25 years in business and a countless number of successfully completed projects – reason enough for the Göppingen-based Steinbeis Transfer Center for Microelectronics (TZM) to celebrate in style. TZM is now one of the biggest enterprises in the Steinbeis Network. It has developed into a powerful and agile engineering services provider employing around 100 people working across a variety of sectors of industry.
“Our focus lies on the automotive industry, medical technology, measurement and testing technology, and solutions used in automation technology,” says Edgar Grundstein, director of TZM. The engineers in Göppingen also develop software, specialist devices, product concepts, and solutions used by companies in other sectors of industry. It works as a service provider but also has its own products. “Our know-how quickly makes products market-ready; we know a lot about complex approval processes and statutory requirements and we address such issues for the sake of our clients,” explains Grundstein.
How successful TZM has been with its own products can be seen by the successful spin-off company FlexRay, which was sold just under a decade ago to Eberspächer Electronics. And TZM is currently working on medical products for a new company, a German limited company (GmbH) in the Steinbeis Network. “Our systems link up a wide variety of medical devices. This makes it possible to set up distributed alarm systems to help patients even faster and give them optimum support,” says Grundstein.
Anniversaries are always an opportunity to look back, and it’s no different with TZM: The original Transfer Center for Microelectronics grew out of a development on the Göppingen Campus of Esslingen University of Applied Sciences. In 1991, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jürgen van der List set up the Steinbeis Transfer Center for Microelectronics (or TZM for short) with Prof. Dr.-Ing. Heinz Osterwinter, who passed away in 2013. At the time, TZM was based in rented facilities directly at the university in Göppingen. The underlying idea was to make use of the highly modern laboratory equipment and research facilities on the recently founded campus of Esslingen University of Applied Sciences and to allow the Steinbeis Foundation to take care of organizational details. The first transfer projects were carried out by the founders themselves. In the years that followed, demand grew continuously and TZM expanded. The industries and key areas TZM worked in also changed in keeping with market developments. The management team working alongside Prof. Dr. Rainer Würslin and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Bernhard Schwarz had to be expanded in the early years, partly because the professors still had to focus on their full-time jobs at the university. In the years that followed, TZM grew to over 100 employees, and in 1999, Edgar Grundstein took on the time-consuming task of managing the day-to-day operations at TZM. In 2002, the project engineers moved into new premises directly next to the university and these now house the Göppingen offices. These offices laid a solid foundation for the future success of TZM.
TZM has picked up numerous awards for its track record as an employer. “We place a great deal of emphasis on the pleasant working environment and modern equipment. This enables us to attract highly qualified engineers to work for us and join our projects. Our most important asset is the people who enjoy developing and creating things,” explains Grundstein. The close relationships TZM enjoys with science and research have put it in the best possible position to tackle the future, helping safeguard market competitiveness for itself and its customers. TZM is always looking for engineers who would like to join it on this journey.