How long have you been with Neugart and what are your responsibilities?
I started my career with Neugart in 2005 as a young mechanic apprentice on the shop floor learning all the tricks of the trade and gaining in-depth technical knowledge in CNC machining particularly for geared parts. After the four-year apprenticeship, I furthered my education, earning a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree at the University of Applied Sciences in Offenburg, Germany, before re-joining the Neugart family in the sales department as technical liaison to our U.S. subsidiary. In 2015, I took the leap and relocated to the newly built Charlotte, North Carolina, facility where I will soon celebrate my five-year work anniversary in this location. Here I work as Sales Team Leader, helping our North American partners and customers find the perfect gearbox solutions, and I actively define strategies to explore new and existing business opportunities, including in the AGV market.
Give us an overview of the gearbox Neugart is using the AGV market and what makes it unique.
The AGV market has existed for quite a while, and we had been historically using our standard product portfolio and some customized gearbox options to satisfy the emerging market. Realizing that our standard portfolio was well suited but not ideal for many conditions, our product management team analyzed the market requirements and developed an industry specific gearbox solution. Our NGV gearbox caters toward the special applications in the AGV market segment focusing on special features like high load bearings to support high payloads, energy efficiency, and compactness to help AGV designers get the most out of their space, and we also feature a recessed mounting surface for ease of assembly. In addition to that, we also offer a high load bearing accessory wheel for each size of the offered product as well as simulation and sizing software to test and verify the design specifications.
How have you made inroads in the U.S. market for this product?
We have already served some of the demand out there with our standard products, but, since our NGV product launch, the customer response has been very enthusiastic, and we are getting more and more opportunities and acquiring new business. We are, of course, working with our market specific OEMs and system integrators to supply the increasing demand. It’s really been taking off since this year, despite the pandemic.
Is the marketing in the U.S. different than how Neugart markets in Europe?
I have actually spent more time as a professional in the U.S. than in Europe but can definitely attest to the different marketing practices. Obviously, the U.S. and European market are two similar but distinctly different economies, and so the marketing has to adapt to that. In our terms, our marketing strategy has always focused on our core values of the precision and quality of being a German gearbox manufacturer, and, of course, we always have the customers’ benefits in mind. That does not change across borders and is a universal thing in the Neugart world.
You mentioned briefly what the U.S. response has been. Would you like to expand on that?
Since the introduction of this special NGV gearbox, the market response we’ve received through print and online media has been really great. We’re working currently on several opportunities, and I hope soon that we will have some white papers with customers that we are able to share to create more marketing and future sales opportunities through this.
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