Founder Hans J. Langer

“Those who know their goals can make a difference”

Dr. Hans J. Langer has always had an intuitive sense for what the market needs. This has helped put his company in a leading position. But he also owes his success to another important character trait.

Dr. Hans J. Langer had a vision: to use laser technology to produce three-dimensional objects directly from CAD data. What was at first an ambitious vision of the future is now a technical reality, one that Langer is realizing with his company EOS GmbH. Another important building block was the founding of the Puchheim-based company SCANLAB, which today is the world leader in scanning solutions for deflecting, positioning and guiding laser beams in three dimensions. Langer’s larger company, EOS, with its headquarters in Krailing, uses industrial 3D printers with Scanlab laser technology to make components from plastic and metal powders. “I was firmly convinced that my concept was a winner,” he says looking back – giving up was not an option.

The why question

And it was precisely this element of his personality that brought him success: to have a goal in mind, to stick with it and to never give up. For Langer, the first question to answer when you start a business is: “Why are we actually doing this?” Only once he has answered this question does he move on to others such as goal achievement, technological development and financing. The question of “why” is something that you have to ask yourself again and again. “You must first really know yourself, your goals and motivations, before you can lead others.”

The “why” question is also important for employees because it gives them a sense of purpose. This is the only way to really motivate employees and “create a working atmosphere in which everyone can truly better themselves”. The challenges of starting a business are great, especially if the business is a small start-up that has far fewer financial resources available than its larger competitors. “I had to gather a team of people around me who were as determined to triumph as I was – and against all odds.” And so he kept asking himself and his team the question: “Why are we working in this company? What do we want to achieve?”

Hidden Champion

Langer and his highly motivated team have made it. His family business has taken become the worldwide market leader in the field of additive manufacturing. He is especially proud of this and is, he says, living his dream. His student years at the TUM were influential: “At the university we learned to think. We gained a better understanding of overarching theoretical contexts. This later allowed me to develop cutting-edge technological solutions for companies.”

Are you a TUM Alumnus or Alumna? Visit the TUM Community Blog and read more about Dr. Hans J. Langer’s experiences.