AMF growth unchecked
AMF hit record turnover in 2017 for fifth time in succession
With over 48 million euros, the market leader for clamping, hand tools and locks grew by more than ten per cent over the previous year.
Growth drivers were once again the innovative products relating to industrial automation and process optimisation, which charted significantly above the overall growth. A conventional product did offer a surprise, however. In addition to Asia and the USA, Eastern Europe belonged to the growth markets in the preceding year. Further investments at the Fellbach location and in additional jobs should continue this trend. The company from Fellbach are already focussing on a new trend.
"Additive manufacturing, 3D printing with metal powder, is becoming a new growth market in which we have already positioned ourselves well with special products", emphasises Johannes Maier, Managing Partner at Andreas Maier GmbH & Co. KG in Fellbach. The traditional company grew by more than ten percent in 2017 and generated record revenue for the fifth time in succession with over 48 million euros. This was once again down to innovative products relating to workpiece clamping technology and the automation of machining processes. And yet, with the quick-release clamps, a conventional product has developed surprisingly well, too.
"If you can supply quickly, you'll get the business"
The reason for this is primarily a high demand for top-quality clamping equipment. "We have been preparing ourselves for this development for some time now and have specifically built up the innovative products as catalogue goods which the market requires. And if you can supply quickly, you'll get the business", explains Maier. Being able to identify lasting trends early on and to develop the right products for them is one of the strengths of the family company. Over 240 employees contribute to this end, who are close by customers around the world, and who learn about their requirements through direct contact.
Experiencing the most significant growth are Asia and the USA again. Eastern Europe is also said to have developed well, with Russia apparently continuing to be a problem child. In addition to the ongoing burning issues of automation, rationalisation and digitalisation, additive manufacturing is said to be cementing itself as a coming technology and the next big thing. Experts are according great future potential to 3D printing with metal powder. It can be used to produce products with complex geometries efficiently; products which can sometimes not even be produced at all using conventional processes. In this regard, Maier considers his business to be well prepared: "For this purpose, we have already developed special AMF zero-point clamping modules which meet these very special requirements".
Targeting further growth with confidence
Given the momentum of the past few years and the persistently decent economic situation, things are set to continue. The economics experts are forecasting growth of gross domestic product in Germany of 2.2 per cent for 2018, and of 2.3 per cent for the Eurozone. Industry associations such as Germany's VDMA (Mechanical Engineering Industry Association) are expecting a real increase in production of 3.0 per cent for machinery and equipment construction. Maier is similarly looking forward optimistically to the year we have just started. High-quality products, quick delivery capability and customer proximity should ensure continued growth in 2018. Above all, the company from Fellbach wants to crack the 50 million euro threshold. Investments of over 1.5 million euros at the location and additional specialist staff recruitment should provide the basis for this. The number of employees crept above 240 last year.