With its headquarters in Austria and manufacturing infrastructure across the globe, ENGEL is the world leader in offering customers integrated system solutions in injection moulding technology. Innovation and technology leadership offers ENGEL’s clients a decisive competitive advantage. Piotr Sadowski reports.
Innovative turnkey solutions
ENGEL’s story began in 1945 when the company was founded by Ludwig Engel. Six-and-a-half decades later ENGEL is a major international player in injection moulding technology, with a 30 per cent share of the European market – and a 20 per cent market share accounted for by its packaging sector products. “This means that every third injection moulding machine in Europe has been produced by ENGEL,” says Kurt Hell, sales manager in the business packaging unit. “In addition to the packaging industry we also have a 40 per cent market share in the automotive sector and are a strong supplier to the electronics market.”
Investing in capacity
ENGEL has achieved a very strong position on the European market, where it has numerous modern production plants. The company also has subsidiaries throughout most of the European countries. “We have also realised a major potential for expanding our activities worldwide, particularly in Asia and the Americas,” explains Mr Hell. “To this effect we have invested in manufacturing capacity in Korea and China – where our plant was opened five years ago – and also have new Tech Centers in India and Mexico. Using the concept of lean manufacturing, over the course of 2011 we produced 3000 injection moulding machines and 1200 robots. Our staff numbers are equally impressive: in Europe we employ 3000 people, 300 in Asia and 400 in other locations throughout the globe. In the financial year 2010/2011 our turnover from global operations reached €615 million.”
With such extensive operations worldwide it is therefore not surprising that ENGEL is one of the leading exporters in its industrial sector: 95 per cent of all products reach 60 different countries. Wherever a customer is located, ENGEL is able to offer technical services and advisory support, including on-site training, maintenance and repairs. “In addition to investing in our capacity, we also recognise that in order to continue being a recognised and respected global player, there is a need to continuously invest in our technologies and products,” adds Mr Hell. “As a family-owned business the decision-making process is much more streamlined, therefore we can act quickly in order to respond to emerging market needs.” The sales manager also explains that every year 7 per cent of the revenues are spent on research and development, carried out by 120 engineers; a third of this work is committed to expanding new technologies, while two-thirds is channelled into innovation in all areas of the company’s activities.
Offering the right solutions
ENGEL is an expert in recognising emerging trends and developing solutions which are perfectly targeted to client needs. “The packaging industry is continuously expanding; customers are looking for unique designs in product and packaging,” says Mr Hell. “There is a demand for multi-component solutions and requirements to extend the shelf life of products contained in them. There is also a strong demand for lighter products and in order to create such solutions we have invested in and developed very high performance machines. Functions such as push-pull solutions are also in demand and all of these trends are certainly driving our operations.”
Another important factor in the global market is the need for energy efficient concepts, and here ENGEL is also a worldwide technology leader. The company offers a full range of such machines and continues to develop different concepts for energy efficiency. “Environmental awareness plays a very important role in our operations and therefore our activities are backed by clean environmental policies,” says the sales manager. “Quality and reliability is also a crucial element in our success and therefore most of the manufacturing is carried out in-house. In terms of areas where we bring in external components this includes hydraulics and electronics and for this we always look for the best partners, in order to ensure that the quality and reliability of our solutions are never jeopardised.”
Whilst around ten years ago the company was offering only two main product ranges, today this number has increased to five, with complex, innovative and cutting-edge products. Thanks to its own sales and service networks, ENGEL ensures local competence, worldwide, across all the different markets to which its products are exported.
“There are many different reasons why customers choose us over our competitors,” adds Mr Hell. “Certainly one further important point is the fact that ENGEL is synonymous with offering system solutions from a single source. We thrive on the developments taking place in the market and delivering on clients’ needs. Our vision is to continue growing across all our markets, particularly in Asia and South America. In 2015 we aim to become a €1 billion company and in 10 years’ time our plan is for 50 per cent of our machinery to be smart electrical solutions.”