03. September 2018, 14:17 Uhr | Ingo Kuss
How would you compare current developments in the international market with those in Germany?
We will continue to grow in all markets and countries – I’m very sure of that. In some countries, growth will be proportionately higher – for example, in China.
To what degree would dSpace be affected by a potential trade war?
If those kinds of tariffs were ever applied to testing systems in the future, the impact would certainly be felt at dSpace. Being a company that does business worldwide, it goes without saying that we consider any barriers that hinder free trade to be counterproductive. The recent agreement reached by the EU and Japan indicates that there are indeed alternatives to the notion of trade wars. Small and medium-sized enterprises must expend a lot of time and energy to keep up with the latest tariffs and regulations that apply to specific manufacturing sites and supply chains, and this has an impact on production planning. Excessive regulation only results in added costs that are of benefit to no one. If tariffs and duties mean that fewer testing systems are sold, that could also slow down the development processes of automotive customers. Our goal is to make sure that our systems accelerate the development processes of our customers.
In an interview with Markt&Technik earlier this year, Harald Wilde, Head of Human Resources at dSpace, said that he had more than 150 job vacancies that could be filled, depending on business growth. How many of those positions have been filled, and how many are still open?
We still have quite a few vacancies. Most of the positions mentioned by Mr. Wilde have been filled. The exact number of job vacancies is always fluctuating, but generally speaking we always have openings and are looking for qualified people. By the end of this year, I think that our entire workforce will show an increase of some 10 percent. That would give us about 1,600 full-time employees worldwide.
dSpace is considered to be an SME – what steps can it take to compete with industry heavyweights when it comes to recruiting the “best and brightest” young talents?
Recruiting is very tough and competitive. That’s why it is important for us to promote the advantages that an SME has to attract potential employees. Many young job seekers in the technology segment have indicated that they want to focus almost exclusively on development. We immediately offer new employees opportunities to work on exciting projects for automotive solutions – and we do this right from the start. These projects include autonomous driving and e-mobility.
How do you reach out to specific groups of job seekers?
One example is a campaign that enables us to contact students directly. We recently chartered a bus and traveled to the university in Aachen, Germany. We are exploring every kind of approach to recruitment so that people will take notice of dSpace and what it has to offer. Modesty has always been one of our virtues, but we still want to increase our visibility and presence in the public arena – this applies to building up our brand as such, not to mention employer branding when it comes to recruiting young talent.
According to Mr. Wilde, 80 percent of the applications for technology jobs at dSpace are submitted by foreigners. How do you manage to integrate diverse skill sets and cultural backgrounds within the company?
In Paderborn we have employees from 34 different countries. English is the language spoken at work, but we also believe that knowledge of the national language is very important. We therefore offer German courses to all of our foreign colleagues. And we also try to bridge any cultural gaps by hosting various internal events that help bring all of our employees closer together. We even have a bilingual kindergarten here, just a few steps away from our headquarters building. That, in our opinion, is also an essential part of the culture that distinguishes a family business with an international reach and reputation.
The challenge of radar sensor testing
dSpace offers tools for the development and testing of electronic control units (ECUs). These include hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulators for testing individual network components as well as cross-domain networks. As the number and diversity of sensors in a particular scenario increase, so do the demands made upon the testing systems. Testing radar sensors in a closed loop is one of the elementary challenges when developing advanced driver assistance systems. By adding enhancements to their HIL simulators, dSpace and its partner miro∙sys now make testing possible in the limited space of a lab – using real radar echoes instead of virtual ones. The compact mechatronic test bench is used in the laboratory to generate radar echoes in simulated traffic situations, just as they would be generated by vehicles at distances of up to several hundred meters in real environments.