A decisive phase for the corporate group
Last Friday Erhardt+Leimer GmbH held its traditional annual conference in the Bürgersaal Stadtbergen, where Dr. Michael Proeller, CEO of the international group of companies, informed the employees about the current situation in the company, drawing an overall optimistic picture. E+L is the world's leading manufacturer of automation and inspection technology for such different industries as the textile, printing and film industries, paper and tire manufacturing, corrugated board and battery production.
According to Proeller, stability is provided by the fact that the company rests on the three pillars of industry, trade and services, which are formed by the Augsburg-based subsidiaries Erhardt+Leimer Elektroanlagen and Erhardt+Leimer Automatisierungstechnik in addition to the headquarters in Leitershofen.
According to the managing director, the group of companies is in a decisive phase in which much will depend on a change of technology, such as that which last took place at E+L in 1995, when the transition from analog to digital products was completed. Today, the focus is on the consistent, intelligent networking of sensors, controllers and actuators of the E+L automation systems, the "intelligence" of the individual devices and the higher-level use of the data supplied by them in the sense of "Industry 4.0" or the "Industrial Internet of Things" (IIoT), i.e. essentially virtual products and software that are necessary to be able to compete internationally. Investments were indispensable in this context, said Proeller, who emphasized that the R&D rate at E+L was over 10% year after year. The broad positioning of the business structure with customers in many different industrial sectors was also to be seen positively. All in all, Proeller does not see increasing digitalization as a threat, but rather as an opportunity for his company, which also wants to make itself less dependent on the protectionism of other countries, reduce freight costs and shorten delivery times through an increasingly globally oriented supply chain in emerging markets and new logistics concepts.
In 2019, a slight increase in sales to EUR 180 million was recorded throughout the group. With the EUR 300 million mark for group sales in 2025, Proeller set another ambitious growth target. In order to achieve this target, 9 to 10 % annual growth is necessary, i.e. the same rate at which some of the company's target markets, such as the battery and packaging industry, are growing. "We view the current development of the global economy with interest, but see ourselves well prepared for the future," the E+L Managing Director said optimistically.
As guest speaker at the conference, Proeller welcomed Reinhold Braun, head of Sortimo from Zusmarshausen and regional chairman of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, who described in his speech under the keyword "Rethink Mobility" the way of his company towards digitalization. He also pointed out some parallels to Erhardt+Leimer, for example the efforts to standardize their products, the diversification of the business field and the fast adaptation to a changing environment.
The program was rounded off by Uwe Albrecht, head of the Augsburg-Pfersee based E+L subsidiary Erhardt+Leimer Automatisierungstechnik, who informed the employees of the Leitershofen headquarters about the range of services offered by his company and provided insight into interesting sample projects. Erhardt+Leimer Automatisierungstechnik has 32 employees and generated a turnover of 4.3 million EUR in 2019 with switch cabinet construction, electrical and mechanical design and services ranging from consulting and project planning to software development, commissioning and service. According to Albrecht, customers come from a wide range of industries and benefit from the fact that E+L Automatisierungstechnik can supply "everything from a single source".