'Lego for adults': In conversation with Constantin Wernick, Operations Manager of the Adlershof-based technology company MiniTec Berlin GmbH

05. January 2021

“Lego for adults”

In conversation with Constantin Wernick, Operations Manager of the Adlershof-based technology company MiniTec Berlin GmbH

Constantin Wernick © WISTA Management GmbH

Familiar place: Constantin Wernick in front of Staatliche Technikerschule Berlin © WISTA Management GmbH

“Lego for adults” is what Constantin Wernick calls the new product range of MiniTec Berlin GmbH. Wernick has been the company’s operations manager since 2019, which is no game. It’s actually all about a modular system of profiles and connectors that can be used to build all kinds of things, from cleanrooms, to special machines, or face masks, which are highly sought after in this coronavirus age. Despite his demanding full-time job at MiniTech, the 38-year-old seems to have immense energy reserves: The father of three – his youngest child was born in November 2020 – also studies part-time at Staatliche Technikerschule Berlin, a state technical school for adults. Three evenings a week plus every other Saturday, he has been working his way towards his business degree since the summer. Only about a year ago he successfully completed a four-year mechanical engineering degree in addition to his day job. We are curious to see what he does next. In any case, Constantin Wernick has certainly internalised the axiom that “You never stop learning.”

Adlershof Journal: How is MiniTec Berlin doing?

Constantin Wernick: The coronavirus pandemic is, of course, taking its toll: orders are being postponed or not being made at all, especially from customers in the event and automobile sector. We have been active in other areas instead and are now also doing single-part production. All in all, we are navigating this crises well.

Who are your customers?

Our customer base range from large research institutions to smaller start-ups. At Technology Park Adlershof, we have 50 clients, including Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, PTB Berlin, Siemens Mobility, Jenoptik Diode Lab and Sigmar Mothes Hochdrucktechnik. However, we are also active outside of Berlin.

What has been your most unusual, and your largest order?

One of our largest orders was an induction brazing machine with a total order volume of three-quarter of a million euros. That kept us busy for almost a whole year. We got an order from a Berlin art student once that was bizarre. We developed a machine for him that had a rotating arm for incessantly whipping a picture.

How many employees does MiniTec have?

We are part of the Rhineland-Palatinate-based MiniTec Group with 400 employees worldwide. W&P GEAT GmbH, where I had been previously working since 2011, and W&P Wolf & Partner GmbH were taken over by MiniTech as early as 2016. There are eight of us in Adlershof, an all-male team. We offer internships and are also considering taking on apprentices in the future.

How do you get to work?

With the S-Bahn. Commuting takes me about an hour. I don’t have a car.

You’re a qualified car mechanic but don’t own a car?

It’s a conscious decision. My family uses bikes, busses, and trains. We also have a cargo bike that we use to for the kids. During the first lockdown last spring, I drove the company car to Adlershof and carpooled with a colleague. Getting home sometimes took me an hour and a half – that’s three times as long as the way there. That’s commuting stress I am more than happy to do without.

Who is your role model?

I wouldn’t say role model, but I really like Bud Spencer (Editor’s note: well-known Italian actor in cinema and television). He lived his life with such ease.

What is important to you?

Respect, a sense of responsibility, and honesty.

What do you do in your spare time?

I practically don’t have any spare time. Being at home means being there for my family. There are five of us: my wife and my three children, who are seven and three years old, and two months old. Even though my wife looks after the children mostly, there is still enough to do. But whether it’s the kids’ beaming eyes, their excited greetings, or a self-painted picture – it's the little things that make it all priceless and me very happy. Video games used to be my passion. Today, I rarely use the game console anymore.

Do you remember a test of courage in your life?

Testing my limits while tandem skydiving is a lasting memory. That was twelve years ago. Pure adrenaline!

What do you wish for the future?

I am looking forward to some day becoming a grandpa and spending time with my children and grandchildren.


Interview by Sylvia Nitschke for Adlershof Journal

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