Driven by Silicon Valley innovations and the need to respond to global hyper-competition, the US Zollner R&D team was officially launched in beginning of 2018.

The team’s nucleus is headed by Dr. Michael Manansala, VP of Technology – Americas. He now officially reports to Mr. Ulrich Niklas, Head of Zollner Global R&D at the headquarters in Zandt, Germany.  The US R&D team is consolidated by the members of his core team of top-notch, seasoned technology veterans and harmonized by super-talented, young engineers.  This creates a depth and breadth of experience, optimally positioned to support Zollner global R&D in a diverse array of projects, both in size and type.  Team members: Cesar Quiason, formerly the Site General Plant Manager of Intel in Costa Rica, Sorin Florea, Charles Yao, Kanwar Saini and Keith Cheung.

The complexity of global R&D organizations poses an increasing management challenge as companies continue to grow through acquisition and expansion into new markets.  Coordinating global R&D projects across time zones, harmonizing systems and processes, supporting new markets, leveraging decentralized capabilities, managing knowledge and avoiding duplications and inefficiencies are all important priorities.  At the same time, R&D functions are increasingly expected to accelerate the pace of innovation in response to global competitive pressures while maintaining tight control of costs.

New technological challenges: the Zollner R&D leadership team in our headquarters realized the need to balance many disruptive priorities, such as short-term responsiveness versus long-term strategic focus; product or global business unit alignment versus regional support; customer pull versus technology push; outsourcing and partnering versus developing key internal capabilities; and radical versus incremental innovation focus.

Collaborations with the ecosystem partners:  to counter these challenges, the Zollner team developed and pioneered “Adaptive Design and Agile Manufacturing” (ADAM).  ADAM is a collaborative design methodology, which capitalizes on the robust infrastructure and expertise from the headquarters in Germany and combines that with deep collaboration with top-notched ecosystem partners based in the US.  The effort is aimed to accelerate innovation while maintaining tight budgets.  It should successfully optimize R&D’s contribution to the business value. It should also address the need for project design structure, governance and process and ensure successful delivery of design services or new products, on schedule and within budget.

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