data sharing and data security, remote access via tablets and mobile devices in future versions of our equipment. In this respect we will be more modern and more interconnected to the benefit of our customers,” is the new General Manager’s vision of the future. Even if he turned his back on aerospace engineering a long time ago, he continues to be ready to aim high.
(published in FLUX 1/2018)