President & Owner of CAM Logic
CAM Logic sips its own champagne, and owner Yvonne Wiedemann made it that way. She took a good value-added reseller of Siemens software and made it into a vertically integrated company providing exceptional design for additive manufacturing solutions to Detroit Metro industries.
Changing Traditions: Woman-Owned Business Brings AM Solutions to Automotive Industry
What do you do when the boss decides to sell the company and you're unimpressed with the suitors? If you're Yvonne Wiedemann – now President and owner of CAM Logic – you become your own boss.
Wiedemann began selling computer software for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) two decades ago. She joined CAM Logic, Auburn Hills, Mich., in 2012 as a Major Accounts Manager. At the time, the company dabbled in selling 3D printers but was primarily a Value-Added Reseller (VAR) of Siemens software for CAD, CAM, CAE, PDM, and PLM.
None of the company suitors were a great fit for me, says Wiedemann.
I thought, ‘What if I buy it? Can I do it? Of course I can! I can do whatever the heck I decide I want to do!’ I went through all of the financial options that are available to me as a woman in a SMB business and ended up with an SBA loan. Growing up, I never even imagined myself in manufacturing, and now I own a manufacturing company.
With Wiedemann at the helm and a management team that includes VP Angelo Biondo and Director of Operations Joshua Ponzetti, CAM Logic has diversified and strengthened its operations.
Four Pillars of Logic
CAM Logic has four business pillars: Engineering & Design (Conceive), Digital Industries Software (Develop), Additive Manufacturing (Manufacture) and Reverse Engineering & Quality Control (Capture).
In addition to being a VAR for Siemens' digital software solutions, the company became a VAR for Markforged industrial additive solutions. They also have a fleet of Markforged 3D printers, as well as printers from Raise3D and Creality, so that they can create prototypes and products for assembly lines. Most customers are small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) serving Tier-1, -2, -3 automotive companies in the Detroit Metro area.
We sip our own champagne, says Wiedemann.
By that, I mean the CAM Logic design and engineering team uses the Siemens software that we sell, while our manufacturing team uses the Markforged printers that we sell. Our vertical integration gives us exceptional insight when providing DFAM – design for additive manufacturing – solutions. We excel when customers bring us in early during the design and problem-solving phases.
Wiedemann emphasizes that the company does not make parts that go into a vehicle. Rather, CAM Logic makes putting parts on a vehicle more efficient, typically by light-weighting tooling or developing more efficient workholding and other assembly line solutions.
Detroit, its people, and its industries remain very traditional. Helping the automotive industry think differently and embrace the benefits of additive and digital manufacturing technologies is challenging enough, and doubly so for Wiedemann.
We do things very traditionally in this town. Being a woman in this industry is exciting, but it can be hard to be taken seriously, she says. In short, Old Bob is used to seeing someone that looks just like him and talks just like him.
Doors may open a little quicker for me because I'm a woman, but once it shuts, I am put to the test every single time, she says.
I have to prove that I know what I'm talking about, all just because I'm a woman in manufacturing – and one trying to sell software and 3D printers on top of that!
When it comes to a selling situation, Wiedemann's confidence creates a level playing field.
It's not about if the guy wins or the girl wins, she says.
It's who is better at selling. Some people are up to the test, some people aren't. When I believe CAM Logic has the best solution, we'll win.
As for opportunities for women in manufacturing, Wiedemann says,
the sky's the limit. She believes women engineers are phenomenal because they think differently (if you're a female engineer, please send Wiedemann your resume). She also notes that because of the company's focus on 3D printing and software, the work environment at CAM Logic is perfectly suited for those whose strength isn't physical strength.
As an emerging technology company, we break the mold of a stereotypical manufacturing environment. I wear heels to work because I can, she says.
But if you don't want to be an engineer, consider the trade school route or go into an organization where you can be an apprentice. Learn to program a CNC or run a lathe. There are also a lot of opportunities to provide in-house marketing functions. If you believe in yourself, you can do it.
Finding More Efficiencies
Wiedemann and her leadership team attend IMTS so that they can continue to create new opportunities for CAM Logic to differentiate itself in the marketplace.
We sent Angelo (Biondo) and Ponz (Joshua Ponzetti) to IMTS in 2018 because we wanted to add more polymers to our additive portfolio,” says Wiedemann. “I'll be joining them this year, especially because our VAR partners Markforged and Siemens exhibit at the show. We also use advanced metrology tools such as a FARO portable CMM with laser line scanning capabilities.”
CAM Logic leverages scanning to assist us in reverse engineering when a CAD model is not available, as well as probing and other scanning technologies for inspection to ensure part quality and validation. Quality and accuracy of manufacturing is incredibly important to them.
We go into IMTS with an open mind saying, what can we learn? What can we understand? We need to find technologies that will bring CAM Logic to the next level,” says Wiedemann. “Whatever amount we are required to invest to travel to Chicago, we will get paid back tenfold with new capabilities and efficiencies we'll find at IMTS.”IMTS Rockstars