Morten Schiff, CEO of Vibrationmaster, is an enthusiastic entrepreneur who seized an opportunity to make testing machines that are ready to operate with just one click.
Vibrationmaster is an innovative company that produces vibration test equipment for manufacturers and test service suppliers. The company, hosted by EU|BIC Technoport in Foetz, helps corporate customers - including Boeing, SpaceX and Toyota - to locate, identify and eliminate unwanted vibrations in fasteners, components and machine subassemblies.
The Vibrationmaster story began in 2010, when Morten acquired the patent and technology of the Variator, an electromechanical actuator that powers many of the company’s products. The Variator is essentially a vibration generator, but it also has a unique ability to control and refine the way vibration interacts with the component being tested.
However, owning an innovative technology is not always enough: success also demands skills in management, finance and marketing. Morten Schiff, entrepreneur and business angel, soon arrived in Luxembourg with a firm determination to launch a company that would transform his vision into a range of products ready for the market. The rest, as they say, is history.
In 2010, the DIN 65151 standard, which has been used by the fastener industry for over 20 years, was replaced by the new DIN 25201-4 B. This introduced new test criteria that manufacturers would have to adopt, following an arduous and usually costly process. In addition, the new criteria were much more stringent: Morten’s due diligence showed that existing test equipment would have difficulty in certifying threaded fasteners to the levels required by the new standard.
Vibrationmaster has developed a Blue Ocean market for testing of fasteners for the automotive sector
Problem and solution
People expect to have safe and reliable products, but testing is still perceived as an onerous and complicated task, one that is often not done thoroughly. Even so, product failures are usually caused by a combination of broken components, poor design, cost-cutting and time pressure. Vibration can also be a factor, as it loosens bolted joints and introduces mechanical stress that shortens component life and ultimately causes failure.
Vibrationmaster’s Test & Measurement devices are used in laboratories of leading companies throughout the world
Vibrationmaster’s solution was to create a new generation of test and measurement equipment that is designed for easy use and produces results quickly and accurately. This took several years, as Morten and his team of 11 people are acutely conscious of the need to understand his customers’ problems. They first listen to customers to discover their pains and then build the machines that will solve the problems and get the job done. “We make machines that give better analytical output by just pressing a button”, says Morten.
Morten and Technoport: a success story
Morten first discovered Technoport during a startup event in Luxembourg in 2013. He quickly sought out Technoport CEO, Diego De Biasio, to learn more about the incubator, based in Belval. Morten was immediately hooked: he presented his business plan in front of a panel and was accepted at Technoport, marking the beginning of a new era for the company. During its early years, Vibrationmaster was hosted at Belval but moved to Technoport’s Foetz site in 2017, along with several other industrial startups.“Technoport is much more than just one thing, in Technoport you feel you are at the epicentre of the startup world in Luxembourg”, explained Morten. “When you are alone in your office, you just close the door and nothing happens. However, in Technoport you are not alone, you feel that you belong to something greater.” When asked about Diego De Biasio, Morten said “he is a fantastic guy, if you need him he is there. In fact, Diego has a special talent of knowing when you need him!”
Technoport has been an EBM member since 1998. It was the first incubator established in Luxembourg, stemming from the Henri Tudor Research Centre that was itself accredited in 1999. In 2012, a pivotal year, the new Technoport was born, along with its co-working space, Fablab and industrial facilities. A range of corporate partnerships and other innovation support programmes followed were quickly. This new organisation was again accredited as EU|BIC in May 2013. Diego De Biasio, Technoport’s CEO, is an engaged member of the EBN Board of Directors and a firm believer in innovative entrepreneurs and startups. Along with his team of 5 people, he helps entrepreneurs like Morten to bridge the gap between ideas and success.“The reason I like entrepreneurship is that every venture has its own history. Vibrationmaster is not an exception in this. I feel very lucky to be able to work with people like Morten, who showed a lot of commitment and perseverance in bringing his company to where it is today. We need more entrepreneurs like him and they deserve a lot of respect”, says Diego De Biasio. “Technoport really started to get into industrial projects back in 2012 and I must confess that it has been a great diversification for us, opening up a lot of new development opportunities.”
In June 2018, Technoport will celebrate the 20th anniversary of incubation in Luxembourg by co-organising the EBN Annual Congress together with EBN. Visitors to the Congress will have the opportunity to meet Morten and many other startup entrepreneurs based at Technoport.
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