In 2017 three ambitious entrepreneurs founded the Laserhub start-up. The idea has been the development of a sheet metal parts procurement platform – the PNCloud from WiCAM provided exactly the right components for the company. Algorithms use the API interface to utilize the functions unfolding, nesting, conversion and the calculation module. The cloud solution developed in conjunction with WiCAM provides real-time pricing and accurate order generation.
The ordering of any number of sheet metal parts at the best price is thus reduced to a few seconds. More than 100,000 parts can be calculated and thousands of orders generated per day. Continuous joint developments already offer maximum performance and connectivity – and create the standards for the solutions of the next IT generations.
At that time, already a lot of online platforms were specialised in the procurement process. What exactly distinguished Laserhub from existing mediation platforms on the market?
A. Raidt: Mediation is the keyword what it is all about. In the 90th with the Internet mediation platforms were modern. Mediation platforms have removed the intransparency from the market in which you have listed delivery ranges. However, the confidence problem has not been solved. Namely whether the supplier who makes the best offer is good. It is precisely for this problem that Laserhub has developed the appropriate solution in recent years.
The customer is not mediated by us. The customer buys from us. We make sure that his order is produced by the right suppliers. At the end our value proposition to the customer is “Peace of mind”. He has a digital process, he can order by us and transfer his entire procureme problem to us.
How is the offer price calculated once the customer has uploaded his file?
A. Raidt: The quotation calculation is a dynamic process for each enquiry. As soon as the customer has uploaded his drawing, we simulate the production. For a bent part the first step is the creation of the process. Then we create the nesting and also based on other information, a price is calculated within seconds.
What’s WiCAM’s role in this process?
A.Raidt: It was clear to us right from the beginning that we needed a reliable partner for the analysis of CAD files. WiCAM provides us with software solutions for automatic calculation, nesting and capacity planning.
What happens in the background after the customer has accepted the offer and orders it?
A. Raidt: We do have a network of suppliers. Depending on capacity and delivery conditions the optimal supplier for the order is selected. Since we have requested all relevant information in advance and calculated an exact production price using technical algorithms, there is virtually no ambiguity here. We are in close contact with our network of suppliers and are able to assure high material quality.
What growth do you see for Laserhub in the coming years in terms of globalisation? What visions do you have as an entrepreneur for the coming years?
A. Raidt: With Laserhub, we have developed a scalable solution, witch we can open up quickly in additional countries. Besides Germany, we are already active in Austria and France. With regard to globalisation, we are currently seeing an extreme countermovement, reinforced by Corona. Every company that has imported its sheet metal parts from the Far East in the past must consider if long term this is the right way forward. With our model the customer orders centrally from the platform. Simultaniuosly we produce as local as possible. A highly flexible and solid “supply chain next door”.
Why did you choose WiCAM?
A. Raidt: For us every long-term cooperation is based on 3 levels. The personal level, the professional level and finally the probably most important for us, we call this the “Startup-Fit”. Does our partner fit to us as a company? He has to implement ideas quickly and must not be afraid of technical challenges, but at the same time develop lasting and powerful solutions.
What technical benefits did WiCAM deliver?
A. Raidt: WiCAM already was very advanced in regards to interface connectivity at the beginning of the cooperation. With this progress, the integration of WiCAMs functions at Laserhub via the API interface could be realised very quickly. Besides the interface connectivity we found a company that wanted to rethink the procurement process with us completely.
WiCAMs daily business is the networking of any ERP system with the production. How is Laserhub positioned in this area?
A. Raidt: We notice this paradigm shift at more and more customers. We are currently in the beta phase with some customers in this respect. One of Laserhub’s major goals is to be able to offer a standard solution in the coming years, which will enable the customer to order directly from Laserhub’s ERP system.
How do you see mechanical engineering developing over the next 20 years?
A. Raidt: The most massive influence will certainly be the topic “digitisation”. Part of this process has already happened but I expect it to accelerate rapidly within this decade. In the future, the question will no longer be whether the machine has a 4, 6 or 8 KW laser, but with which software the entire production is controlled by. There is still a lot of potential and efficiency gains in this “making” that we can realise.
How did Laserhub got through the Corona crisis so far?
A. Raidt: From my point of view, there are two perspectives to be considered here. Short term mechanical engineering is facing major changes. Fortunately, it has not hit us as hard as other industries.
While the major industrial companies around us were almost all on short-time working, we were able to increase our sales. This was a good feeling for us and further confirmed our vision. Medium term we believe that the current crisis will have a positive impact on our business model.
CADCAM/Nesting solution for ERP/PPS controlled CNC cutting, punching, shearing, milling and combined machining – manual to fully automatic.
Order management, detailed planning, production feedback and monitoring of deadlines and production.