“We see India as a growth market with huge potential, specifically in the area of infrastructure, which will generate a high demand for wires and cables…”
In an exclusive interview with Wire & Cable India, Dr. Jörg Wissdorf, Member of the Executive Board, SIKORA AG, speaks about his key roles as a member in the Executive Board, his plans to encourage development, the value proposition of the company, his outlook on the Indian wire and cable industry, and views regarding integrating automation in manufacturing.
Wire & Cable India: To begin with, could you please shed light on your appointment as a new member in the Executive Board at SIKORA – what will be the core roles and responsibilities?
Jörg Wissdorf: I have been with SIKORA as a member of the Board for almost one and a half years now. Thus, I had some time to get to know the company and employees as well as the innovative products and technologies that we offer. From the very beginning, I have experienced a global high-tech company with an extremely modern and open work culture, which gave me a very good start. It was also beneficial to have a time of familiarization together with Mr. Harry Prunk, who some time ago retired from the SIKORA Board after 45 successful years. Now, I am responsible for the areas such as – Sales, Marketing and Service that Mr. Prunk held before. These areas are quite familiar to me. Coming from a background of sales and marketing, I have gained international experiences in Europe, USA, Canada, Russia and Asia. Before SIKORA, I was the General Manager of several medium-sized businesses. Now, I am very happy to be a part of the SIKORA team.
WCI: Since you will preside over the company as being a key decision maker, how do you plan to shape and drive the further development and success of the company?
JW: This year we have implemented a new sales structure, which focuses more than before on our business units — wire & cable, hose & tube as well as plastics. In all units, we see high potential to offer our customers future-oriented technologies to improve quality and processes. We started in 1973 with products for our core market – wire & cable, followed by hose & tube in 2004 and plastics in 2013. Our aim is to further grow in the traditional and new markets. In detail, this means that by concentrating on the single business units in a more targeted approach, we can address our customers more individually and support them according to their needs.
“This year we have implemented a new sales structure, which focuses more than before on our business units — wire & cable, hose & tube as well as plastics.”
Another important goal is to extend digitization in the company in order to increase the speed of processes and workflows. I like optimizing things – with the focus on increasing efficiency. This is beneficial for both our customers and our company.
“Another important goal is to extend digitization in the company in order to increase the speed of processes and workflows.”
WCI: With a vast portfolio of products and services for the wire and cable industry, could you please take us through the key value proposition which makes the company one of the leading players in the sector and also as the key enabler of path-breaking technologies?
JW: The development of SIKORA is unique and convinced me immediately when I was asked if I would be interested in joining. In times when nobody knew the term “start-up”, SIKORA’s success story began in the private rooms of founder – Mr. Harald Sikora. He took an entrepreneurial risk with an idea that still proves to be ingenious today and has revolutionized the entire spectrum of industries: the non-contact real-time measurement of cables using inductive, optical and X-ray technologies during ongoing production. The beginning of quality control with continuous online optimization of the manufacturing processes in the wire and cable business. Since then, SIKORA has further developed and transferred the initial idea to new systems, technologies and application areas such as tubes, hoses, plastics and further applications.
This development is, amongst other reasons, the result of the outstanding efforts of our R&D department, which consists of more than 50 people in Bremen, Germany. With a strong and highly qualified R&D department as well as good relationships with our customers, we are able to develop new solutions that cover the market-needs. Thereby, our 15 subsidiaries play an essential role for the global support of our customers. Thus, we are able to support our customers in their cultures, time zones, and language areas directly and promptly with sales and service. For example, we just founded a new subsidiary in Poland to meet the demand for measuring technology specifically in this country. In sum, it is the interplay between long-term experience, innovation leadership, and a professional team all over the world that makes SIKORA so successful.
WCI: How important is the environment and sustainability at SIKORA?
JW: The environmental aspect is inherent in our systems because we succeed in saving plastics for cables, tubes and pipes. This is achieved by producing to specified dimensions and avoiding over-wall thicknesses, but also by the reduction of scrap. For example, optimal centering of the extrusion tools by the X-RAY 6000 PRO measuring system, based on the X-ray technology, leads to a potential material saving of about 5 percent, which also protects the environment.
In the plastics sector, for which we offer systems for inspecting and sorting plastic pellets, contaminated pellets are sorted out so that only pure material will be further processed. This ensures an optimum material cycle and protects the environment. Up to 5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide is saved annually by using SIKORA measuring devices.
WCI: How do you view your prospects in the Indian wire and cable industry and the overview of the potential and opportunities? What are your plans of further expansion in the Indian market?
JW: The COVID-19 situation is a big challenge, and we hope that we all overcome this crisis soon. We see India as a growth market with huge potential, specifically in the area of infrastructure, which will generate a high demand for wires and cables, but also hoses and tubes as well as plastic material. Moreover, there is the trend, also in India, to achieve high-quality, optimized processes and cost saving during the production of wires, cables and optical fibers. Today, the cable manufacturers look for comprehensive technological solutions that improve efficiency of their production lines.
We see ourselves as a partner of our customers helping them to run their lines with constant, excellent performances all over the world. Our subsidiary in India with two locations, one based in Delhi and the other in Mumbai, is available for any support.
WCI: As a company which is strongly positioned in the global wire and cable market, what are your views regarding investments in finding solutions to production bottlenecks, and integrating automation in manufacturing?
JW: SIKORA is an enabler regarding automation in manufacturing cables and wires. Today’s cable production processes are characterized by an increasing level of automation. Intelligent measuring devices continuously measure and transmit measuring values as well as information on the device status via Industry 4.0 interfaces like, e.g. OPC UA, to control units and to the plant control center without the need for personnel support. There, the data is processed automatically for immediate production control and process optimization.
In addition, several plants all over the world can be compared and controlled from a central line control. Besides, the information is used for preventive maintenance. All this leads to a highly efficient extrusion for our customers.
WCI: What can we hope to see from SIKORA in the future ahead?
JW: Now and in the future, our customers can expect innovative measuring, control and sorting technologies from SIKORA for highest product quality, optimized processes and cost saving. We are continually working on new products about which we cannot share the details at the moment. What I can say right now is that at the given time, we will introduce future-oriented solutions to our customers that support them even stronger in their daily operations. For that, we hope to see you at the next year’s wire 2022 exhibition.
“Our customers can expect innovative measuring, control and sorting technologies from SIKORA for highest product quality, optimized processes and cost saving.”