News for the plastics and rubber industry. Macplas
Marketing Wednesday, 22 June 2022

Engel towards K 2022: innovation and investments to face future challenges

Engel comes into business year 2022-2023 in good spirits, optimistic yet mindful of the prevailing conditions. Energy efficiency, digitalisation and the establishment of a circular economy are shaping the development priorities. The high level of innovative capacity is a key part of what makes the Engel Group so resilient.


As showed at the pre-K 2022 press conference held at its headquarter in Schwertberg (Austria), Engel business year 2021-2022 proved to be a highly successful one as the company closed the year 36% up on the previous year. With some 7,000 employees around the world, the Engel Group achieved turnover of 1.5 billion euros - almost matching the level for 2018-2019, the best business year in the company’s history.


“The order backlog is excellent, and we will be busy until late autumn,” reported Stefan Engleder (picture below), CEO of the Engel Group. “The fact that we came through the automotive crisis and the pandemic so well shows just how robust our business is. Even through the tough times, we have been a stable and reliable partner to our clients.”


Engleder cited the high flexibility of a global production network, continual investment in company sites around the world and a high degree of innovation as reasons for the company’s exceptional resilience. Throughout the recent difficulties, Engel adhered to its development goals as well as the company’s investment plans. The opening of the new technology centre for customers at the large machine plant in St. Valentin during the spring of 2022 marked the completion of the largest investment programme in the history of Engel; over recent years, more than 375 million euros has been ploughed into the expansion and modernisation of production plants around the world.


Since 2018, however, the general conditions have changed fundamentally. “Crises are going to remain part of everyday life. We are developing and gearing up to face a succession of fresh challenges,” admitted Engleder. The main challenges at present include political developments in Europe, the disruption of supply chains and the exponential rises in energy and material prices. Markets are overheating and the cost differential continues to widen, with rising inflation exacerbating the effect. Accordingly, some kind of impact on prices is inevitable.


Engel is doing everything possible to minimise the impact of the supply chain crisis for customers. “We are staying in close contact with our suppliers, and also investing strategically to uphold continuous production and meet our own supply obligations,” said Engleder.


The sparing use of energy and resources is central to Engel’s continual process of optimisation, and a core feature of Engel products. Customers are benefiting from the wealth of experience that Engel has built up in this area over recent years. Engel was quick to start designing its injection moulding machines for minimal energy consumption in the areas of hydraulic, hybrid and all-electric drive technology.


“While our injection moulding machines are already making a major contribution, still more can be achieved with temperature control technology properly coordinated for the machines,” stressed Engleder. With integrated system solutions that can combine injection moulding machines with temperature control solutions and digital products from a single source, Engel is helping customers achieve climate-neutral production while enhancing their competitiveness, even in these difficult times.


The successes of business year 2021/22 and persistently strong demand should not obscure the fact of an uncertain outlook, as Stefan Engleder pointed out: “The current situation is presenting us and the plastics industry as a whole with major challenges. Making accurate forecasts as to how business will develop is simply not possible.” Elements of uncertainty include the war in Ukraine and its effects on already strained supply chains as well as energy and raw material prices.


Looking ahead, Engel will continue to prioritise strategic investments and strong research and development in order to remain a stable and reliable partner to customers over the long term. Engel has been family-owned and retained its independence from outside investors since the company was founded in 1945. “In these tough times especially, customers can depend on the robustness of the Engel Group,” concluded Stefan Engleder.