Karl Christian Messer has been appointed CEO of remote laser welding technology firm Blackbird Robotersysteme, effective from 1 September.
Messer will be the fourth member of the company’s executive board, which, after an extensive transition phase, will again drop down to three after co-founder and current CEO Dr Wolfgang Vogl leaves the company at the end of the year to establish his own start-up firm, which will work with networked sensor technologies in the growing environment of the Industrial Internet of Things.
‘Karl Christian Messer was a lucky find for us, not only due to his industry experience, welding expertise and precise knowledge of market challenges from both the customer's and system supplier's vantage points. He's also an internationally experienced pragmatist who's already been doing business intensively in North America, China and Korea,’ commented Vogl. ‘This is the ideal time point for transferring responsibility to ensure solid growth. I reflect back on exciting and successful years – particularly with Blackbird as a Scanlab family member – that exemplify fair and cooperative partnership, as well as sustainable growth.’
Messer studied mechanical engineering at Munich Technical University and also has certifications as a technical business economist, safety engineer and European welding engineer. He has served in various management and controlling capacities at factory automation firm Kuka and welding specialist PTR Precision Technologies, as well as being CEO at other medium-sized companies.
For Blackbird Robotics, the addition of Messer underscores the company's successful transformation into a solid, mid-size Scanlab Group enterprise, whose growth trajectory can be successfully pursued even independent of its founders.
The company is expecting its international growth to accelerate in the coming year, particularly in the target markets of Asia and the USA, with its emphasis not only being on a strong automotive sector position, but also on new laser welding application areas such as the construction machinery industry and household appliance manufacturing. In June 2017, the company introduced a new laser welding system that uses optical coherence tomography for integrated seam tracking and process monitoring.