November’s SuperSealer is a lifelong learner who combines 20 years of experience with an enthusiasm for new ideas and solutions. He tells us how teamwork, innovation and environmental protection will be the keys to Trelleborg’s future success, and how much he loves seeing his team’s designs brought to life.
Who are you?
My name is Bernhard Haass, and I’m Product Design Manager for Germany. I’m 52 and married with two children.
When did you start this position and what are your key duties?
After taking over the product design department in 2010, I’m now responsible for the design team at our production sites in Germany. We focus on developing extruded profiles for different industrial segments. I see development as the process of transforming customer requirements into a functional product, while also considering handling, installation, logistics, and durability.
What do you like best about working here?
I’ve worked for the Trelleborg Group over 20 years, so there is a lot to choose from. But I particularly enjoy designing products made from different materials and using diverse technologies. Seeing the final design being put to use in international building projects, cars, and other industrial applications is the fun part of the job!
What are the key challenges you face in your job?
When creating any new product for different markets, you first need a solid understanding of the application. The main challenge here is being able to combine your experience with fresh ideas; even after two decades, I’m still learning new things, often from scratch. With new design tools, prototyping methods, technologies and regulations always appearing, we have to stay up to date. Each day brings something new!
How do you think the business in your area is going to evolve in the future? How are you preparing for this?
Three areas have become increasingly important: the environment, teamwork, and innovation.
Trelleborg products play a key role in environmental protection in many applications, so it would be great to see increased awareness around this. Beyond this, the invention of new materials that rely less on oil will be one of the biggest challenges for us going forward.
At the same time, our portfolio has become too big for a single person to handle all the information, so teamwork is a bigger part of life for us than ever before. Steering communication, both within the team as well as with other departments, and creating the conditions for future work will become an even bigger part of the manager’s role.
Finally, the ability to think outside the box, combining knowledge from different areas to find new solutions, will be crucial. We have several activities in place across the wider Trelleborg Group to work on this and it´s an ongoing process.
What do you do in your free time?
Family is the most important part of my life, of course. Nothing beats spending time with them in our garden… but I also love taking a ride on my classic Moto Guzzi motorbike when I have a spare moment!