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“To inspire and innovate”

Groß-Umstadt, Germany. - Read the interview with Burkhard Fenner and Ingo Göller about past and future challenges.

Burkhard Fenner, who has spent 28 years working for Messer Cutting Systems, is retiring in July 2017. He will be replaced in his position as CTO for Global Development by Ingo Göller. We spoke to both of them about past and future challenges.

Question: Mr Fenner, you have worked at many different sites and played a significant part in the globalisation of Messer Cutting Systems. Could you just run us through some of the stages?

Burkhard Fenner: I started out as a service engineer working at different sites around the world. After that I became service manager in South Africa. In 1995, I was given the opportunity to build up our operation in China as managing director. In 2001, after two years as product planning and development director in Menomonee Falls, USA, I was appointed managing director at the Gross-Umstadt plant in Germany, a post I occupied for four years. In 2007, I got the chance to build up our Indian site, where I also worked several years in the capacity of managing director. Global development, for which I have been responsible for many years as CTO, has accompanied me since 1999.

Question: Is there a period you have particularly fond memories of?

Burkhard Fenner: Definitely those in China and India, where the cultures and people I had the privilege of working with made a lasting impression on me.

Question: Is there a development you are particularly proud of?

Burkhard Fenner: I’m particularly proud of our “Global Control” CNC machine control system, which was conceived as an idea back in 1999 and implemented under Ingo Göller’s leadership in 2003. It has always been important to me to inspire others with my ideas and to implement innovations. These successes were only made possible by the efforts of the whole team.

Question: Mr Göller, why is Messer Cutting Systems focusing on global development?

Ingo Göller: Our Global R&D ensures harmonisation of functions, plant and machinery, takes local market requirements into consideration and thereby creates synergy effects. Thus, for example, larger unit numbers give us more favourable conditions when it comes to price negotiations with our suppliers and facilitate trans-national implementation of new developments as well as optimisations. This is dependent on transparent communication in a global network.

Question: What is the current trend?

Ingo Göller: Towards full automation and improvement of machine productivity. Software is also becoming increasingly important, not just for machinery, but in its surroundings as well – as reflected in the Industrie 4.0 smart factory concept.

Question: A question for both of you: Where do you see the greatest challenge for the future?

Both: In further advancing the global concept so as to lead our company into a new technological age, fully in line with our traditional values.

Question: Mr Fenner: Have you made any plans for your retirement?

Burkhard Fenner: There are lots of ideas, such as travelling, getting to know new cultures and meeting new people and not having to treat photography merely as a hobby any more. Above all, I would like to spend a lot of time with my wife. She too has been a part of Messer over the past 28 years by always supporting me in all situations, be they private or business-related.

Photo by Messer Cutting Systems: 
Burkhard Fenner (left) and Ingo Göller with the "Global Control" CNC machine control system 


Messer Cutting Systems is a global supplier of cutting edge technology. The company offers products and services for the metalworking industry which set standards world-wide. As market leader in its branch, the machine manufacturer supplies complete solutions and concentrates strategically on advising its customers and customer oriented innovation. Here, the company focusses on the digitalisation of processes and products. Messer Cutting Systems is represented with more than 800 employees in 5 main locations with production facilities and in more than 50 countries.

The product range includes oxyfuel, plasma and laser cutting systems from hand guided machines right up to special machines for shipbuilding as well as machines and equipment for oxyfuel welding, cutting, brazing, soldering and heating. Spare parts, repairs, modernisation, maintenance and service as well as environmental technology round out the product portfolio. In-house software solutions optimise production and business processes. The product range is extended by solutions from technology partners, for example in the field of automation.

An intensive dialogue with our customers has prime position – the modern training centre makes this claim clear. World-wide, Messer Cutting Systems is the partner of choice for cutting systems, oxyfuel technology and customer consultancy.