A small chat with... Andy Dewez, COO of AM 4 AM
You may have seen that our production unit is operational since several weeks and so it’s time to present you the person behind this masterpiece : Andy Dewez, our Chief Operating Officer! Here is a short interview to get to know him a little bit more:
Andy, can you introduce yourself shortly?
My name is Andy Dewez, I am from Bastogne in Belgium and I am the COO of AM 4 AM for more than a year now.
My academic background started in studying computer science and ended up with a master's degree in production management.
I begun my professional career working as department manager in a foundry near Liège before joining Circuit-Foil as manufacturing engineer in their copper sheet production plant. In 2016, I decided to discover new horizons and joined a company in the construction sector as manager in the back office department. A fulfilling and rewarding job… But I was missing the technical side and more simply, the fact of being entrepreneur…
After launching my first business in home automation, I knew that entrepreneurship was made for me and I didn’t hesitate before joining the AM 4 AM’s adventure.
How did you hear about AM 4 AM?
I already knew Maxime for some time without being aware of his activities at AM 4 AM.
As often in life, our first discussions started after a good meal and… few rums (laughs). One subject led to another, we had a long discussion about his company and we planned a meeting the week after to visit his office.
Afterwards, I took the opportunity to go with him at Formnext (a 3D printing fair) few weeks later, where I discovered the latest advances in additive manufacturing and was quite impressed.
At that time, Maxime was looking for a partner to boost the growth of his company. After the discussions we had, I had the gut-feeling that I could bring something valuable to AM 4 AM, with my previous professional experiences and I decided to jump in the adventure.
What do you find exciting in the company?
Many things are exciting!
First, the fact of joining a startup and the opportunity to launch a production unit from scratch. This represents an exciting challenge for the production engineer I am.
In a second time, I would say the field of activity of the company. Additive manufacturing is only at its genesis and I am convinced that a bright future is ahead.
Finally, working with customers who are active in space, aeronautics or automotive seems a huge chance for me as I am attracted by these sectors since always
You took over the management of operations in a particular context (COVID, Ukrainian crisis, etc.), what will be your next challenges and projects ?
I can’t denied that these crises had, have and will have an impact on our business and our society as a whole.
However, when you manage a business, you need a (very) long-term vision and you need to continue to move forward while waiting for more stable days.
Currently my major challenge is to finalize the setting up of our new facility, work on the optimization of our process and launch the industrial production in order to supply our customers.
Moreover, I am managing the logistics and supply chain. At that level, my objective is to make it as reliable as possible. Indeed, having a local (European) supply chain is one of the key value of the company and it is something I am deeply involved in.
Finally, I will have to secure both physical and IT installations. In the current context, we need to protect our equipment and resources.
For these challenges, my background in both IT and production management will be my main strength.
What is your vision for the evolution of business and metal additive manufacturing?
Currently, the cost of additive manufacturing restricts this technology to sectors, processes and parts with very high added value.
However, I think that it will become more democratic in the years to come and that we will be able to take full advantage of what it has to offer us: optimized design, weight reduction, energy and material savings, environmental benefits and efficiency in the supply chain...
AM 4 AM, with its innovation, is well positioned to be a key supplier of raw materials and innovative solutions in this growing market.
Indeed, our first product, one the strongest aluminum alloy on the market, called HiperAl, is now commercially available and we are working on a higher grade material to extend its field of applications. Moreover, AM 4 AM won’t limit its development to aluminum materials and we are planning to extend our portfolio to other metal as copper, tool steel or nickel superalloys.
In the next few years, we will also integrate a greater part of recycled metals in our supply chain. The circularity is important for us to strengthen once again our supply chain.
What are your expectations in this adventure?
Get to set up all the operational part, continue to learn and discover the world of 3D printing and finally, see AM 4 AM grow.
When we arrive at the beginning of a company's life, we consider it like our baby that we want to see grow up.
A words or a message to conclude?
First of all thank you. Thanks to Maxime for his trust and to Alexane - my girlfriend - for her support in my projects.
I will quote Confucius: “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life”. This sentence sums up the state of mind in which I am currently.
A lot of challenges are waiting for me and it's time to achieve them!
I look forward meeting you at our facility or in the exhibitions we’ll attend.