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Hubert ‘Dr. Shimplate’ Kufner Engineers Innovation for Nonwovens in Luneburg, Germany

Hubert Kufner has been coming up with new ideas to expand Nordson’s business for 32 years. Currently an application development engineer, Hubert has been bringing innovation to the nonwovens industry for almost three decades. From his involvement in the nonwoven early days as a field engineer to his role as a leader of the technical application engineering team for the incorporation of the Meltex acquisition in 1989 to his present day role, Hubert has helped to shape Nordson’s adhesive business and develop the nonwoven segment.  

A decorated innovator, Hubert says his brain works best mechanically, which is demonstrated by his 12 patents. But he’s also improved processes and work environments with new ideas and ways to better serve customers. An example of this was his involvement in creating Luneburg’s development lab to provide a space for the staging and testing of nonwovens systems.

Hubert is known by some colleagues as “Dr. Shimplate,” derived from the piece of slot nozzle technology that allows Nordson equipment to apply glue very precisely. Casually dubbed Dr. Shimplate by coworkers after a successful problem-solving venture, the name stuck when a significant customer’s project leader fell for the joke and held a virtual meeting in which Hubert was already attending until Dr. Shimplate arrived.

Hubert says he didn’t really expect to focus his career in one discipline for so long, but his “nonwovens family,” the enjoyment he finds in constantly striving to innovate, and the respect he receives from customers all keep him engaged in the job. He credits the success of his innovative ventures to his commitment to finding the root cause of a problem and maintains that no one person can be greater than his or her team.