The Group was also able to press ahead with its planned internationalization – in autumn with the opening of the new Kurtz Ersa India Office in Bangalore, a new demo center in Thailand and the start of a new production in Mexico, which will go into operation in spring 2024. The expansion of our logistics center in Wiebelbach also deserves a positive mention here.
The Electronics Production Equipment business division once again contributed the lion´s share of sales – and celebrated a brilliant trade fair appearance at Productronica in Munich. This was fueled by numerous innovations that are geared towards the smart drivers of future technology trends – such as smart homes, smart factories, intelligent power distribution systems, green energy generation and mobility in urban areas. In addition, it´s clear that the strategy adopted years ago of focusing heavily on automated production lines is already bearing great fruit. It is therefore not surprising that the Automation business unit, with its two locations in Wertheim and at our subsidiary SCHILLER AUTOMATION in Sonnenbühl, has now picked up speed and landed several major projects. The Moulding Machines business unit, with its foam and foundry machines, has stabilized and completed a number of successful projects in Germany and abroad. The new Additive Manufacturing business area, which has the character of a start-up, took a major step towards market maturity with the proof-of-concept of the world´s only multi-arm laser technology – major business is expected here in the future.
Kurtz Ersa is optimistic about 2024 – there has already been an upturn in incoming orders and the Group is continuing to invest in the future, particularly in the area of R&D. It will be crucial to attract and retain highly qualified specialists in the fields of PLC, software, development and digitization. There are over 50 vacancies in these areas at the Wertheim and Kreuzwertheim sites.
Kurtz Ersa currently has around 1,650 employees under contract, including 100 apprentices and dual students. Almost 150 positions were filled in 2023. “Now that the supply chain has recovered, we need many bright minds for further expansion – primarily in the areas of development and digitization. We are an attractive employer, whether for young career starters, experts or managers. We can now look back on 244 years of tradition, which we are extending into the future with our unique Kurtz Ersa spirit,” said the current Chairman of the Management Board, Thomas Mühleck. “The atmosphere in our team is excellent, as the pulse check carried out in November proves. We have a special working relationship that is characterized by openness and trust.”
It is also pleasing to see the constant further development of the measures for the “GoGreen250” sustainability initiative, with which Kurtz Ersa aims to be CO2-neutral by the time it celebrates its 250th anniversary. This relates to emissions from Scope 1 and 2. In 2023, emissions (Scope 1 and 2) at the German sites were reduced by almost 50% compared to the previous year. In future, the focus will be on Scope 3 with the upstream and downstream supply chain and the CO2 emissions of our products at the customer. For our activities, the Group once again received the ESG rating in bronze, which measures the voluntary contribution of companies to sustainable development that goes beyond legal requirements – Kurtz Ersa made pleasing gains here and is now among the top 24% of companies in the industry assessed by EcoVadis in the overall ranking. In the area of the environment, Kurtz Ersa is even among the best 11% as a mechanical engineering company.
“In view of the difficult circumstances, we are very proud of the result we have achieved – on behalf of the Kurtz Ersa management, a big thank you goes to the entire workforce,” said Thomas Mühleck. “We were also particularly pleased to receive numerous awards for our many innovations from neutral parties – such as the iF Design Award for our IoT soldering station i-CON TRACE and the Foam Expo China Award for our radio frequency technology – or the successful installations of the VERSAFLOW 3/45 in India (2,000th selective soldering machine) and the HR 600/2 rework system in France (1,000th system). We are well prepared for 2024 and see good opportunities to grow against the trend in machine building thanks to our innovations, system solutions and clear focus on the requirements of our global customers!”