Liebherr Components brings large-scale technology to life with tailor-made components.

Andreas Schilling, Divisional Director of the Liebherr Components Division in the USA, talks about engineering and customer service, about listening and understanding skills as a success formula for sophisticated machine solutions.

Mr. Schilling, Liebherr Components has been represented in the USA since 2012. What are your objectives here?

A. Schilling: We have been serving our North American customers in the mechanical, hydraulic and electric drive and control technology sectors for eight years from our Saline site in Michigan. We also provide sales support to the Liebherr site in Monterrey, Mexico and help to offer our components to various industries in the USA.

Which sectors do you deal in?

A. Schilling: For our customers in the wind industry, for example, we supply bearings and slewing rings as well as gearboxes and electric motors to power wind turbines. However, we also furnish parts for cranes of all kinds, as well as earthmoving and construction machinery, support customers in the mining industry as well as in agriculture and forestry. In addition, Liebherr components are used in the maritime applications and in automotive and traffic engineering. In other words: Liebherr components are specially designed and tailored for the individual requirements of different applications, be it a mobile or industrial one.

Liebherr components are specially designed and tailored for the individual requirements of different applications, be it a mobile or industrial one.

Andreas Schilling

What do you see as the advantages of an on-site presence in the USA?

A. Schilling: “Local for locals” is the core principle of our customer-oriented approach. We want to be the central point of contact for our North American customers. We combine our corporate philosophy and engineering experience with local sales expertise. Speaking the same language, sharing the same cultural background and values combined with close proximity to the customer have proven to be real assets for the customer on a day-to-day basis.

Could you give an example of this?

A. Schilling: The principle of “one for all” does not work in modern mechanical engineering. Equipment is much more than the sum of its parts. For the gearbox of a fire ladder, which extends up to 196 ft (60 m), the specific requirements are not the same as for a small mobile crane in horticulture. In addition, each manufacturer also follows its own operating instructions. Our experience and components can provide valuable support for the design of their gearbox to fit the specific application. There are often surprising potentials to capitalize on.

For example?

A. Schilling: We once went to a customer in Texas who wanted to optimize a drive unit of one of his facilities. A German construction manager from Liebherr Components in Biberach also took part in the visit. When analyzing the existing transmission, he noticed that the bearing’s raceway was not perfect. Correcting it allowed us to achieve a 60 percent higher bearing capacity in one go. A stroke of engineering genius and the customer was delighted.

We like to maintain comprehensive customer relationships and are able to go all the way, from the first to the last mile.

Andreas Schilling

How far does the consulting and support approach go beyond such detailed technical solutions?

A. Schilling: We like to maintain comprehensive customer relationships and are able to go all the way, from the first to the last mile. That is how to get the best and most efficient results, and because working together to get the job done is also a lot more fun. This refers to the whole spectrum of activities – from advice on purchasing, customs clearance and logistics to installation, as well as maintenance, repair and adaptation to later development. Being a one-stop shop is one of our trademarks – a comprehensive carefree package for our customers.

What does this mean for the personal customer-supplier relationship?

A. Schilling: Intelligent, durable technology is more than the physical result of mechanics, electronics and a few algorithms. It is always a people business, where communicating on equal terms and with each other is key. This is the only way to gain the trust that is indispensable in order to build confidence in a technical solution on which the customer and its employees will build their future. This means that we must understand our customers, their needs as well as the respective regional peculiarities. Listening is just as important as technological and procedural manufacturing expertise. Behind this is a realization that the Roman author Publilius Syrus in the first century BC accurately summed up in his Sentences: “When we are interested in others, they take interest in us.”

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Here you will find the 2020 Liebherr Conexpo-Con/Agg Magazine for download.

Liebherr Conexpo-Con/Agg Magazine 2020
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