Trumpf sales revenue falls 8 per cent, new smart factory opened
Laser manufacturer Trumpf’s sales revenue fell 8 per cent from €3.8 billion to €3.5 billion in the fiscal year 2019/20 ending 30 June. Order intake was also down 11 per cent from €3.7 billion to €3.3 billion.
The group’s three largest single markets worldwide were Germany with sales revenues of €610 million, the US with €490 million and the Netherlands with €480 million – due to the EUV business with ASML. In fourth place was China with €350 million.
In many European core markets such as Italy and Spain, but also in Eastern Europe, sales revenues fell – in some cases by double digits – as a result of the weak global economy and the Covid-19 shutdown.
‘We have been experiencing a slowdown in the global economy since fall 2018,’ said Nicola Leibinger-Kammüller, chair of the Group Management Board of Trumpf. ‘Coronavirus has further intensified the decline – as a crisis within a crisis. However, our sales revenues fell much less than in the mechanical engineering sector as a whole.’
Trumpf responded to the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic in spring 2020 through further cost-cutting measures, such as the usage of excess balances on working time accounts and accumulated vacation days, and from April onwards, the introduction of short-time working and an additional cutback in non-personnel costs and expenditure on fixed assets.
EUV and Electronics show continued strength
Once again the Group’s EUV business field contributed a significant portion of the year's sales revenue. Trumpf supplies Dutch firm ASML with special lasers for systems that use extreme ultraviolet radiation to expose surfaces of chips for the computer industry. Here, the Group’s sales revenues increased by 19 per cent to €460 million from €388 million in the previous year. As a result, EUV contributed almost as much to Group sales as Trumpf’s entire US subsidiary.
The Group’s Electronics segment also exceeded expectations with sales revenues of €230 million. This represents an increase of 15 per cent over the €199 million of the previous year. The main reasons for this were the increasing demand for the solar indusry in China and the semiconductor industry in the US and Japan.
Commenting on the outlook for fiscal 2020/21, which started on 1 July, Leibinger-Kammüller said: ‘The decline in sales revenues and new orders was halted in the first three months. We see cautious signs that the economic downturn is coming to an end, although there is still no upturn.’
New smart factory opened
Trumpf has recently opened a new €6 million smart factory at its headquarters in Ditzingen. The factory has 30 networked machines throughout three production halls covering an area of 5,000 square metres. The new facility is already producing sheet metal parts for Trumpf’s machine tools.
Designed as a fully connected manufacturing environment, the smart factory also serves as a demonstration centre – a place where SMEs and other businesses can see for themselves how efficient sheet metal fabrication works.
‘Connectivity helps reduce scrap rates and processing time as well as boosting efficiency,’ said Heinz-Jürgen Prokop, CEO for Machine Tools at Trumpf. ‘Nowhere else in the world offers our particular mix of problem-solving skills for sheet metal fabrication.’
Connectivity in the new smart factory extends not only to cutting, bending and welding machines, but also to large-scale storage systems and automated guided vehicles. The whole connected manufacturing environment is managed from the control centre. This is where all the key performance indicators from the production process are collected in real time – from initial order to finished product.
Throughout the smart factory, driverless industrial trucks transport parts to the various machines. (Image: Trumpf)
‘The best way to improve the efficiency of a sheet-metal production line is to focus on the steps that occur upstream and downstream from the actual machining of the part,’ said Prokop. ‘Connecting up production processes and machines gives sheet metal fabricators a decisive competitive edge – especially in our age of decreasing batch sizes, faster response times and increasingly complex parts.’
Workers in the new smart factory are supported by assistance systems. With the help of Trumpf’s manufacturing execution system software TruTops Fab, they can monitor the entire manufacturing process from wherever they are using a tablet, smartphone or smart watch.
Along with Chicago in the US and Taicang in China, Ditzingen has become the third Trumpf location to have a fully connected manufacturing facility. As a result, the Group now has a smart factory in each of the world’s major regions.