Press releases - Article
Financial year 2013: IMA Group ends the year with full order books and pioneering new technical developments
Lübbecke, 1 March 2014 – The IMA Group has closed financial year 2013 with full order books. The order backlog stood at EUR 77 million at the end of 2013 (2012: EUR 57 million) – a rise of 35% compared to the previous year. Rüdiger Schliekmann, managing partner of IMA Klessmann GmbH, gives several reasons for the 13 percent fall in turnover in the same period from EUR 141 million in the previous year to EUR 123 million: “In our business, the orders we receive today only make their presence felt in the books in six or nine months’ time. Therefore the effects of the modest order situation in 2012 were only felt in the past financial year. Moreover, we concentrated wholly on the improvement of the zero-joint laser technology from which we are expecting to attain a significantly stronger position in plant construction and in project solutions. In addition to this, delays in some orders caused a postponement of the sales revenue until financial year 2014, when we are anticipating a significant increase in sales in comparison to the past year. “These prospects and the large order book as well as the associated utilisation of production capacity until way into 2014 allow the Lübbecke manufacturer of production facilities for the woodworking industry and craft to look to the future with optimism.
“One trend in the past financial year was the concentration of batch size 1 machines. This means that highly automated and efficient production facilities with very stock-holding, which guarantee the highest process reliability, are decisive for the success of the manufacturer alongside just-in-time delivery with maximum flexibility with regard to colours and dimensions. We are sure that this development will continue,” says Rüdiger Schliekmann, whose company supplies precisely this kind of production facility. “Therefore we are assuming a positive economic growth in our most important markets of Germany and Europe and are also seeing a trend in Asia as well as North and South America towards expansion and modernisation of production centres. Apart from this, our incoming orders show that skilled crafts are also in a mood to invest.“
Excellent order book - exceeding the index for this sector
At a plus of 16.5% compared to the previous year, order receipts were slightly above the industry average, which was 15% according to the VDMA, the German Engineering Association (woodworking machinery sector) in the same period.
Especially in the second half of the financial year the rising number of incoming orders reflects the positive mood in the woodworking industry and skilled crafts. Skilled crafts in particular are profiting from the increased willingness of Germans to spend more on durable goods. It was possible to generate large new orders from Poland, Switzerland and the USA. IMA was also able to record a significant rise in orders from the door production sector as well. A new production system was ordered by Grauthoff Türengruppen GmbH among others.
“Our most important customer markets are Germany and Europe, especially Poland, Italy and France. This is backed up by the orders received from these countries. The positive signs from North America, a previously rather more difficult market, and Southeast Asia were particularly pleasing,” according to Schliekmann.
Project business plays a decisive role
The areas of individualisation and make-to-order production played a large role in the furniture industry in 2013 and in the IMA Group as a machine builder. At the same time factors such as the process reliable and reproducible quality of components and production logistics are of central importance to the woodworking industry and skilled crafts. They would therefore prefer to rely on a strategic technology partner who is in a position to reproduce specific requirements for complex production processes par for par with the latest production technology. It is precisely this project business that is the strength of the IMA Group, which generates about 70% of its turnover through the development of complex systems and equipping whole factories. "We guarantee to our customers that every component produced on an IMA system has finished quality and is therefore ready for final assembly,” explains Rüdiger Schliekmann. This quality pledge also convinced fm® Büromöbel Franz Meyer GmbH & Co.KG, which the IMA Gruppe was able to acquire as a new customer. “The associated order volume is in the mid single-digit million range,” according to Schliekmann.
Finger on the pulse
The IMA Group was able to prove its innovative strength once again at LIGNA 2013. Along with its partner companies, Schelling and Priess & Horstmann, on the IMA network stand, IMA Klessmann GmbH presented the holistic production system Performance Edge for genuine batch size 1 applications. The continuous process chain comprises the new Performance.CUT for effective cutting with minimum space requirements, a Performance.one type edge processing line as well as a sorting facility with robotic loading, a single sheet feedback and stacker. Afterwards, the finished workpieces are conveyed directly to the Priess & Horstmann drilling and assembly line. Together with the gantry design processing centres type BIMA Gx30 and BIMA Gx50E with laser edging, IMA presented three pioneering new products of its own at the same time. A new process for producing high gloss edges in stationary technology was also presented. This pioneering technology is a joint project of the innovation partnership with Hunger, Leitz, Rehau und Riepe. In addition, IMA was also represented on the IMA network exhibition stand where exclusively industry-specific skilled craft solutions were demonstrated. IMA started its IMA skilled crafts campaign with this stand. This will be continued in 2014 under the slogan “Machines for craftsmen. Not cheap, but worth it.” along with the launch of direct sales for craftsman businesses.
Feedback from the visitors in this sector was consistently positive. Rüdiger Schliekmann was accordingly satisfied with how the exhibition went: “We showed that we have our finger fully on the pulse of our customers with the developments we exhibited. There were also pleasing signals received from the skilled crafts sector and our project lists are well filled, spurred on by the trade fair.”
IMAversity promotes employee loyalty and satisfaction
Higher order receipts in 2013 are also reflected in recruitment. Therefore the number of employees in the IMA Group rose by 31 across the world to a total of 846 employees. The number of trainees was at the same level as in the previous year at 66 (including 65 apprentices). Among them, a grand total of six IMA apprentices received the WAGO Foundation prize for the best final examination results in 2013. “Qualified young people, trained in our own company, and well-educated and contented employees are a guarantee of our corporate success and international competitiveness,” according to Rüdiger Schliekmann. There was therefore an impetus to bring the personal development programme IMAversity into being. The objective is to entrench the diverse visions in personnel management and the development of projects and measures in the fields of personal development, support for young staff and recruitment as well as in company health and disability integration management.
Significantly positive development
“The large order book, with which we have started 2014, allows us to look very optimistically to the future. Our production capacities are fully utilised until long into the year and the signals from the German market and export markets confirm our appraisal of the situation,” says Rüdiger Schliekmann, who believes economic development will be significantly positive for 2014. The trade fairs and exhibitions scheduled for the first half of 2014, “Holz-Handwerk” in Nuremberg, “Interzum” in Guangzhou and “Xylexpo” in Milan, at which IMA will again be represented on a joint stand with Schelling and Priess & Horstmann, should also give the business a boost.
IMA is a designer, producer and global distributor of machines and systems for processing wood-based materials, in particular edge banding machines and transport and handling systems. For 60 years, the company has been a technology leader in the design, development/engineering and implementation of complex high-end production lines and systems in the industry, offering solutions for stationary, drilling and throughfeed technology. IMA counts major manufacturers of kitchen, office and self-assembly furniture among its longstanding customers, along with door and component manufacturers. Employing 846 people worldwide, IMA is represented in more than 60 countries. As well as its headquarters in Lübbecke, the IMA Group has service and sales operations in Western Europe, the USA, Canada, Singapore and China. The IMA Group has been part of the ADCURAM Group AG since November 2005.