“With global sales totaling 916 million euros, we had another strong financial year in 2018,” says Managing Director Hans Beckhoff. “In line with this solid business growth, the company has built out capacity across all departments in terms of facility space as well as human resources, and now employs 4,300 people worldwide.”
“We expanded our production facilities by a total of 40,000 square meters (430,500 sq ft) in 2018 through new construction as well as the purchase of additional facilities, and are now gradually putting this added space into operation,” explains Hans Beckhoff. “Our newly built electronics manufacturing facility, which provides 11,000 square meters of space, has doubled our primary production capacity.”
Global expansion strategy
Beckhoff is pursuing a clear-cut expansion strategy and invests continuously in extending its global sales network. Beckhoff currently has subsidiaries and representative offices in 38 countries worldwide and maintains a presence in 75 countries around the world through a network of its own sales companies and distributors. However, as the managing owner explains: “Our goal is to grow by 15 percent each year.”
The company has enlarged its sales capabilities in several countries, both by creating new branch offices and by boosting personnel at existing locations. “Our new subsidiary in Taiwan has now started operating; we have established Beckhoff Mexico; and we will incorporate our current Korean distributor to create Beckhoff South Korea during the first half of this year,” Hans Beckhoff adds.
Beckhoff Automation also acquired ADL Embedded Solutions GmbH, headquartered in Siegen, Germany, on April 1, 2019. ADL is a specialist company well-known for producing deep embedded applications using motherboards and specially adapted peripherals. Working closely with its customers, the company creates tailor-made, turnkey embedded solutions. For many years now it has based its projects on Beckhoff industrial motherboards, and with the Beckhoff acquisition of ADL operations in Germany, this successful collaboration can progress to the next stage.
Ongoing success through innovation
In no small part, Beckhoff owes its sustained business success to its rigorous focus on technology, which is evident throughout its product portfolio. The company again unveiled new, more powerful Industrial PCs, distributed I/O hardware with increased functionality, distributed servo drive solutions and new software functionality at the Hannover Messe 2019 industrial technology trade show. This year, Beckhoff lined up landmark product launches, including the ultra-fast EtherCAT G gigabit industrial Ethernet technology and TwinCAT 3 Machine Learning software modules for self-optimizing control systems.
“For many years now, the EtherCAT system, originally invented by Beckhoff, has been a firmly established communication standard worldwide due to its excellent performance and stability. It is now time to go a step further – by introducing EtherCAT G, which operates at standard Ethernet 1 Gbit/s data rates, and EtherCAT G10, which runs even faster at 10 Gbit/s,” Hans Beckhoff says. “EtherCAT G and G10 deliver new levels of performance that will help our customers build the highest-performance machines in the world.”
Another area of technology with immense potential for the manufacturing industry is artificial intelligence, particularly in the context of machine learning – which was underscored by the lead theme at Hannover Messe 2019, “Integrated Industry – Industrial Intelligence.”
“Beckhoff presented application scenarios designed to clearly highlight and exemplify the specific benefits of machine learning,” Hans Beckhoff adds. In addition, the company unveiled TwinCAT Machine Learning software, a real-time-capable machine learning solution that is seamlessly integrated into the control technology. It offers machine builders an optimum foundation for enhancing machine performance through capabilities like predictive maintenance, process self-optimization and autonomous detection of process anomalies.