An interview with Shimadzu Europe’s new Managing Director Juergen Semmler.
Bridges: Since its establishment in 1968, how has the company grown in Europe?
Semmler: Shimadzu started off with five employees and developed over 50 years into a large European network with subsidiaries and distributors in 48 countries, employing more than 850 people. The first 25 years were dedicated to progressing the business and expanding the network. Since the 1990s, political and societal changes in Eastern Europe opened up new market opportunities and in the last two years we opened branches in Norway, Denmark and Sweden.
Most of our latest milestones are closely connected to automation, miniaturization of systems, digitization and coupling technologies. Digitization in particular holds both technological and creative potential. In analytical instrumentation and medical technology, it facilitates new applications (and) seamless workflows, as well as simpler, more accurate and faster measurements and tests.
What are Shimadzu’s contributions to Europe in science and technology?
We have contributed through leading-edge technologies and dedicated staff. Shimadzu’s medical and laboratory solutions serve health care and almost every manufacturing industry. Our portfolio provides consumer and environmental protection (and) patient and product safety.
A second aspect in this regard is the combination of analytical instrumentation and medical technology. This future-oriented approach enables solutions fighting today’s most challenging diseases, such as diagnosing and treating cancer, dementia and endocrine disorders.
Tell us about the Shimadzu Laboratory World at your European headquarters in Duisburg, North Rhine-Westphalia.
This cutting-edge 1,500-square-meter area is a vibrant link: It hosts demonstration, testing, education and training — both for customers and staff members. It covers Shimadzu’s entire product range from chromatographs, spectrophotometers, TOC analyzers, mass spectrometers and balances up to material testing machines. And it creates an inspiring atmosphere for our team to develop new methods and technologies for future-oriented products.
What synergies exist between Germany and Japan specifically from your sector?
Both Japan and Germany are technology-oriented countries with high capabilities for innovation; they are leaders in patents and research budgets. In their business behavior, both cultures are reserved, precise and solution-oriented. Reliability and loyalty are highly valued. Regarding synergies, this is a good fit: They have the same understanding of doing business, and our high-tech portfolio created in Japan meets the engineering skills of our German team in order to customize technologies for German clients’ needs.