For over 30 years, F has been standing for Frauscher – and now, Frauscher not only stands for Frauscher Sensor Technology but also for Frauscher Sensonic. By founding a spin-off company, another important milestone was reached. Globalisation, collaboration, technology, flexibility and digitalisation: In a joint interview, Michael Thiel (CEO of Frauscher) and Christian Pucher (CEO of Sensonic) give insight into the strategic orientation and the rebranding efforts of the company.
Mr. Thiel, now that Frauscher becomes Frauscher and Sensonic – how do you feel after the company’s rebranding?
I feel good about it. It’s been a long and exciting process, which we’ve mastered in spite of several setbacks along the way. We have always been a company that’s continuously in motion. In the past years, some aspects of the status quo have started to almost feel old-fashioned – they just didn’t live up to our vision anymore. There were many developments that we couldn’t make visible, neither within the company nor to the external world. With two companies in a brand-new design, we are heading into the digital and international future much more confidently. As we are facing the requirements of increasing digitalisation, our solutions will continue to set new trends.
“We are all Frauscher!”
From now on, the company consists of two parts: Frauscher and Sensonic. What does communication with the market – and each other – look like?
At Frauscher, our customers have access to the same interfaces and points of contact as before – but some communication channels might change in line with digital approaches. Specific questions that arise relating to Sensonic will of course be passed on to the right contact person. We are still part of a group, so the separation doesn’t in the least imply that we aren’t constantly in communication with each other.
What has been the main reason for you to establish Sensonic as an independent company?
Christian Pucher: The development of a revolutionary technology with exceptional potential cannot be accomplished alongside our core business, which is quickly and continuously growing as well. We want to ensure a high level of flexibility for our partnerships and development processes, and to offer similar markets, customers and partners a clear focus.
Michael Thiel: Our daily work differs in many aspects. As a spin-off, Sensonic is intended to receive the structures that are necessary to implement the new business model and a certain standing. With the foundation of Sensonic, we want to ensure the future progress of our innovations with a clear focus on the various needs of our customers. Sensonic is definitely going to be a game changer regarding the way that operations and maintenance work are planned and executed in the future.
Frauscher, on the other hand, focuses 100 percent on axle counting and wheel detection, driving progress in these areas. We provide tailored solutions to our customers that represent the state of the art. We’ve been doing so for several decades – and that’s what we will continue to do in the future. As our shared foundation, the Frauscher Group draws on long-term experience and expertise in the railway industry, combined with the ambition to create solutions fit for the future. And this has now resulted in two companies.
“We want to offer our customers and partners more flexibility and a clear focus.”
Mr. Pucher, speaking of partnerships: Sensonic collaborates with the company Sintela. Who is that and what are the advantages of this collaboration?
We have examined and tested all technologies and DAS providers in question. The result: Sintela is a pioneer and technology leader at the same time! Our partnership is based on a high degree of trust and respect. Sintela gives us the opportunity to develop and offer our rail-specific FOS solution based on their generic DAS system. As a pioneer of FOS for railways, this enables new business models for us.
Let’s get to Frauscher Sensor Technology: What does all of this mean for the company?
Michael Thiel: Frauscher Sensor Technology continues its focused work in our core area and keeps providing our partners and customers in similar markets with stability and orientation. On this basis, our industry-leading wheel detection and axle counting solutions keep fulfilling very specific requirements. Additionally, we are expanding the existing portfolio with new digital options.
What does Frauscher stand for?
With more than 30 years of expertise, we are the global market leader in wheel detection and axle counting. With a global network of locations, sales and service partners, Frauscher is active in all major railway markets around the world. We speak the language of our customers. We know their requirements, and we know how to meet them with tailored solutions. Frauscher combines tried and tested technologies with future-proof approaches based on digital sensor technology. With software interfaces and environments as well as digital concepts and products like Sensis, we set the benchmarks for the railway industry.
“Frauscher continues to set the benchmarks for the railway industry.”
A few more details about the future developments: What are the plans and visions of Frauscher – what’s on the agenda in the upcoming years?
Michael Thiel: New business models and organisational structures will continue to drive the development of new and innovative products. A global growth strategy highlights the international outlook of the company. We will work on better connecting our portfolio on the basis of concepts such as IoT and big data analysis. And very importantly: In September of 2020, we will present the new world of Frauscher at the InnoTrans.
What are your next steps and goals, Mr. Pucher, and what’s your vision for Sensonic?
Our main goal is clearly to make Sensonic fully operational as a Minimum Viable product as quickly as possible. There are still a few steps to go before we can offer an end-to-end solution. In September of next year we will present the first showcases at InnoTrans. Until then we have to step on the gas, test and validate - and I am confident that we have a good roadmap and a great team to achieve this goal.
One last question: Continuous change, from one company to two, big challenges … Looking back on the journey of Frauscher and Sensonic – what do you see?
Michael Thiel: Our team is one that we can rely on – not just in light of the current rebranding efforts. For several years, many new ideas and changes have shaped our daily work, which has always brought various challenges with it as well. Our efforts are now, more than ever, focused on growth and innovation. We are the strongest medium-sized company in our industry and are aiming to operate as an international group with Frauscher and Sensonic. It’s fantastic to see what we can accomplish as a team.
Christian Pucher: I’m looking forward to everything that lies ahead of us. To the little and big challenges but also to the opportunities and options – which are growing in number due to increasing digitalisation. It’s fascinating to be a part of the development team of such a disruptive idea. At the same time, it’s not always easy, and what we are planning to do with Sensonic is quite ambitious. But I’m convinced that we’ve got everything it takes to be successful. And I’m sure, we can accomplish it together.
Thank you very much for the interview!
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