The owner families and staff of the Engel Group mourn the loss of their former technical director Hon.-Prof. DI Dr. Dr. mont. h.c. Alfred Lampl, who passed away in October at the age of 89. Dr. Lampl shaped the technical innovations of the injection moulding machine manufacturer for 25 years and, as a member of the founding generation, played a decisive role in Engel's development from a ten-man business to today's global systems supplier.
“Engel would not be what it is today without Dr. Lampl,” says Dr. Stefan Engleder, CEO of the Engel Group, in recognition of the services rendered by the deceased. “We, the owner families, the employees of Engel and many engineers, owe him much.”
Alfred Lampl first joined the company in 1968 as Head of Engineering with responsibility for the machine design, application technology, development and mould making divisions. In early 1986, as the Technical Director, he assumed overall responsibility for engineering and production, which he held until his retirement in 1993. Following his retirement, Dr. Lampl remained closely associated with Engel as a consultant.
Tie-bar-less technology is one of Alfred Lampl's achievements
From the outset, Dr. Lampl pursued the strategy of continually developing new products in response to customer requirements. To this day, strong customer orientation is an essential guiding principle of research and development at Engel.
Tie-bar-less technology, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, is one of his greatest achievements. Together with Georg Schwarz and the Head of Design Engineering, Heinz Leonhartsberger, Dr. Lampl broke with the design principle that was regarded as immutable until the 1980s, that the clamping unit of an injection moulding machine must have four tie bars. The new tie-bar-less design quickly became the predominant machine type at the Schwertberg plant and is still the most popular Engel product today. “Not even we expected this success at the beginning,” Dr. Lampl revealed five years ago on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of tie-bar-less technology.
“Dr. Lampl had the outstanding ability to listen and separate what is important from what is unimportant. He managed to find answers to seemingly unsolvable questions,” says Engleder. 32 patents and patent applications testify to Alfred Lampl's wealth of ideas and visionary thinking.
Pioneer of injection moulding technology
At the request of Prof. Werner Knappe, the co-founder of the Plastics Technology department at Leoben University of Mining and Metallurgy, Alfred Lampl accepted a teaching position for machines and moulds for injection moulding in Leoben in 1973, in addition to his responsibilities at Engel. In his dissertation, which he completed with his doctorate at the University of Leoben in 1982, he investigated the development of a process model for injection moulding with toggle-lever clamping units. Renowned camera manufacturers leveraged his knowledge early on to manufacture plastic lenses.
In recognition of his outstanding achievements, the University of Leoben awarded Dr. Lampl an honorary professorship in 1986 and an honorary doctorate in 1999. Dr. Lampl was awarded the H.F. Mark Medal and the Gold Badge of Honour by VÖK, the Association of Austrian Plastics Processors.
“Dr. Lampl was a person who was enthusiastic about engineering with the ability to inspire others. He shaped several generations of engineers,” says Stefan Engleder. The plastics industry loses one of the great pioneers of injection moulding technology in Dr. Lampl.