igus® keeps moving7/23/2013
Following a record year, igus is again investing heavily in new product divisions, research and logistics in 2013
igus® Inc. 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 percent 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 program, 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 supplied products 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 centers. The ReadyChain® division – pre-harnessed Energy Chains and igus continuous-flex Chainflex® cables – grew at an astonishing high rate: around 341,000 pre-harnessed cable systems left world-wide production facilities last year. igus is expecting additional growth from new product groups including semi-finished goods, ball bearings, spindle drives, electric actuators, and on-site assembly programs. Each product is now developed and marketed in separate business divisions with additional staff, space and production facilities. The number of employees increased last year to a total of 2,175, a seven percent increase. For customers, things remain simple. As before, they can contact sales engineers for Energy Chain Systems and for dry-running bearing technology. In addition, there is an expanded team of industry specialists providing support to 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
igus has introduced new product innovations under the motto “motion plastics”. One of the products is a new generation of micro-chains for tiny and light-weight energy supply applications. It is not only 30 percent quieter, more importantly it is 100 percent 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 facilities in South Korea and Brazil.
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,” emphasizes 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.”