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26. June 2012

Demand fuels expansion

Demand fuels expansion

Intensified global activities assure StrikoWestofen considerable growth

Thanks to products which meet the global trend towards more efficient and economic technologies, the StrikoWestofen Group had a successful business year 2011. At a profit margin of 7 percent before taxes, the international supplier of thermal process technology increased its annual sales in the field of light metal casting by 34 percent to € 42 million. This allows StrikoWestofen to exceed the overall results for the sector considerably. Besides highly efficient melting and dosing systems, the expanded range of services and spare parts in OEM quality has led to an increased demand. With total sales of 35 percent outside of Europe, the group is gaining global momentum and now has locations on three continents. For this reason, StrikoWestofen is increasing its workforce considerably at its German location and has now announced the relocation of the company premises to neighbouring Gummersbach.

The German foundry machine industry had a positive business year 2011. In particular investments from abroad pushed sales back up to the pre-crisis level in 2007 - with growth rates running into two-figure percentages. Driven by targeted efforts in the development and manufacture of high-efficiency furnace systems and an expanded range of services, the StrikoWestofen Group achieved a successful business year 2011. The sales of the equipment manufacturer from the Cologne area (Germany) outpaced the sector-wide results considerably. A marked increase in sales of Westomat dosing furnaces and StrikoMelter melting furnaces could be achieved.

Cost-effectiveness and sustainability win out

Under foundry conditions, the new StrikoMelter PurEfficiency aluminium melting furnaces achieve consumption values of only 525 kWh per ton of material used. "With excellent material yield and potential energy savings of up to 40 percent our StrikoMelter PurEfficiency are benchmark worldwide," explains Rudolf Riedel, manager of the StrikoWestofen Group. "We are optimally meeting the needs of the international markets. Now we offer a technology whose operating costs can easily save five times the overall investment costs over the entire service life - in all sizes demanded."

In the past year, StrikoWestofen registered the largest growth in Westomat dosing furnaces: a large number of additional options improve user-friendliness, process reliability and make it even more precise in the dosing of constant quantities of liquid metal. Compared with conventional ladle systems, Westomat dosing furnaces require only about one third of energy.

Internationality as the key to success

On the whole, the StrikoWestofen Group profited from an increasing demand from countries inside and outside of Europe. In the past business year, the manufacturer achieved 35 percent of total sales in Asia and America in spite of the floundering economic situation in both markets. "We will expand this share to 50 percent by 2015," Riedel forecasts. "In particular our internationally active customers appreciate if we are in situ at all their locations with sales, service and production, too." In addition, the importance of "Service and Spare Parts" grew considerably in 2011. "The high availability, quality and long service life of spare parts as well as fire-proof materials in OEM quality is a convincing proposition for our customers," Riedel explains.

Sustainable expansion with a new company location

The growth course, new strategic alignment and the even stronger customer orientation also affect the numbers of employees: StrikoWestofen is therefore increasing its personnel by about 20 percent this year - a step which means it has now reached the capacities of the location in Wiehl. For this reason, the equipment manufacturer has moved from Wiehl to the neighbouring Gummersbach in May 2012. In addition, the "Service and Spare Parts" department will be relocated in Wiehl. Here a new Pilot Plant Center for testing under real-life conditions will be established. "The modern premises offer us ideal conditions for even more efficient customer support as defined in the course of the recent revision of our quality management system," Riedel explains this step.

Looking confidently to the future

The management is expecting more growth for the current business year, but as a result of the continuing euro crisis and the slowing of growth in the Chinese market, the forecasts are slightly more reserved than they were in 2011. "At present we are benefiting from the fact that - partly as a result of postponed investments in the previous years - the foundry sector is showing great investment potential and is running on full capacity," Riedel forecasts. "With future-proof technologies, a large degree of customer loyalty and a systematic improvement of our productivity, we will continue to consolidate our market leadership in the field of industrial furnace systems for light metal casting in the long run."

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