General Manager, Nonwovens Division, Reifenhäuser REICOFIL GmbH & Co. KG
Dr. Bernd Kunze, born 1960, studied electrical engineering at the Technical University (RWTH) of Aachen until 1986. Following his graduation, he worked as a scientific assistant in the Institute for Plastics Processing and earned his doctorate at the faculty of mechanical engineering in 1990. In the same year he started to work for Reifenhäuser as head of the process technology department for nonwoven lines. For some time he was additionally active as plant manager of Silver Plastics' nonwovens production. In the following time, he held various positions in the Reifenhäuser company: As head of the process technology department for extrusion lines, technical director for nonwoven lines and managing director of the joint enterprise LINOTEC. In 2001, Kunze was appointed head of the Reifenhäuser business unit spunbond lines. This area was spun off in 2005 to become an independent company within the Reifenhäuser Group. As managing director of this new company Reicofil, Dr. Kunze has also cross-divisional innovation management responsibility for all groups and in this function he is heading the innovation forge of the Reifenhäuser Group. Since 2009 Dr. Kunze is CTO of the Reifenhäuser Group and with it part of the management board of the Reifenhäuser GmbH & Co. KG Maschinenfabrik (Holding of the Reifenhäuser Group).
Doesn't the known feel good and safe? Absolutely! But whoever wants to advance must step outside their comfort zone. This is particularly true now. By focusing on digitalization and intelligent machines, we are expanding our business into a new field that will change our industry in terms of competencies, market entry methods, and possibly even the relationship between the market players. In his keynote, Dr. Bernd Kunze describes why we are at a turning point for mechanical engineering and the whole industry. He will emphasize that digitalization and the related new possibilities such as predictive maintenance, anomaly detection or machine learning will not only change our products, but will also change the way of developing and implementing them. What attitude, cooperation and mind-shifts are needed to turn ideas into reality outside our comfort zone? Will the original, reliable world of engineering become meaningless in the future?
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