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Baton Handover at Blackbird Robotics

Laser Welding Pros Add Karl Christian Messer to Executive Board

Remote laser welding technology expert Blackbird Robotersysteme GmbH is newly positioning itself for further international growth. Effective September 1, 2017, the addition of Karl Christian Messer to the Executive Board temporarily enlarges it to four persons. After an extensive transition phase, co-founder and current CEO Dr. Wolfgang Vogl will exit the company at yearend to establish a start-up in the Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) environment. For Blackbird Robotics, this step 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.

Since 2008, Blackbird Robotersysteme has stood for intelligent system solutions in the robot-assisted laser welding field. Its internally developed control technology and user software are combined with scan systems of affiliated company SCANLAB to create top-performing welding systems. The product range consistently focuses on requirements of customers in the automotive branch and other industrial sectors, while offering increasingly highly integrated system solutions. A laser welding system with OCT (optical coherence tomography) technology for integrated seam tracking and process monitoring, newly introduced just this June, is proof of the company's strategic advancement to system supplier. And international growth, particularly in the target markets of Asia and the USA, should be further accelerated. Here, the emphasis is not only on a strong automotive sector position, but also new laser welding application areas such as in the construction machinery industry (so-called 'yellow goods') and household appliance manufacturing ('white goods').

The right management team is key to achieving such ambitious growth-phase goals. Hence company founder Dr. Wolfgang Vogl, whose heart beats to the challenges of start-ups, will be passing the baton in coming months to an experienced entrepreneur and pragmatic company helmsman. Starting in 2018, Wolfgang Vogl begins a new entrepreneurial journey involving networked sensor technology and is already examining collaborative possibilities with various companies of the SCANLAB Group.

Karl Christian Messer (51) has been appointed CEO of Blackbird Robotersysteme effective September 1. In the course of his career, he served at KUKA AG, PTR Präzisionstechnik and Linde AG in various sales management, production management and controlling capacities, as well as CEO at mid-size companies. Karl Christian Messer studied mechanical engineering at Munich Technical University and also has certifications as a technical business economist, safety engineer and European welding engineer.

"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," says Blackbird Robotersysteme co-founder Dr. Wolfgang Vogl regarding the personnel decision. “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."