We are ATH.
Michael Harloff

We are KROENERT, COATEMA, DRYTEC and ZAE. We are the companies of the ATH Group would like to introduce ourselves in more detail through our team.


Michael Harloff

Production Manager at ZAE Drive Systems

Mr Harloff, why don't you start by telling us something about yourself?

I’m Michael Harloff and I’m a Production Manager at ZAE.

What did you do before you started working at ZAE?

I worked as a consultant and managed cost optimization projects in aircraft construction.

How did you become aware of ZAE?

Through friends.

What do you think makes a good employee in your field of work?

A good mix of different qualities and skills: professional expertise, team spirit, commitment, curiosity and a drive for optimization.

What keeps you going on a day-to-day basis?

Working towards ambitious goals – and achieving them.

What is your motto in life?

“I want to make the most of my life.” That includes: time for family and friends, fun and success at work, opportunities for sports, hobbies, good health and social activities. And all this on a well-balanced basis.

What was your most exciting project?
Launching a Production Control Centre for monitoring and controlling the production of plastic components.

How much freedom do you need at work?

Free space is important because it enables creativity. But you also need “guard rails” to stay focused. On a scale of 1-10, where 1 is very little freedom and 10 is a lot, I would choose 7.

The buzzwords digitalization and Industry 4.0 are on everyone’s lips, and they’re key issues at ZAE, too.
What was your first encounter with the digital age?


An ATARI games console at my best friend’s house at the beginning of my school days.

Oh no, power failure – what do you do now?
Then you have time for things that can be done offline and non-digitally, like brainstorming for CIP topics or self-reflection.

Favourite gadget?
I haven’t got one: I wouldn't even call my smartphone a gadget because it has a very functional set-up.

How do you get to work in the morning – bike, car or train/local transport?
Bicycle (even in Hamburg it’s possible – with the right clothes).

Just woken up – what happens next?
I look at the alarm clock and think: do I have to get up or can I close my eyes again?

Your tip for Hamburg:
Go jogging in the city park, the playground at Hagenbecks zoo.

You are a bottle of Beck’s. Where do you want to be opened?
At a BBQ with friends.

The app that changed my life:
Changed my life? ... I’d say simplified my life. Then there are lots of apps – such as e-mail, shopping, banking and WhatsApp, for instance.

I’ll start on it tomorrow:
Engage in contemplation more regularly.