January 2024 | Despite the challenges posed by a global recession in 2023, Kurtz Ersa Group has demonstrated resilience with a robust financial performance, achieving sales of approximately 340 million euros. While initial expectations foresaw significant growth at the beginning of the year, external headwinds, starting in Q2 and initially impacting the main Asian market, later reverberated throughout the global economy. Nevertheless, the company’s results remained impressive, leading to a substantial increase in the equity ratio.
The group’s strategic internationalization efforts progressed as planned, evidenced by the opening of the new Kurtz Ersa India Office in Bangalore, the establishment of a demo center in Thailand, and the commencement of new production operations in Mexico, scheduled to begin in spring 2024. Positive developments also include the expansion of the logistics center in Wiebelbach.
The Electronics Production Equipment business segment played a pivotal role in driving sales, showcasing innovations at the Productronica trade fair in Munich. Focused on smart trends such as smart homes, smart factories, green energy generation, and urban mobility, the company’s commitment to automated production lines within the “Automation” business unit has yielded substantial success.
The Molding Machines division with foam and foundry machines was able to stabilize and complete a number of successful projects at home and abroad. The new Additive Manufacturing business area, which has a start-up character, took a big step towards market readiness with the proof of concept with the world’s only multi-arm laser technology – large business is expected here in the future.
Qualified employees needed
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, especially in the area of R&D. It will be crucial to retain highly qualified specialists in the areas of PLC, software, development and digitalization for the company over the long term. There are over 50 vacancies advertised in these areas at the Wertheim and Kreuzwertheim locations.
There are currently around 1,650 employees under contract with Kurtz Ersa, including 100 trainees and dual students. In 2023, almost 150 positions were filled.
“After the supply chain has recovered, we need many bright minds for further expansion – primarily in the areas of development and digitalization. We are an attractive employer, whether for young career starters, experts or managers. We look back on a 244-year-old tradition, which we are extending into the future with our unique Kurtz Ersa Spirit,” said the current CEO, Thomas Mühleck. “The mood in our team is excellent, as the pulse check carried out in November shows. We have a special relationship that is characterized by openness and trust.”
Progress in sustainability
The company’s dedication to sustainability through the “GoGreen250” initiative, with which Kurtz Ersa aims to be CO2-neutral by its 250th anniversary, is yielding positive results. This refers to emissions from Scope 1 and 2. In 2023, emissions (Scope 1 and 2) at the German locations were reduced by almost 50% compared to the previous year. In the future, Scope 3 will be the focus of the upstream and downstream supply chain and the customer’s CO2 emissions of the products. The group has received a bronze ESG rating, positioning it in the top 24% of EcoVadis-assessed companies in the industry, and the top 11% in the environmental sector among mechanical engineering companies.
“In view of the difficult circumstances, we are very proud of the result achieved – the entire workforce deserves a heartfelt thank you on behalf of the Kurtz Ersa management!” said Thomas Mühleck. “We were particularly pleased with the numerous awards for the many innovations that we received from neutral sources – 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 mechanical engineering thanks to our innovations, system solutions and clear focus on the requirements of our global customers!”