Stephan Rösler is the managing partner of Rösler Oberflächentechnik GmbH. From this season, AM Solutions of the Rösler group at the Untermerzbach site in Lower Franconia is sponsor of the VLN. We had a talk with the 52-years old and asked him about his motivation and his connection to motorsport and the legendary Nordschleife.
Not everyone may yet be familiar with AM Solutions. Can you please briefly introduce yourself, what is behind the new VLN sponsor?
AM Solutions is a brand of Rösler Oberflächentechnik GmbH. Under this brand, we offer processes, services and machines for post processing of additive manufactured components. Currently, many companies think about which components can be subject to an additive manufacture. The fields of automotive industry, aviation and medical technology are essential fields of application. There was a hype until one or two years ago. Meanwhile, many have experienced some kind of disillusionment. When manufacturing components, the printer manufacturers have achieved considerable progress throughout the last years and they are continuously doing some research to make the processes suitable for mass-production. However, many users have so far not yet looked into the subject of “mass-production” post processing of components. To make full use of the many advantages of an “additive manufacturing”, a continuous chain of processes with a high degree of automation is however decisive. Meanwhile, there are many stand-alone solutions on the market, but they all require a significant amount of manual work and thus interrupt the process chain. This is understandably not satisfying for the manufacturers in these times of mass-production. With the brand AM Solutions, we wish to deliver a holistic approach for the future and transfer the competence for automated processes, which RÖSLER has acquired in the surface finishing processes of traditionally manufactured components, also to this new manufacturing process.
The brand was founded in 2018. What is the exact field of activity?
That is finally any industrial sector which manufactures components with the 3D printer. Automotive industry and suppliers represent a comprehensive range. The process is still quite expensive today. Currently, there are only a few components which are manufactured in series production in the 3D printing technology and at reasonable costs. We wish to make post processing less expensive with our possibilities. And finally, many printer manufacturers are also interested in helping their customers to get started with this pioneering technology with a practical end-to-end solution.
For what kind of car components is this specifically interesting?
That is a really good question because many users do not yet know exactly what really makes sense and in which fields this may be interesting. Currently, a lot of development work and tests are going on. There are absolutely amazing things. For most of the really interesting projects, we have concluded a non-disclosure agreement with our clients, so I am not in a position to mention any concrete details.
Is this also connected with a possible scepticism on behalf of the end consumer?
There is no scepticism. There are no concerns at all in terms of quality. To the contrary. Thanks to the 3D printing technology, the manufacturers have much more possibilities in relation to challenging geometries and complex structures. That is a big advantage. The manufacturing, though, is currently very expensive for many applications. The traditional manufacturing processes are less expensive for mass-production components. A lot of things are for example currently developed in the automotive industry. Many are still at their beginnings. We wish to create the complete process of 3D printing more attractive with our automated post processing solutions.
Subject sponsoring: Since two years, you are sponsor of the handball league second division club HSC 2000 Coburg. Where else are you active?
Our major subjects are currently the HSC 2000 and also our annual Rösler Open Air Festival in Eyrichshof. We also support of course many clubs in our rural area, but we do not communicate this extensively. With the VLN sponsoring, we have now got a new highlight.
Coburg is very close to your company headquarters. So a sponsoring is almost logical. The Nürburgring and the VLN, however, are about 400 kilometres away. How did this happen?
There are two approaches. On the one hand, I myself was competing in the VLN and in the 24h Race. And I am of course still interested. On the other hand, motorsport enjoys a great popularity and many people are really interested in following the action. Our VLN sponsoring is a marketing tool to make the brand AM Solutions more known and to create a greater positive awareness of it on an emotional level. Everyone who is at the race track as a spectator has positive emotions.
When exactly did you compete in the VLN?
I started in the V5 class with a BMW in 2003. In 2005 then, the Team Lambo was created. We were the first to drive over the Nordschleife with the Lamborghini Gallardo, from which emerged the GT3 later on. At last I competed in the team Black Falcon with a Mercedes-AMG SLS GT3 from 2009 until 2011.
What fascinates you with the Nordschleife and the VLN?
That is the same for me like for many others – the variety and the challenge. There is no other circuit like this one. And there is also the close contact to the spectators, the enthusiasm of the fans, the love of motorsport and of the series. In my opinion that is unique. The VLN has a large variety. Private drivers and works teams, different classes. The series is well organised, it is based on good regulations, there is a fair interaction and yet, it is tough motorsport.
Will we be able to see you once again in the VLN as a driver?
I will be at the start of three races this year for Black Falcon in class SP8T.