Keba with a 21% Increase in Sales Revenues
During the past financial year (April 2013 to March 2014), Keba Group, Linz, Austria, generated sales revenues of EUR 181 million. This represented an increase of 21 % from EUR 150.1 million to EUR 181.4 million. Half of this growth emanated from standard business, while the remainder derived from the acquisition of the Dutch automation company Delem B.V.
As Gerhard Luftensteiner, the Keba AG CEO explained: “This increase in sales revenues can be traced to an excellent positioning in the Industrial Automation Business Area and further market share gains in Banking Automation. With our robotic developments, particularly the all-in-one controls for robot guidance, we have attracted international attention and established a new benchmark.”
The export quota rose to 81.5 %. Around 60 % of exports went to the EU (excluding Austria) and 21.5 % to the rest of the world. At present Keba employs a workforce of around 900 employees worldwide. The company has branches in eleven countries comprised by Germany, the Netherlands, Romania, Turkey, Italy, the Czech Republic, the USA, China, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan.
Automation and Robotics as Growth Factor
In the Industrial Automation Business Area, Keba offers specific branch solutions for robots, plastics and packaging machinery, and the sheet metalworking sector. Another inter-branch focal point is formed by mobile and stationary control systems for industrial applications.
Studies by the IFR statistical department state that in 2013 the global market for robots demonstrated growth of around 12 % and that expansion of a similar size can also be anticipated in 2014. This increase was spread across all the economic regions with Asia leading the way and Europe and the USA following behind. From a branch perspective, the main drivers are the automotive and the electrical/electronics industries with metal processing in close attendance and followed by the rubber and plastics sector, and the foods, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries.
According to studies by Quest Trendmagazin the latter are set to markedly increase their use of robots. In Germany, robot deployment in the foods and packaging industry will expand rapidly and possibly demonstrate above-average growth. In 2012 only 4 % of foods and packaging machinery was fitted with robots, but by the end of 2014 this figure is likely to be hovering around the 6 % (i.e. 50% higher). It is interesting that in combination Japan, the USA, the Republic of Korea and Germany constitute roughly 50 % of the global robot market. In addition, Japan also occupies a leading position in the robot manufacturing field.
It is assumed that robots will be used in the industrial sector to an even greater extent for the automation of material flows. This will involve palletizing, sorting, packaging, transportation and commissioning, and be aimed at raising throughput. Consequently, high robot operation speeds constitute a crucial issue.
For many years Keba has been represented in the most important robotic markets such as Germany, Japan and the USA. And in this connection the foundation in 2013 of a branch in South Korea, which represents the latest step towards internationalization, is strategically ideal, as Korea is one of the world’s robot growth markets.
In addition, the new, all-in-one control system for robotic applications, which for the first time combines control, drive and safety technology in a single, extremely compact system is set to further consolidate Keba’s position in the robotic market. Indeed, an initial reference customer is already using the system for its own development projects. The new control system is characterized by a smaller footprint and high performance density. In addition, the fact that these features are provided on a one-stop-shopping basis eliminates the complicated integration of differing systems.
Keba also has an answer to the demand for simplified robot programming and operation. This comes in the form of the KeTop T10 directMove manual operating device, which a few weeks ago received the respected German Robotics Award and is able to provide a completely new and highly intuitive type of robot operation.
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