Sepro outlines strategies for future growth

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Photo by Caroline Seidel The new safe zone for a Sepro Robot at Fakuma 2018. The robot is programmed to stop if a human worker comes too close.

Friedrichshafen, Germany — At Fakuma, Sepro Group Managing Director Jean-Michel Renaudeau outlined a series of key elements intended to support the company's future business strategy.

Renaudeau reported the company has achieved record sales over the the past six consecutive years.

With 2018 sales forecast to reach 130 million euros ($149 million) — approximately double the total five years ago — the company is confident that this upwards trajectory will continue. Based on these figures, Renaudeau announced that the company would target a total sales figure of 200 million euros ($229 million) in 2022.

This figure will be supported by changes and additions across the company. To start, there have been a series of new additions to the global management board. These include Alice Hamann, group director of human resources, and Xavier Lucas, director, global service and automation.

Beyond the board, the French robot maker is continuing to expand its employee base. Since the start of 2018 the company has added 81 staff members across its global network. In total, the company now employs 670 from 26 countries.

Renaudeau outlined how the company is adding new facilities. In early 2018, Sepro opened a newly expanded robot assembly, engineering and automation site in Warrendale, Pa. More recently, the expansion of the La Roche-sur-Yon site was completed, growing the space from 13,000 to nearly 20,000 square meters. This included manufacturing space to support increased output from 3,000 to 5,000 robots.

In addition, a new corporate training centre has recently opened on an all-new site near the company headquarters. The 800-square-meter facility is staffed by eight full-time trainers. The centre can provide training for up to 1,500 people, a 50 percent increase over the former location.

Renaudeau went on to outline how Sepro is continuing to expand its business via deals with industry brands. For example, the robot maker now has on-going partnerships with 12 injection moulding machine brands, including Toshiba, Yizumi and Fanuc. In addition, Sepro recently announced that it will supply 3-, 5- and 6-axis robots for presses sold in Germany, Austria and Switzerland produced by Chinese company Tederic.

As with other partners, the Tederic injection moulding machines and Sepro robots will interface using Sepro's Visual control platform. This allows simplified programming and operation, ranging from Cartesian beam robots through to advanced 6-axis articulated arm units.

Renaudeau said in 2017 the company sold approximately 3,200 robots. Sepro expects to sell approximately the same number in 2018, but with a higher percentage of big robots; the Warrendale facility is on track to produce 40 large robots. He added that he expects recent growth in the service and automation areas of the company to continue.

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