Edition 41 / March 2015

We are Gallus – Thomas Schweizer

Thomas Schweizer, who has now been at the Gallus Group for more than ten years, has a varied career to look back on. A designer by training, he is an official crew member for a Super Puma military helicopter alongside his work at Gallus Ferd. Rüesch AG. Thanks to his hard work and the motivation he derives from tasks and responsibilities, he is now Head of Development and Testing.

Name:

Thomas Schweizer

Position:

Head of Development and Testing
Labels Division

Education:

- Training as designer
- Adult education course in mechanical Engineering

Career:

I started training as a designer at Gallus Ferd. Rüesch AG a good ten years ago and was very keen to learn. Even at this early stage, I was involved in a range of cross-company projects, such as helping develop a sophisticated robotic arachnid. Once I had completed my training, I was given the opportunity to take on some project management tasks.

After a series of both small and large scale projects, I was called up to complete military service with the Swiss Army. I trained in communications in the air force and am still a crew member for a Super Puma military helicopter. During this period, I gained experience working with a wide range of people.

Back in my original working environment, I took up the role of Head of Platform Management in the research and development section. This extremely challenging and exciting position involved being in charge of and coordinating new and further cross-system developments.

Once I had become accustomed to these tasks, I took over as Head of Development and Testing at the St. Gallen site. The current focus is on the pioneering development of Gallus’ digital response to the label printing market.

Hobbies:

Football, skiing, hiking, travel

Family:

In a happy relationship.

Can you describe an average day as Head of Development and Testing?

My responsibilities and tasks are widespread and very varied. I work as closely as possible with my team to put the company’s vision into practice. The growth in inkjet technology is currently a major area of focus in this regard. However, smaller challenges in the field of technology are also very much part of my day-to-day work. I endeavour to share my expertise on technical matters with my colleagues and staff in other departments.

How do you meet the tough quality demands of customers and Gallus in your day-to-day work?

In my view, product quality begins with the smallest details and includes thinking outside the box a little. Making mistakes is only human. Quality means learning from these mistakes and applying what has been learned to products in future.

How do you ensure you remain creative and at the cutting edge in your day-to-day work?

For me, an important part of creativity is always being open to new things. That means listening to people from different fields, absorbing information like a sponge and linking up the relevant ideas in innovative ways. Innovation doesn’t even always have to be ‘new’, as bringing together existing technologies from separate fields is also a form of innovation. The balance between thinking differently (the proverbial paradigm shift) and not attempting to reinvent the wheel is how I see the art of creativity. I’m always coming up with solutions – it’s often the problems that are missing!

What do you see as your greatest challenges?

One major challenge is the acceleration of the life and development cycles of modern technologies. Shaping this trend rather than simply following it (acting rather than reacting) will be extremely important for the future. Providing the right solution at the right time is often easier said than done.

How do you switch off? Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Technology is in my blood. In other words, I rarely switch off at all because I enjoy technology in my free time, as well. I see problems as challenges that can help me grow on a personal level.

That said, nothing beats enjoying a good joint of meat in the right company and a good cigar at the weekend.


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