Quality management as a key to the future 3 minutes spent reading
Employees

Quality management as a key to the future

Christopher Eberl
Holds editorial responsibility for career topics and for the apprentice website. His stories offer insights into the world of work at voestalpine.

Christoph Niesen can also be seen in the voestalpine image campaign. The Cologne native is responsible for quality management at the voestalpine Additive Manufacturing Center in Düsseldorf.

One thing is certain: No matter how future-focused and innovative a technology might be, without solid quality management accompanying the visionary technology, it is difficult to achieve success on the market. Christoph Niesen has been dealing with quality for some time now. In his master’s thesis for his mechanical engineering degree, he devoted himself intensively to developing and introducing quality management at voestalpine Additive Manufacturing Center GmbH, where he had previously worked as a student assistant.

Fascinating technology

After completing his studies in May 2019, he immediately joined the staff of the voestalpine Additive Manufacturing Center, where he was responsible for quality management, of course. But Christoph Niesen is also active in development work. “We are a small team here in the Böhler area in Düsseldorf. 16 people work for us; everyone is involved in several areas and projects,” says Niesen. Niesen was already fascinated as a student by additive manufacturing, which involves 3D printing of metal powder components that are fused layer by layer: “With this technology you can achieve much greater design freedom and can design components in completely new ways – such as with complex cavities like those required for cooling lines. We are one of the pioneers in the market here.”

Journey into uncharted territory

It’s little surprise, then, that in addition to Christoph Niesen, a prototype from Düsseldorf also plays a leading role in the image spot – the new “Light Hinge” hood hinge system, which is 50% lighter than an equivalent conventional component. The filming in the Hamburg studio was uncharted territory for Christoph Niesen: “It was exciting to see how a commercial like that is produced and how much work goes into it. It was quite a commotion: makeup, wardrobe, lighting effects, camera – there were about 20 people surrounding you there.” Christoph Niesen also chalked up some added value: he got to know some colleagues from other voestalpine companies during the shooting. “We spent a whole day together in the studio; there was also time to chat. This made the voestalpine Group more real, more tangible for me,” Niesen says.

Niesen_1

Highly dynamic

Niesen enjoyed the atmosphere on the set – and also enjoys the atmosphere in the Additive Manufacturing Center. “We are a young company with young employees. We value team events and all join in together to help. We are currently transforming ourselves from a start-up company that concentrates purely on research and development into a production company. This is highly dynamic,” says Niesen. There are already a number of orders for components – especially for small series and prototypes. “We hope to receive larger series orders in the near future – our quality management system, which is now also ISO9001-certified, strengthens our position in the market,” Niesen reports happily.

Moving right along

There may be a few hurdles here and there that need to be overcome for sustainable market success – but the additive manufacturing experts from Düsseldorf can surely accomplish that. Christoph Niesen already has a little practice in overcoming hurdles, in any case: The 28-year-old, who lives with his girlfriend in Cologne, enjoys obstacle running courses like the StrongmanRun. “I like to let off steam – it clears my head,” Niesen laughs.

"We are currently transforming ourselves from a start-up company that concentrates purely on research and development into a production company. This is highly dynamic."
Christoph Niesen

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Christopher Eberl

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