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5 minutes with ... Olaf Nitsche, Area Sales Manager and Member of the Management Board, L&L Products Europe GmbH
L&L Products officially opened its sales and engineering office for Germany in Munich in mid-October 2019. The company originally from the USA is distinguished by its high level of expertise in the field of new materials and engineering. L&L Products develops, manufactures and sells products to reduce noise and vibration, as well as reinforce and connect structures, e.g. in cars or aeroplanes. We accompanied L&L Products from the very beginning in its search for a location in Bavaria and are now all the more pleased to welcome the company to Bavaria. Today we are talking to Olaf Nitsche, one of the three managing directors.
Mr Nitsche, can you give us a brief practical example of what your company will be doing in Bavaria in future?
The automotive sector is our largest business segment worldwide, in which we not only support our customers with materials but also with development services. Several of our existing customers as well as other potential customers for our products are located in Munich and the surrounding area. Being close to our customers allows us to work with them much more efficiently on special developments, such as developing a body reinforcement. We now have the possibility to carry out FEA calculations locally for this and then coordinate the results and further steps on site with the corresponding development partners.
Your European head office is located in France. It therefore seems natural at first glance that you initially chose a location for your German office near the Franco-German border. What ultimately prompted you to relocate to Munich?
We wanted a new location that was closer to existing customers. Our goal is to simplify product development for our customers. This naturally works best if we can quickly coordinate our special expertise with our customers on site. There are some customers who can still be reached relatively easily from our location near Strasbourg, but a trip to Munich is usually not a day trip and is therefore associated with a much higher workload. The model with its proximity to the customer has already worked very well for our company in many areas and we will certainly continue to expand it. Munich is of course an attractive place to work for our existing and future employees with its diverse cultural offers, good infrastructure and extensive leisure facilities. For my family, the offer of international schools was also an important aspect of coming to Munich.
So far, you have primarily been active in the automotive sector in Germany. Can you imagine using your products in other fields?
In addition to the automotive sector, our company is also active in other branches of industry. We are continuously growing in the aerospace sector and our products are coming into contact with more and more areas where our bonding solutions are in demand. Our company has always been driven by innovation and we like to explore new areas of application. Our company’s roots clearly lie in our expertise in applications for bonding, structural reinforcements and acoustic materials combined with cost-conscious lightweight construction.
You have just arrived in Bavaria. What location advantages are you hoping for/expecting in addition to expanding existing customer relationships?
We know that Munich, with its many research institutions, is also an important development centre for many branches of industry in southern Germany. We naturally hope that we will be able to further strengthen our market position through additional contacts and new customers. The Invest in Bavaria network with its various clusters and contacts to research institutions and conferences can certainly help us in this respect.
We are happy to establish contact with Bavarian clusters, e.g. MAI Carbon in Augsburg, which was selected as a top cluster in the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) cluster competition. The main focus is on the automotive, aerospace and mechanical and plant engineering industries, and the partners come from all industries where high-performance fibre composites are used. Innovations are always driven forward within these kinds of clusters. What future trends are you observing?
We’re already included in the email distribution list for some clusters and have even established initial contact with new potential customers. This is primarily about developing and processing new materials, particularly with regard to lightweight construction. New materials always require new manufacturing and processing methods. We are very well positioned to meet this challenge with our current materials portfolio and our strong global R&D activities. The demands on materials and overall vehicle robustness will certainly continue to change in the future from today's products. If you consider how the useful life shifts when you compare the life of a standard vehicle today to future transport concepts such as CarSharing, there will be significant differences in expectations and requirements in future. We can see potential for our products and our development service here.
Your colleague from the European head office in France was also present at our joint site visit and we had dinner together. The French are generally regarded as gourmets. You and your colleague were very enthusiastic about the Bavarian tapas. Which other Bavarian delicacies can you recommend to our readers?
In addition to the culinary delicacies such as the local pretzels and delicious knuckle of pork, this location’s recreational value should of course also not be ignored. It goes without saying that you have to have experienced the original Oktoberfest here but the real Bavarian cosiness only comes to life when you visit a beer garden. Being close to the mountains or the many parks and lakes is certainly another huge bonus at this location.