Confident with complex challenges
Capture: Sabrina Winiger, Design Engineer Radio Frequency and Stefan Metz, Head of R&D Radio Frequency
Interview with Stefan Metz, Head of R&D Radio Frequency
What are the key success factors in R&D at HUBER+SUHNER?
Our focus is primarily on the development of technologies and solutions that offer customers direct benefits. Within this framework, we pursue specific platform strategies as the basis for entire product families. This allows us to expand our product range in a market-specific way adding various characteristics and properties on top. This way, we can quickly and efficiently implement customer requests while keeping costs competitive.
The Radio Frequency division covers a very broad spectrum, including cables, connectors and antennas. What are the current priorities in R&D?
The ongoing technological change is currently characterised by miniaturisation, the increasing transmission frequencies and the more stringent requirements regarding signal transmission quality. We are working on these issues with a view to generally extend our core technologies, but also on innovative, new solutions. Specific research areas are currently antennas for use both inside and outside buildings, as well as connectors for circuit boards.
Which factors are decisive for innovative and successful products today?
Two aspects are absolutely key to this: a deep understanding of customer requirements and excellent know-how. Products with a high degree of uniqueness arise wherever you master the corresponding materials and production technologies at a high level. We, therefore, do not just develop products, but increasingly the associated manufacturing and measuring technologies too. This gives us great advantages: New process technologies promote the protection of our knowhow, while at the same time forming the basis for future product designs.
Talented researchers are required for outstanding innovations. How do you find them?
The skills profile in research and development has changed considerably. It is not just technical expertise that counts these days. Project management, team skills and dealing with customers and suppliers are becoming increasingly important.
Recruitment of young professionals in Switzerland and at research locations around the world is absolutely central. We offer specific internships in collaboration with colleges and universities. At the same time, we support the employees’ development through internal training and participation in global research projects.