Felix Wieser has been with Baumüller since the beginning of 2017 and is a breath of fresh air at the Kitzingen production site. As a process optimizer, he supports the company on its path to continuously improved manufacturing. Many concepts have been implemented since then, but the young engineer is always a few steps ahead: “There is no lack of ideas. You can always improve something and optimize a process even further. That’s exactly what’s so exciting about my job,” he explains.
Portrait of the innovation artist Felix Wieser (30): From master’s student to process optimizer. Improving and automating work steps in manufacturing – with a wealth of ideas and brains: Felix Wieser has been with Baumüller since the beginning of 2017 and is a breath of fresh air at the Kitzingen production site. As a process optimizer, he supports the company on its path to continuously improved manufacturing. Many concepts have been implemented since then, but the young engineer is always a few steps ahead: “There is no lack of ideas. You can always improve something and optimize a process even further. That’s exactly what’s so exciting about my job,” he explains.
Felix Wieser reveals how it all began and why he is currently flourishing as a process optimizer:
Actually, I’ve always been a technophile. That’s why, after leaving school, I decided to train as an industrial mechanic. At the Fraunhofer Institute in Erlangen, I was able to gain a lot of insight and experience. But even during my training, I wanted more. I wanted to use my creativity and develop myself further. So I needed something new. I am a thoroughbred technician, so studying mechanical engineering was more than an obvious choice for me. That’s how I ended up spending my student days at the University of Applied Sciences in Amberg. I not only met a lot of new people there, but also benefited from a diverse course of study that also covered many additional fields, such as electrical engineering and computer science. Fueled by ambition, I decided to do a master’s degree in Amberg as well. After completing the course “Innovation-focused mechanical engineering,” with the core areas of innovation management, patent law, and patent research, I had to do a practical master’s thesis.
At the end of 2016, I sent a speculative application to Baumüller. After a short time, the HR department contacted me and asked me if I would like to write my master’s thesis on the topic of “Optimizing production through the use of robots” at the production site in Kitzingen. The topic sounded exciting and I agreed immediately.
How can robots make work easier and be a true support to manufacturing employees? To me, this was a highly interesting question that engaged my interest from the very beginning. From the idea to its implementation, the project took about a half a year. Six exciting months passed, during which my team and I really bonded. Despite one or two challenges, we were able to meet the specification of installing a robot system in order to completely automate and thereby simplify a production process.
I still remember the moment when we presented the new robot system, which we named “Anton,” to the plant manager: I was weak in the knees and just thought to myself: “Anton, do your job right and don’t make fools of us!” The robot completed all its tasks with flying colors, and my team got a lot of applause and recognition. We were also able to realize the goal of achieving greater process reliability with the automated work step to the full. So the 6 months of work had paid off, and the best part: I was offered a permanent position as an application engineer for robotic systems. Since then, I have been working with full commitment on optimizing the production processes.
Over the past six months, I have come to appreciate and love the employees in Kitzingen and Nuremberg. In addition, I immensely enjoyed working on the robotic system and drove to work each day with a smile on my face. So it was obvious that I would accept the position. Since then, I have been working as a process optimizer in production at Baumüller’s site in Kitzingen. Here I have the opportunity to contribute my own ideas and put them into practice. Medium-sized companies like Baumüller afford such opportunities.
We work with a focus on our customers and share one goal: getting the job done in a direct, unbureaucratic way with fast decision-making processes. And I think that’s fantastic! In today’s world, off-the-shelf solutions often aren’t enough anymore. For me as a process optimizer, the answer is to build modular production lines that can be quickly adapted to new conditions – from pure series to one-piece flow. To create even more transparency in the future, I am also optimizing production with Industry 4.0 solutions.
In addition, I ask myself the question: How can we become even more energy-efficient? We’ve already been able to make quite a few optimizations here in the past. My team is currently working on a project that not only saves time, but also energy. I also initiate and see to the development of intelligent software tools. I enjoy pushing things forward and creating something new. And it pays off: Colleagues are thrilled with the optimized solution and are happy about the reduced workload. I am infinitely grateful for all the positive feedback I receive for my work, and I am happy to dive into new optimization adventures each and every day.
I love my job, and that is certainly also due to the “we” feeling that we have at Baumüller. We work hand in hand across all the different departments. The employees are always there to help their colleagues. That is worth a lot and very important to me personally. I would not want to work in a “me first” society in which people are envious of each other. I’m really glad that we’re such a great group and have a good relationship with each other. That has a positive effect on our professional life and motivation. It’s simply more fun for us to be together, and that’s why we often go running or bouldering after work to collect our thoughts a little and renew our strength for the next working day. If a colleague’s favorite soccer team is playing, we’ll naturally be there to give moral support and cheer on the team. We also travel together to Nuremberg to take part in the B2Run company run with our colleagues from headquarters and get to know them better over dinner afterwards. By the way, I am a passionate cook and enjoy entertaining friends, family, and colleagues. So the company motto ‘be in motion’ fits my lifestyle in every way!