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Interview with Boris Kübler of Kübler GmbH

A family business based in Germany. Kübler GmbH has been offering innovative solutions for electronics manufacturing for more than 30 years. The company works closely with long-standing partners to provide not only the innovative products and services but also the trust and support that its customers need to succeed in established and new sectors. We recently spoke with Boris Kübler to find out more about the company, including its strengths and growth strategies.

Boris, we understand that Kübler is a family-run business. When was it founded and by whom? What need was there in the industry that resulted in the company being founded?

The company was founded in 1989 by my father, Hans Kübler. At that time the SMD technology was newly emerging. One of the reasons he founded the company was to offer customers in Germany new solutions for SMD technology.

What is your role in the company? How does your background and experience help to strengthen Kübler?

I personally have been the managing director of the company for five years and have now been working at the company for 20 years. Through the growing know-how and the permanent further development on the market and through the curiosity for new technological approaches and new solutions, I have been able to use my strengths to improve and strengthen the company.

How has Kübler grown/changed over the years? Has your focus remained the same or has it shifted? What is the mission of Kübler?

In the last 30 years the mission of Kübler has not changed. We remain dedicated to offering high-tech solutions with a high added value for our customers and to ensuring that our solutions stand out from the competition. Of course, the company has grown accordingly, and we are also very proud that we have market leaders in various segments in our portfolio.

For readers unfamiliar with Kübler, can you tell us the strengths and benefits of working with your company?How will these help strengthen the company moving into the future?

The benefits for customers working with us are that we are very focused on solutions in the interests of our customers. This means that we always enter into discussions with an open mind in order to find the optimal solution for each individual customer. If we don’t have a solution in our portfolio, we still work with customers to suggest the appropriate options. I think this helps to build trust and focuses on values such as honesty, integrity,and trust. For the future, such values are indispensable for us.

It sounds like Kübler is known for its values-based corporate philosophy that focuses on integrity, appreciation, success, enthusiasm, connectedness, and continuity. Do you think this helps you stand out from competition?

I am convinced that such values should not only be written but lived. These values prove that a trusting cooperation with customers is possible in the first place. Because we are a small, flexible company, such values are indispensable to survive in the market. Compared to many other companies, I think that we are not sales-driven but instead solutions-driven for our customers. Of course, the customer also notices that we live these values, which results in stronger, longer-term relationships.

So, you support customers through high-tech products and services via long-standing partnerships in the electronics manufacturing industry? It looks like these include close to a dozen leading industry companies, including Arcadia. What made you partner with this company?

We got to know Arcadia at a previous Productronica exhibition in Munich. Here, our partnership for distribution in Germany began. The start with Arcadia was very successful and continues accordingly, which we are pleased about. We had been looking for a smart storage system for a long time. Arcadia offers us the best solution in terms of price/performance ratio. Therefore, it was clear that they would enter a partnership here without hesitation.

We understand Arcadia is known for Archimede smart storage system, the Archimede storage trolley, and the Galileo goods receipt system. Can you briefly explain each of these products and the benefits they provide not just users but the industry as a whole?

Recently, we noticed that many companies have focused on the performance of the SMD line itself, neglecting warehousing in many cases. However, it is clear that much time is lost in picking material for setups, and this can be reduced significantly with automated and smart systems. Of course, the price/performance ratio always plays a role, which is absolutely provided with Arcadia. The Archimede smart storage system is an LED and sensorbased system. The rolls are stored after the barcode has been scanned and the storage location is recognized by a sensor. When the rolls are retrieved, the operator is informed by an LED which rolls have to be retrieved for the next upcoming job. As a result, we have a pickup time of 35 seconds and a storage time of approximately 67 seconds. The system is designed in such a way that we have generated interfaces to the largest placement manufacturers, such as ASMPT, Fuji or Panasonic, and others. Thus, the placement software can directly access the Arcadia system.

The Archimede smart storage trolley is used to bring the SMD reels from the main storage directly to the line or to the setup place of the SMD line. The Archimede smart trolley is also sensorbased, and a change from the main storage to the smart trolley can be made without having to scan the reel again. This is an extremely simple workflow for the people working in the warehouse.

The Galileo incoming goods table is a solution to register SMD rolls from incoming goods in the system and assign a UID.Arcadia can, of course, interface the Galileo system as well as the Archimede system with the companys own ERP system.

What benefits do these smart products provide to intelligent warehouses? Cost? Time?

To put it in a nutshell, we can reduce picking times by up to 70% compared to manual warehouses. This means that fewer people are needed in the warehouse or that skilled workers are no longer needed to work in the warehouse because the system is so intelligent and any person in the warehouse can be used for picking.

The Archimede storage system also can be used directly on the SMD line. This is a significant advantage in terms of replenishing the SMD pick-and-place machines should a component run out on the line. Here, an LED immediately indicates which components on the machine are running low and need to be replenished. This also prevents large setup errors during operation.

Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about Kübler?

We are pleased to set up distribution for Arcadia in North America and are convinced that this product also will be a great benefit for the North American market. We are already excited about the development in North America.