Meet the Team - Engineering & Support
Have you always wanted to know where your Mr Beam was developed, or where it ends up when you have to send it in? Then you've come to the right place for today's Mr Beam blog post. The Engineering & Support team take us on an exclusive customer journey.
The support at Mr Beam
You're in the process of creating DIY gifts and, you're looking forward to the most beautiful part of this work, lasering with the Mr Beam, but oops, suddenly it doesn't work. It's cleaned and all the cables are plugged in, so what could be the reason? Don't worry, if you're having trouble with your Mr Beam, our support staff Isaia and Ellen are here to help:
What's the best way to contact you?
You can reach Isaia and Ellen daily via the ticket function on our website or, in urgent emergencies, by telephone.
E: We prefer it when we get inquiries about the ticket system. We can simply explain the topics better and in more detail, for example, we can also send video and image material. You can't do that on the phone.
Incidentally, the chat function on our website does not lead directly to support, as you first end up in the sales department.
What advice would you give customers before they contact you?
E: It's not a must, of course, but the more the customers acquire a certain basic knowledge about the device beforehand, the easier it is for them to fix small errors themselves, or the more detailed they can ask questions.
I: Exactly " Support the Support". Mr Beam has various offers to get information about the device. For example, the knowledge database, tutorials on social media or YouTube that test our device. That also helped me a lot in my preparation for the job interview. But as I said, nothing is a must, and of course we are happy to help with any request.
What are no-go's for customer inquiries?
I: No go's are when customers just want to vent their frustration on the phone and are not at all willing to push the solution process forward. If you are then complained about without being able to help it, but then still have to be friendly. All I can say is, “Trust the process ”. Sooner or later we will find the solution.
E: It's also not very helpful when customers write with very little information, e.g. "Error message" or "Beamie doesn't work". We don't see the device, so more detailed inquiries are better answered. We are also generally pleased when our customers pay attention to the language and friendliness.
What is the nicest feedback you get?
I: The best things are the grateful reactions, for example when you receive praise for your competent advice. I remember one customer in particular. The customer was very inquisitive and cooperative. When he then thanked for the help, he wrote: "Now I'm a happy one again." I really enjoyed that.
E: I always love it when people send their devices in and then miss them like family members. Some then write things like "he's hurt" or "take good care of him". This is not the case with any other household appliance, the customers have a real bond with their Mr Beam.
Is there anything else you would like to say in closing:
"We support all problems."
Well, with this friendly team, we really don't have to worry that Mr Beam isn't in good hands. However, if there is a major problem that cannot be clarified through correspondence, you can send your Mr Beam in and the workshop, or rather our Engineering Department, will take a closer look at it.
The engineering at Mr Beam
Before we go into more detail about what the engineering does, let's look at what happens after a support request in the workshop. Basti and Patrick explain this to us:
What is your part in a support request?
B: First, you have to differentiate between 2 types of requests. There are support requests that can be clarified in writing or verbally. If that's not the case, we have a repair order. Then the Mr Beam physically ends up in our workshop.
P: Exactly, the Mr Beam arrives - ideally - correctly packed in the original box and cleaned up.
Yes, because the most common causes of malfunctions are actually dirt or incorrect operation of the device. How to properly clean the Mr Beam, we link you here again.
P: So about 25 devices end up in our workshop every month. While that's not much in relation to the existing Mr Beams on the market, it's still a big part of the work.
So what's next?
B: Then we check the error descriptions and also carry out further function tests. However, we often have to clean the devices completely before we can even start with the actual error checking.
What other tasks do you have?
B: Here at the headquarters, we mainly do the development of the laser cutter, i.e. the hardware and electronics development. We design and build the device, all the parts that go with it, and are constantly developing it further. Also, the circuit boards, which we also optimize again and again as part of sourcing. This means that if individual components are no longer available, for example, or if there are newer ones, they have to be improved or replaced. In addition, we also do maintenance and repairs, function tests, various types of test lasers, such as endurance tests, optimization of cutting parameters, material tests, test lasers for customer devices...
And how can you imagine such a classic workflow?
P: Well, in principle, we plan everything virtually on the PC first, and then it is implemented physically. For CAM, e.g. the creation of circuit boards, we use the KiCad program and for CAD projects - for non-engineers, these are the mechanical constructions of the hardware parts - we use Solid Edge. And in the last step, we also write the software that runs on all the processors. This is not to be confused with the software used to operate the Mr Beam.
Wow, that's quite a lot and varied. Our engineering department not only has to be fit with the PC and for design tasks, but also be able to implement them with their own hands. So that they don't just sink into their technology world, they also attend trade fairs from time to time and thus get to know the needs of the users directly.
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The journey of a new Mr Beam laser cutter
Of course, the 3-person team does not have the capacity to assemble all Mr Beams themselves. So what does the journey of a new Mr Beam look like?
P: The journey starts in Hungary with component manufacture and assembly. The whole further process then takes place in Germany. Final assembly, commissioning, packaging and shipping are in Thuringia. The heart of the Mr Beam, the laser head, each and every one is assembled here at our headquarters in Munich. This is the best way for us to guarantee our own quality standards.
The new workshop
Yes, with so much work and different tasks you need space and our engineering team got it in late summer.
How is the new workshop?
P: We finally have enough space, we have new, large workbenches, a large industrial sink that is great for cleaning customer equipment, we have a spacious storage area for spare parts, 2 full repair bays, a corner just for our electronics parts and everything we have a workbench on which we can try out new ideas, i.e. more space for creativity, so to speak.
And what is the most important tool among all the materials?
B: At Mr Beam, the most important tool is the Torx 8, you can use it to solve all problems.
E: And your own brain, because you have to think for yourself.
Stereotypes about the engineering industry
Engineers love technology and don't do anything else in their free time?
P: Yes, that depends. There are people who study engineering just to study it. That doesn't apply to them. But here in particular, where we make software, hardware, mechanics and electronics, you have to say that if you don't enjoy doing it as a hobby in your free time, you won't do it professionally. Simply because being able to do all this takes so much time.
B: In other companies, for example, you are only employed as a test engineer or only as a development engineer, we do everything and that's why a lot of free time is wasted.
But the two also tell me that they also have other passions, such as farming, mountain biking or enjoying Munich's nightlife.
For example, Patrick likes to tinker with his handcart in his free time. Of course, we also had to test the handcart for an Instagram Reel and TikTok - all for the gram!
Are interpersonal, social or soft skills (communication) sometimes neglected?
We all had to smile a little at this question. After I had to wait a short while for the two of them to wake up from their PC immersion for the interview and, they call themselves nerds, they are still very warm and communicative people and, we laughed a lot during our conversation.
P: Hm, I think when an engineer talks to an engineer, you understand each other very quickly, with very few words, very well. It is true that external communication is sometimes difficult, as one must be aware that what is obvious to one is not so clear to others. But I think people have found each other at Mr Beam in particular who have a very similar mindset, which is why communication is going really well, at least here.
Many thanks to Ellen and Isaia from Support as well as Basti, Patrick and Emanuel from Engineering for this unique journey through Mr Beam.
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