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Igus Believes Research and Development Is Key to Driving the Future

Following a record year, igus is again investing heavily in new product divisions, research and logistics in 2013.

 
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Bangalore, Karnataka -- (SBWIRE) -- 04/19/2013 -- igus GmbH, the world's leading manufacturer of energy chains and polymer plain bearings, is continuing its growth trend. Despite difficult market conditions in 2012, igus managed to increase turnover by five per cent and finished the year on a record high. igus is counting on "organic growth" this year, too. Within the context of a long-term investment programme, significant capital will be directed at new product divisions, the expansion of existing product lines as well as global logistics and production.

In 2012, igus increased turnover to around 399 million euros. The company supplies to more than 175,000 customers all over the world and was able to ship more than 4,200 shipments in average per day from its 13 global dispatch centres. The "readychain" division - ready harnessed energy chains and cables - grew at a disproportionately high rate: around 341,000 ready harnessed cables left the factory in Cologne last year. igus is expecting additional growth from the new product fields semi-finished goods, ball bearings, spindle drives, electric actuators, on-site assembly and major project business with energy chains. For this reason, a two years lasting and biggest reorganisation in company history, now has been successfully completed. Each product is now developed and marketed in a separate business division with additional staff, space and production facilities. In this context, the number of employees increased last year to a total of 2,175, which corresponds to growth of no less than seven per cent. For customers, things remain simple. As before, they contact up to two sales engineers, one for energy chains systems, the other for the large area bearings technology. In addition, there is a greatly extended team of industry specialists in the background to provide support to the sales engineers in the fields of machine tools, packaging machines, construction machinery, cranes, the agricultural sector, material handling, medical technology, energy sector, automotive production and robotics.

Research and development as a driver for the future>

At this year's Hanover Fair, igus is presenting its complete range of products on individual stations
the first time, under the motto "motion plastics". The 134 new and additional products that igus is showcasing at the Hanover Fair are shared almost equally between familiar and new product ranges. "One of the products that we show is a completely new generation of micro-chains for tiny and lightweight energy supply applications. It is not only 30 per cent quieter, more importantly it is 100 per cent more stable for larger unsupported travel lengths."

igus product innovations like these micro-chains originate in test laboratories which are among the largest in the world within this industry. Two billion test cycles are carried out every year in the field of cables alone. "The energy chain system from igus has developed into the most popular type of energy supply system in the world. This underlines the universality and simplicity of the system," says Frank Blase, Managing Director at igus GmbH. Ongoing development is important in the field of plain bearings, too. 14,000 tests in the tribo-polymer development laboratory returned convincing results in 2012: Last year alone, 200 million plain bearings from igus were fitted in passenger cars.

Expansion of production and logistics

igus is also making major investments into production and logistics all over the world. This year, the company has already moved into new premises in South Korea and Brazil, with 2,200 Square Meters and 2,250 Square Meters space respectively. In addition, 14,700 Square Meters of factory space is currently under construction in the USA, with the opening scheduled for the summer. There are signs of growth at the headquarters in Cologne, too. Here, a neighbouring plot of 50,300 Square Meters in size has been purchased. And in May, the 8,500 Square Meters extension to the factory building will be finished.

The aim of all investments is and remains to provide customers with the best product for their individual requirements as quickly as possible. "We make three demands on every igus product: Firstly, it has to bring customers commercial and technical benefits, secondly it has to be able to be calculated and configured online, and finally it must be able to be delivered quickly," emphasises Frank Blase. "Tribo-polymers as our core technology, combined with innovative design and electronics and delivered in no time as standard or special solutions - these are the strengths which make for a good future at igus."