To stay on top, you must keep evolving

maxon Group CEO Eugen Elmiger talks about the necessity of change in the digital age and shares his insights on where mechatronic drive technology is heading.

Sometimes you need to look back to understand what's possible in the future. Many markets that maxon formerly served with drive solutions no longer exist in the same form today. Digitalization has revolutionized our customer base. Nowadays, highly complex mechatronic drive solutions are in demand — especially in medical technology, automation, and aerospace. Only those who are agile and innovative will continue to be successful in the drive technology market. Therefore, we are constantly asking ourselves: How do we want to achieve success in the long term? Who will our customers be in the future, and what will their requirements be?

We've been constantly evolving in recent years — from an electric motor specialist and components supplier to a global partner for high-precision mechatronic drive systems. System components are now more interconnected, with communication becoming increasingly important. Motor controllers by maxon play an important role in this respect because they are perfectly tuned to maxon drives. This synergy in drive technology benefits our customers by optimizing operational efficiency from their electric motors.

The more we build mechatronic systems, the closer we come to the end user. This step change will mean additional responsibilities for us in terms of process reliability, quality, delivery times, and new standards. By developing in this way, we are evolving into a system specialist, building on expertise in system integration, battery management systems, software, apps, and much more.

At the same time, digitalization and the rapid pace of technological development require a permanent channel to the outside world. For many years, we have been working closely with universities and other institutions of higher education, as well as supporting research projects around the world. Two university labs have been opened by maxon in recent years. Our technology transfer managers look out for exciting developments in adjacent sectors that we can incorporate into our products and services. Last but not least, we are always keen to discover the most talented young engineers and offer them a suitable working environment for future innovations.

It's impossible to say where the future is taking us. However, we are assuming that there will be more customer-specific standard solutions in the form of turnkey drive systems for defined markets. Customers want to be able to integrate these systems as easily as possible into their applications, as this saves development time bringing their products to the market more quickly and frees up their time for other things. 

In the future, we may also offer a service rather than hardware for purchase — so customers will pay for their drive systems only as long as they are actually performing their function. When such systems reach the end of their service life, they will detect this automatically and send a notification so that a replacement can be supplied quickly, thereby minimizing downtime, and optimizing performance for our customers. 


Eugen Elmiger is the CEO of the maxon Group. After studying electrical engineering, Elmiger joined the micromotor and drive specialist in 1991 and has been a member of the management board since 2006. Under his leadership, maxon has been evolving from a components supplier into a provider of complete systems.

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