German ventilation, control and drive technology company Ziehl-Abegg has posted record sales and growth in employee numbers.
According to published figures for 2022, the company recorded an increase in sales of around 22 per cent compared to the previous year from AUD$1,190 million to AUD$1,450 million. It also increased its number of employees globally from 4,700 to 5,100, and in Germany from 2,600 to 2,800.
While the closure of a site in Russia and lack of stability in the supply chain made production planning difficult, the company was able to continue on its successful path, says Ziehl-Abegg CEO Dr Marc Wucherer.
“We are well on track,” he says. “The growth in sales is attributable on the one hand to the unavoidable need for an increase in selling prices as a result of the sharp rises in purchase prices, and on the other, sales have been driven by the rising demand for efficient and durable electric motors and fans.”
Investments in new production sites will make the company fit for the future, says Wucherer, explaining the positive effect that a global production network has had on the products’ carbon footprint.
“In autumn 2022, [we began work] on the construction of a new 50-million-euro plant in Lodz (Poland), and at the start of 2023 [we laid] the foundation stone for a new plant in the USA [where we will be investing] around 100 million euros.
“[By producing] closer to the customer, we can deliver faster and do away with the need for transportation over long distances,” he says.
According to Wucherer, trends such as digitalisation, expansion of wind power, food production as well as building ventilation, heating and air conditioning technology will further fuel demand for Ziehl-Abegg products in the coming years.
The continuing interest in heat pumps will also drive more demand for quiet and efficient fans, with experts predicting double-digit growth rates for the industry worldwide, he says.
Accordingly, Ziehl-Abegg is focusing on automation in all its existing plants and an expansion of its international production capacities.
The company says it is aware of the challenge posed the shortage of skilled workers and is investing in young talent in order to sustain its success in the market over the long term.
“The quality and quantity of opportunities for young people to start their careers with dual training or a dual course of study will be further expanded in 2023,” Wucherer says.