I would also like to welcome you and thank you very much for coming and for your great interest in the GROB Group.
I would like to begin by talking about our corporate strategy, which enables us to react very flexibly and quickly to changes in global markets. Our corporate strategy is reviewed and readjusted every year in close cooperation with the GROB family and management, so that we can continue to ensure the agility and high performance of our company.
I. Strategic cornerstones of the GROB Group
Our longer-term targets are geared to a time horizon of around three years and are characterized by a high degree of continuity.
1. The expansion of our existing e-drive and battery activities remains of great importance to us and is one of our most important cornerstones. The focus here is on maintaining our market-leading position in production plants for electric motor production. It also includes expanding GROB's market position in battery module and battery pack assembly systems for the automotive and supplier industry.
2. Opening up battery cell markets and new sales regions for e-mobility. Another key cornerstone for us is entering the market with battery cell production equipment with a focus on the European market. The aim is to create a counterweight to the Asian battery cell production equipment suppliers.
3. Consolidation of machining and after-sales activities: We are constantly working to expand our machining and after-sales activities. We have been very successful in this in recent years; with our expansion of activities in the area of machining technology, the increase in universal machine sales with 4- and 5-axis machines with automation solutions, GROB is consolidating the traditional machining business and the after-sales business. This also includes the continuous expansion of the digital business model GROB-NET4
Optimization of operational and financial performance: In order to be able to sustainably implement the three strategic cornerstones of the GROB Group, the necessary framework conditions must of course also be created. These include first and foremost:
- the further expansion of in-house development and software departments
- the continuous qualification of employees in the area of our various technologies and transformation throughout the GROB Group.
- the consistent and comprehensive digitalization and networking of all operational workflows and processes.
II. Development and expansion of the GROB product portfolio
1. Products for the electric powertrain:
I would like to start with our electromobility portfolio, which we have increasingly expanded in recent years. As things stand, our product portfolio covers the entire field of the electric powertrain:
- stator assembly in all variants including impregnation
- Rotor assembly with permanent magnet technology and wound rotor technology and
- the complete assembly of the e-motor and the entire e-axis.
We are continuously working on further developments, process optimizations and prototypes of new electric drives. In the GROB application center for electric drives, with a total area of over 4,000 m², we are ideally equipped for this and can present the latest technologies to our customers at close range. So we can proudly say that we are not only a plant supplier, but also a development partner for design, engineering and prototype production.
2. Portfolio in the field of battery technologies
In the field of battery technologies, the market continues to focus on producing batteries with even greater range and better fast-charging technology. We offer three different technologies for the production of these batteries.
2.1 Battery pack systems:
Our large-scale plants enable the assembly of prefabricated battery modules in special battery trays. This process is highly automated and flexible to meet the requirements of different vehicle types.
2.2 Battery module systems:
In these systems, individual cells are precisely connected to form modules, which can then be combined to form battery packs depending on the vehicle type. This requires a fast sequence and precise laser processing for filigree frame constructions. Our systems support cylindrical and prismatic cells as well as pouch cells.
2.3 Large-scale plants for the production of battery cells:
In response to the growing demand for battery cells, we have developed highly automated equipment that can cut, stack and assemble battery cells from electrode material. With impressive cycle times of only 0.2 seconds, our machines offer several advantages over Asian brands: lower scrap rate, higher availability, easier maintenance, EU compliance, lower energy consumption and 24/7 customer service.
In addition, through our cooperation with Dürr and Manz, we can offer the entire manufacturing process from electrode material coating to battery module and battery pack technology.
Our many years of experience and our battery application center in Mindelheim with a total area of 2,500 m2, where we are constantly working on research and further developments, form the basis for our successful machines and systems. The focus is not only on technology, but also on in-depth know-how in the manufacturing process of battery systems.
3. Machining technology and universal machines
We are also continuously developing our technologies in the area of machining. In the universal business, the focus is currently increasingly on our automation solutions. Demand for flexible and individually adaptable automation has risen sharply in recent years. We have therefore successively expanded our portfolio and adapted it to market requirements. We cover the entire range of dynamic automation solutions, from round pallet storage systems, linear and tower storage systems to flexible robot cells. With our new Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV), which we are presenting for the first time at a trade show, we are now also offering our customers an option for intelligent material movement without having to rely on human control. We have therefore taken the EMO as an opportunity to present our wide range of products in this field to a broad audience up close and in action.
In the field of machining technology, we will be launching even larger machines this year in the form of our new 9-series, which are tailored to the current needs of the automotive industry. You will hear more about this later from Mr. Müller.
III. Worldwide outlook
Due to our innovative and timely product developments for the drive technologies of the automotive industry, we continue to see a very positive and sustainable development of the GROB Group.
Our goal was and will always be to ensure the continued positive development of our company through innovative products at the right time. We have succeeded very well in this in a very short transformation period with committed and highly motivated employees. The company figures and the development of the past years speak for themselves.
In the last 18 months, for example, we have been able to achieve an enormous increase in our performance and in our sales. You will learn more about our key company figures from Mr. Weber in the following.
In addition, we are experiencing great market acceptance with our products in the areas of machining and electromobility. Mr. Müller will give you more information about the current situation on the global markets.
But not only have our business figures increased, the number of our employees has also grown in recent months, and we now employ 5,500 people in Mindelheim. At the beginning of September, we also welcomed 95 new trainees to our main plant. By the end of the year, we expect a further increase in the number of employees in Mindelheim and will probably be close to the 6,000 mark. By the end of 2023, we will have a total of around 9,200 employees worldwide.
Due to the positive developments in our order intake and performance, we are also increasingly expanding our global presence. For example, this year we expanded our plant in China, in the city of Dalian, with a second facility covering an area of 55,000 m2. January 2024, we are also celebrating the opening of our assembly plant in India, near Bangalore, with which we intend to drive forward the development of the Indian market.
Due to the strong increase in American e-mobility activities, another assembly hall is already being planned at our plant in Bluffton, Ohio. Which will expand our current plant by around 10,000 m2.
We will also increase our assembly area at our main plant in Mindelheim by another 10,000 m2 in October 2023 with the completion of Hall 14B. In mid-2024, we will also expand our production area in Mindelheim by 25,000 m2 with the construction of Hall 15. In addition, we will invest in a new energy center in Mindelheim in 2024 and complete the expansion with the construction of a parking garage for our employees.
IV. Management programs
Our entry into e-mobility a few years ago and the resulting successes in the field of new technologies for electromobility have formed the basis for the enormous increase in performance and the continuous growth in new employees. To secure this growth in the future, we have launched several programs to improve processes and structures.
The focus here is on the following topics:
- We have and will continue to optimize our work processes through digitization, from order processing to the product development process.
- New methods have been introduced that cover the entire range from design and production to costing and materials management.
- Our materials management and supply chain management encompasses all internal supply chain operations as well as the complete development of our suppliers.
- Our team of around 1,000 new employees last year received a comprehensive induction program.
- Management was systematically restructured into business units for various product groups.
Thank you for your attention.