Renowned for its Mars motors, Drive specialist maxon is partnering with the robotics startup ANYbotics...
Confident in the Future
maxon motor group remains confident in the future after its revenues broke the CHF 400 million mark for the first time in 2015. With numerous new motors continually launched, strong growth continues in the US and Asia markets.
In 2015, the maxon motor group increased its revenues by over 6% to CHF 402.5 million, up from 378.6 million in the previous year. The cash flow was up as well at CHF 39.3 million, from CHF 36.9 million in 2014. The number of employees increased by about 3% to 2,238 (previous year: 2,173). Medical technology remained the strongest market segment, followed by industrial automation and robotics, as well as aerospace.
maxon recorded significant growth in North America and Asia, while revenues slightly decreased in Europe. Due to the strong Swiss franc, revenues in the company’s home market went down 6%. In the past year, maxon introduced a multitude of new motors, controllers, encoders, and gearheads, focusing increasingly on complex system solutions. maxon products are used in surgery, in humanoid robots, or in the new Mars project of the European Space Agency. With another batch of new products in the pipeline and attractive upcoming projects, maxon is looking ahead with confidence.
Efficient Emergency Measures
With the strong Swiss franc, the start into 2015 was anything but easy. "From one day to the next, our entire production and investment planning, all our budgets were just so much waste paper", said Karl-Walter Braun, majority stockholder of the maxon motor group, at a media conference. However, maxon took immediate action with a bundle of emergency measures that included a faster relocation of production facilities to Hungary and South Korea. Due to the good order situation, maxon was able to increase the number of delivered motors by about 6%.
At 43%, the largest share of revenues was achieved in medical technology, followed by industrial automation and robotics (26%) and test and measurement technology (8%). The newly created aerospace division made great progress: "Our highly specialized team solves complex challenges for demanding customers who value extreme reliability in their drives", says Karl-Walter Braun.
Strong Presence in all Global Markets
Revenues in Europe, which remains maxon’s primary market, fell slightly to CHF 217.6 due to the weak euro and currency discounts. Revenues in Asia saw a more positive development, with sales rising by around 20% to a new record high of CHF 71.2 million. Even in Japan, traditionally a difficult market, revenues are up by more than 5%. maxon revenues in the Americas rose to CHF 112 million.
"Our global positioning helps us to compensate risks in individual countries and markets", said Karl-Walter Braun. "Our CTO system (configure-to-order and e-shop) provides sales teams and customers with a tool that enables them to configure and order the optimal drive solution for their needs from anywhere in the world."
maxon motor increasingly relies on intelligent networking of its production systems (Industry 4.0) in Switzerland, Germany, Hungary, France, the Netherlands and Korea to secure a vital edge over the competition. According to maxon motor group CEO Eugen Elmiger, the technical service, consulting, and training of customers provided by sales companies all over the world are becoming more and more important. "This helps us to position ourselves as an innovative market and technology leader with attractive prices."
Innovation in all Areas
In the past two years, maxon collaborated in numerous interdisciplinary customer projects for complex system solutions that, in addition to drives, also required software development close to the application. The Obwalden-based company is increasingly becoming a mechatronics and robotics specialist. " Under this aspect, the ExoMars project by the European Space Agency, which is planning a Mars landing in 2020, is extremely interesting", said Eugen Elmiger. "This is a very big development challenge."
maxon introduced numerous new products, such as the online configurable X-series drives, which includes the ECX-Speed motors that are able to reach up to 120,000 rpm. Other new products include powerful High Torque motors, a drive with a diameter of only four millimeters, as well as smart controllers. With numerous new products and interesting projects, maxon is confident about its prospects for the ongoing financial year.
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