Q&A with Alois Mundt

Managing Director of Liebherr-Verzahntechnik GmbH

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When was the Sigma Pool formed, and what was its original purpose?

Our customers are found worldwide, and in the early nineties we were looking for a more economical way to service their needs, so we started considering other companies that it would make sense for us to partner with in reaching out to them, both from a marketing as well as a service standpoint. We soon realized that we shared certain similarities with Klingelnberg, that there was very little overlap, and that we had many of the same clients.

That’s when we decided to join forces in order to form the Sigma Pool, which has evolved from marketing and service activities to having a training and educational component as well. One thing I’d like to point out is that Liebherr and Klingelnberg entered into a gentlemen’s agreement in forming Sigma Pool, and we’re proud that this relationship is based on good intentions and a handshake.

Tell us about the Sigma Pool Gear Seminar Series. How did this come into being?

Forming Sigma Pool allowed Liebherr and Klingelnberg to exhibit at tradeshows together, and we soon realized two things. One is that gear manufacturers were just as interested in learning about processes and technologies as they were the features of a new piece of equipment, and that conversations of that nature would require more time and concentration than such environments provide. That’s when we decided to take advantage of the Sigma Pool sites that we had already established around the world in order to make educational presentations focusing on new technologies. This began about seven years ago.

Our customers need information to help them reach their own goals, not to listen to us talk about how we plan to reach ours. So we developed an educational program meant to address subjects of interest to gear manufacturers, including processes that can be performed on any machine, not just those available from Liebherr and Klingelnberg. We don’t really talk about specific machines so much as how to use any gear machine better. While the seminars are held at Sigma Pool sites around the world, they are open to anyone, not just existing customers, and we tailor the contents of each two-day event to the country and market in which they are located.

For the one held in Italy last year we knew attendees would be interested in job-shopping concerns, so that’s what we focused on. At the event held in Michigan earlier this summer we concentrated on cutting gears for the wind-power industry, since we realize many U.S. gear makers are considering entering that market. And then in places such as China and India we may hold more than one event, due to the sheer size of those countries. We want these seminars to have meaning to each individual audience.

Who teaches these seminars, and what topics are generally covered?

The presentations are made by members of the Liebherr Technical Group, such as myself, and the Klingelnberg Group, including a “state of the industry” keynote address by Mr. Jan Klingelnberg. The first day usually involves members of Klingelnberg’s technical team discussing different aspects of bevel gear technology, and then the Liebherr team will take over on the second day to cover parallel axis gear technology. That’s the general structure we’ve maintained during the three seminars we’ve already held this year, with one at the Liebherr Gear Technology facility in Saline, Michigan, last June and two the following month in Chennai and Mumbai, India. The remaining event this year will be held Oct. 29-30 in Sao Paulo at Liebherr Brasil Ltda.

This is something we plan to continue and build upon, but our approach will remain the same: to share our combined knowledge with gearing professionals worldwide. We do feel that, the more our audience knows about new technologies and processes, the more likely they’ll be to consider purchasing Liebherr and Klingelnberg equipment, of course. But the most important point we wish to convey is that we are here as an information resource, and we want to benefit the industry as a whole by raising the level of awareness of new gear-manufacturing technologies.

MORE INFORMATION: Call (734) 429-7225, send e-mail to info.lgt@liebherr.com, or go online to [www.liebherr.com]. Also visit [www.klingelnberg.com] or [www.sigma-pool.com]. To register contact Andreas Montag at amontag@klingelnberg.com.