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Specialist & leadership

Stefan H., 34, has been with MLR System GmbH since 2012. As early as during his studies in mechanical engineering, he completed a practical semester at the company. After graduation, he joined as project manager. Today, he holds the position of deputy head of department.

"Everyone has their areas of focus."

I am one of a total of ten project managers at MLR. Each of us has their experience-based foci; in my case, these are in mechanical engineering and the automotive sector. Currently, I’m working on a major project for a manufacturer of combine harvesters. A large number of production sites have to be equipped with individually designed driverless transport systems to ensure an efficient and complete assembly process. That is a challenging job, very complex in its requirements. Such a thing is in good hands at MLR, because we stand for tailor-made solutions – not only for “hardware”, i.e. vehicles, but also for electronics and software.

“I coordinate all trades.”

As project manager I am responsible for the entire project organization and coordination of all trades. I get assigned jobs by sales; then we team up internally and define a project team that includes mechanical and electrical designers as well as software developers who seamlessly integrate the vehicles into the customer’s system environment. Then we work together with external manufacturing companies who build the automated guided vehicle systems (AGVs) we have developed. Before actual commissioning takes place on the customer’s premises, careful tests are carried out to ensure that the transport systems function smoothly. There are a lot of participants in the project. At the same time, I am the point of contact for the customer and ensure that timings and budgets are kept.

"Knowledge of human nature helps enormously!"

Above all, my job is about flexibility and a good connection to the team. A certain level of technical understanding is also helpful in order to engage in technical exchange with the departments. If the requirements suddenly change in a project – which happens quite often – everyone has to stick together and find a solution. That’s why we think so pragmatically. Our customers really appreciate this “hands-on” mentality. Since many people and trades are involved in each project, I have to act as integrator. Especially in critical phases of the project, it comes down to mediating abilities – so that everyone keeps an eye on the great common goal. Now in summer, where others think of holidays, we work round the clock. During plant holidays, the assembly lines stop and we can implement our systems at the customer’s premises, so that they can later continue with full power!
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