Optimate: "We also want to digitally analyze assemblies for optimization potential"
Sebastian Beger (30) is the latest addition to the Optimate TRUMPF start-up team and is responsible for sales as a member of the management board. His mandate is to launch the digital solutions for sheet metal design more broadly on the market and to build up the customer base worldwide.
In the third year since Optimate was founded, product development was extremely positive, according to the Stuttgart-based start-up. Initial proof-of-concepts have shown that it is demonstrably possible to digitalize knowledge relating to sheet metal processing using AI. In the Optimate App, parts and assemblies can be analyzed and their feasibility determined, using the uploaded CAD files - automatically and AI-based. In numerous projects, customers were impressed by the digital feasibility analysis and automated part optimization, since parts are designed more cost-effectively and, above all, with greater process reliability.
'With our AI-based feasibility analysis, we are primarily addressing companies with in-house product development. In other words, medium-sized companies with their own design team that have a sheet metal processing department or contract manufacturers for their production. So-called Job Shoppers are also successfully using our App in their webshops', says Optimate Managing Director Jonas Steiling referencing the pilot projects that have been completed to date. Potential recognition with automated part optimization, on the other hand, is primarily of interest to the design departments of larger manufacturing companies. Part optimization and digitally automated redesign can lead to very significant cost savings in this area.
'We are of course delighted to have Sebastian Beger, an internationally experienced sales professional, on board to support our further growth phase', says Optimate CEO Jonas Steiling.
Before the industrial engineer joined Optimate, he worked for AZO GmbH in Osterburken as sales manager for Asia. He supported the technical sales of process systems for the food and pharmaceutical industry in the Asian market, in part directly on site in Thailand. A new challenge presented itself in 2020 at a Munich-based start-up in the e-mobility field, where he led the company into the growth phase as Head of Marketing and Sales. In addition to team and brand building, the focus was on supporting B2B customers. To support them in the transition to e-mobility, the team developed a scalable and intelligent charging infrastructure solution.
At the end of 2022, the opportunity arose to join the TRUMPF subsidiary as Chief Sales Officer (CSO) to drive forward digitization in part design. There, he can fully leverage his mechanical engineering expertise and previous technical sales consulting knowledge. 'I was immediately very enthusiastic about the vision. Everything just fits! I know how stressful it can be for mechanical engineers and how little time there is for optimization. And that's exactly why our digital solution is so important', highlights the new CSO.
"Optimate aims to double in size to 20 employees by the end of 2023," says the management team of the TRUMPF start-up (from left to right: CSO Sebastian Beger, CEO Jonas Steiling and CTO Max Hesselbarth).
Brief interview with Optimate's new Chief Sales Officer, Sebastian Beger (SB)
Mr. Beger, what was your motivation to join a start-up once again?
SB: Ever since my schooldays, I have been inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit. Getting involved in building up a company was also the reason behind my decision to join an e-mobility start-up. Once we succeeded in growing the company to more than 50 employees and generating several million in revenue in a very short time, I saw my mission as accomplished and was ready for the next step. At Optimate, I now have the opportunity to advance the start-up in technical sales worldwide from a managing director position, while combining my experience in mechanical and systems engineering with my start-up and technical sales background - all in one position.
Isn't it a long way from technical sales in systems engineering to a digitization solution for sheet metal processing?
SB: On the contrary. Machines and systems in the process industry consist to a large extent of sheet metal parts, such as containers for mixing and dosing, all of which are FDA-compliant. In technical sales, I always worked very closely with mechanical engineers and production planners. Since the entire TRUMPF portfolio is basically present at the production of AZO in Osterburken, I am no stranger to sheet metal processing. And since digitization is always the top priority, especially in the start-up context, the move to Optimate makes a lot of sense.
And where do you personally see Optimate in 10 years?
SB: That's obviously difficult to predict. From my time in Asia, I see tremendous global potential for our digital optimization solutions. Although we can't penetrate all markets worldwide in just one year, my vision is to build Optimate as a global company over the next few years. In other words, to make our digitization expertise in sheet metal processing available globally, which we acquired over the years at TRUMPF. All this in view of making a real contribution to ensuring that production everywhere is resource-efficient and sustainable.
How big are the opportunities?
SB: Very good indeed. Deadlines and cost pressures are unfortunately a fact of life in many design departments. This is exactly where we come in and solve real problems for our customers. A digital platform eliminates deadline pressures and can continuously increase process reliability. Creative design optimizations are available in seconds with just one click. Engineers can find inspiration and release cost-optimized parts for production. Again, these are topics that are not only relevant in Germany, but worldwide. Regardless of whether design is done locally and production is carried out globally, digitization knows no boundaries, and digital feasibility analyses and potential recognition don't either.
Sebastian Beger on his new position as Chief Sales Officer (CSO) at the Optimate start-up in Stuttgart: 'Digitization and Industry 4.0 don't recognize national borders, even in sheet metal processing. I see my primary goal as the increased expansion of sales to advance the use of our digital feasibility analysis and potential recognition worldwide.'
What role do new functions and further developments play here?
SB: New developments play a decisive role in enabling us to address our target groups even better. Smaller contract manufacturers in sheet metal processing usually need our feasibility analysis, while larger, design-driven manufacturing companies use the potential recognition service with suggestions for redesign. As a result, it is also important to communicate new functions, such as the analysis of assemblies, in a target group-specific manner. A new CAD plug-in will also be added to enhance ease of use. And in the future, the possibility of storing your own machine data in the customer profile with just a few clicks will improve the quality of the returned results.
Can you reveal anything more about this further development?
SB: We want to digitally analyze complete assemblies for feasibility and optimization potential. We are currently in the beta phase for pilot customers. Assemblies uploaded to the App are currently automatically dissolved into individual sheet metal parts and analyzed for feasibility. What is already fully digital and automated with AI for individual parts, we want to make possible for entire assemblies in the future. For now, this is still a hybrid process. Here, the database of our AI helps us offering these new functions in a fully automated way in the long term. And that is of course relevant for sales - to bring these new functions to the market. Who doesn't want to turn many individual parts of an expensive welded assembly into a single bending part, for instance?
Mr. Beger, thank you for the interview!