Monitor_02_18_en

to operate more efficiently and cost-effectively in other areas of the company thanks to new processes and high volumes. How do you see the sector developing? The conversion from internal combustion engines to electric motors will also lead to new approaches at large companies such as BMW, Daimler and VW. Supply chains will be designed differently. Employees will need to be retrained. Some compa- nies will disappear. On the other hand, new companies, job profiles and courses of study will emerge. Change is unstoppa- ble: Mobility will be electrified. Do you see any trouble with that? In the field of eMobility many things are not necessarily more difficult, but simply different. We are continuously working on the creation and establishment of new processes and work- flows in order to comply with the rules of the game of eMobility. Compared to typical industrial Bender products, electromobility is already under enormous price pressure today, with significant- ly higher and strongly increasing quantities at the same time. With electromobility, the question is what end consumers – often private individuals – are prepared to pay for electric mobility. How much can Bender security or charging technol- ogy cost, for example, for a wallbox in a private garage? What delivery time is acceptable? How much can a car with Bender insulation monitoring cost? Thus, we are forced to think in other dimensions and have to take into account the currently very long delivery times for electronic components in order to ade- quately cover the market despite the sharp rise in demand for end products. Often, quantity forecasts feel like a glimpse into the crystal ball, but we also have to learn how to deal with this. What does your daily work look like? Which moments and tasks do you find particularly stimulating? I am particularly excited by the acquisition of new customers and the cooperation with ebee in Berlin. ebee is, so to speak, the software forge of the charge con- trollers and, at the same time, offers the appealing character of a start-up – a very interesting and successful combination. With ebee, Bender provides the latest technology, the heart of charging stations, so to speak. The customer, for example, the charging stations manufacturer, is responsible for production and design. For the end customer, such as a municipality, however, the system should ultimately be as inexpensive as possible and public charging should be affordable. In order for the high development costs of very intelligent and networked batch controllers to pay off, there is a need for high quantities. This, in turn, is a major task for production, purchas- ing, sales and logistics. Therefore, rethinking – internally as well– is necessary overall in order to be successful together in the long term. Which new features do you wish to emphasise in the future? As head of the BU, I have a supervisory role. I have to in- struct, convince and motivate my colleagues within the com- pany, but I don't have to pretend that everything is a perfect solution. Employees may and should think and shape – they can also make mistakes, but must learn from them. It is important to me that everyone contributes their own ideas and functions as a team for every new development or customer project right from the start. The workforce can and must actively shape the future. Above all, however, we need to reduce inhibitions. For example, to help them lose their shyness towards electromobility, for the last two years every one of our employees has been able to use an in-house electric vehicle – both professionally and privately. What concrete objectives have you set? My goal is to make Bender even more international in the field of electromobility by 2019. Today we mainly serve Germany and the Nordic countries in Europe. But we must also estab- lish sustainable structures in the so-called key countries, such as China and the USA, but also Spain, Italy and the Netherlands. Two thirds of the world market are dominated by China. China is thus clearly the driver and pulse of electro- mobility. This is where we need to orient ourselves in order to keep pace and position our technology. What do you think are Bender's biggest advantages in this area? The media often discuss the suitability of electromobility for everyday use, but we do not need pure electric vehicles with long ranges to use Bender products. Even if vehicles are not completely electrically powered, e.g. plug-in hybrid vehicles with a range of only 30 kilometres, our portfolio makes a significant contribution to the industry. Even at short ranges, insulation monitoring in the vehicle and a charging station are required – ideally "Bender technology inside". Please complete the following sentence: To me, Bender means...? ... positive change – shaping the future together! Michaela Heck M.A. textwerk Mr. Lehr, thank you very much for the interview. 47 2/2018 | MONITOR |

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