After a 2 per cent increase in turnover last year, the leading energy chain systems and polymer plain bearings manufacturer igus, is currently experiencing negative market signals of Corona situation from the market. Company’s sales declined in the first four months due to the Corona situation. Incoming orders have so far remained almost stable.
Last year igus was able to increase its turnover by 2 per cent to 764 million Euro despite a difficult economic environment. With the current Corona crisis, the general conditions have intensified further. The Cologne-based company is also feeling the pinch. In the first four months of the year, sales fell by 11 per cent compared to the same period last year. Incoming orders are almost stable and currently only at minus 2 per cent.
Frank Blase, MD, igus GmbH, explained, “We are currently receiving many enquiries and arranging numerous virtual visits. The interest of customers in solutions that improve technology and thereby reduce costs is noticeably increasing. Based on more than 50 years of experience in research and practice, we are able to offer safe solutions made of plastics."
Maintaining the fast and reliable supply of tribo-polymer products in the current situation is an important goal for igus. Blase informed that igus is currently delivering without any restrictions. "On average, small and medium-sized orders are on their way to the customer after 2.5 days,” he added. Internationally, local supply is guaranteed due to 14 production sites. In order to maintain the ability to deliver reliably, over 100 measures were implemented at the main location alone, from five new canteens up to extra allowance for production employees for difficult working conditions. Furthermore, it produces headbands for face shields in injection moulding made from recycled iglidur A200. Thereby a cost-effective mass production is possible. The first 100,000 headbands will be available free of charge, after which they will be distributed at customer cost. A special production of 140,000 full-face shields are also currently underway.
The interest in motion plastics, which improve technology and reduce costs, is increasing markedly. igus has set up a trade show where customers can discover digital innovations for themselves. The real trade show stand is virtually accessible; personal tours, individual and group discussions at the stand can also be arranged with the experts from igus straightaway. With the motto – Tech up, Cost down. It's our job. igus is presenting over 100 plastics innovations.
The company wants to build plants in which plastic waste is converted into oil in an energy-saving manner. The ISO 14001:25 environmental certificate was awarded to igus Germany in mid-April and to igus Korea in May. Energy-saving targets of at least 10 per cent are the next step.
Blasé stated, "The losses in sales and costs needed to overcome the crisis are severe. A general change for the better is currently difficult to predict. However, we have saved a large amount of equity for such exceptional periods. And we're tackling all the costs. We want to minimise the impact on our employees as much as possible. And we must continue to make decisive investments in the future."Blase also points out, "Both sample projects, new construction, and digitisation, have a common focus: the customer should get his motion plastics solutions quickly, easily and reliably. This is an important goal particularly at this time, which we repeatedly emphasise in our daily crisis meetings."
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