Despite facing some real challenges along the way, fiscal year 2021 was a huge success for Beckhoff Automation. For the first time in its nearly 42-year history, the automation technology specialist based in Verl, Germany, has surpassed one billion euros in sales. With a total worldwide earnings of 1.182 billion euros, the company increased its sales by 28% compared to 2020. Revenues in the United States were equally strong, with a record $ 100 million in sales, an increase of the 22% compared to the previous year.
“This is a great achievement that we are incredibly proud of,” said managing director Hans Beckhoff, whose company experienced an unprecedented level of incoming orders. “We certainly could have seen even more growth last year, but the shortage of components coupled with the limits of our capabilities has held us back in some areas.”
Outstanding financial results in the United States
For the US market, Beckhoff achieved an increase in sales of approximately 22%, while the number of incoming orders grew by almost 70%. “By tallying our financial numbers for 2021, Beckhoff USA celebrated a new peak in revenue, inbound orders and overall business development,” said Kevin Barker, President of Beckhoff Automation LLC. “The vast majority of our growth is driven by new customers and we are excited to tackle new challenges alongside the world’s most innovative companies.”
Automation technology is experiencing a global boom across all industries; however, demand is outpacing the manufacturing capabilities of component suppliers, who continue to fight the effects of the global pandemic. For Beckhoff, this is particularly evident in the shortage of semiconductors and other electronic components. “This bottleneck is likely to continue throughout 2022,” Hans Beckhoff predicted. “However, we need to prepare for better availability of raw materials so that we can fulfill customer orders as quickly as possible. This is why we are working tirelessly to expand and optimize our entire company, from administration and development to production. “
Corporate infrastructure expansions at Verl global headquarters
The rapid and dynamic growth of the technology company presents some major challenges. Production capacities have already been expanded and human resources increased. By the middle of the year, Beckhoff will have expanded its production capacities in and around Verl by more than 50% compared to the beginning of 2020. “To this end, we are mobilizing the last reserves of space we have and acquiring even more” , said Hans Beckhoff.
Beckhoff recently acquired a 37-acre site near its existing facilities in an inter-municipal industrial park now planned by the cities of Verl and Rietberg. “We plan to create an industrial park here which will provide space for further expansion in the future for both Beckhoff Automation and our wholly owned subsidiaries Smyczek and Schirmer, which are growing dynamically with us,” he continued. “At least another 1,000 jobs will be created here over the next 10 years.”
Accelerated Infrastructure Developments in the United States
These aggressive infrastructure investments extend to Beckhoff USA. After delays due to the pandemic, the US branch officially opened new sales and support offices in Denver, Milwaukee and Orlando, as well as the Process Industry Technical Center in Houston. “These new regional offices further strengthen our local sales and engineering resources in key markets across the country,” said Barker. “We will continue to expand our regional office network with new facilities over the next 12 months.”
Beckhoff USA also recently reached an agreement with leading intralogistics equipment supplier OPEX® Corporation to implement the company’s new Infinity ™ (AS / RS) automated storage and retrieval system at its branch headquarters in the area. of Minneapolis. This project will enhance the effectiveness of day-to-day warehouse operations and further enhance Beckhoff customer experiences.
Further expansion around the world
Beckhoff is accelerating expansions in the 40 countries in which it has branches and in Germany. This includes an expansion of Fertig Motors in Marktheidenfeld. Beckhoff Canada moved its headquarters to a state-of-the-art facility in Cambridge, Ontario and opened a sales and support office near Vancouver. The company has also opened its first office in Lithuania, new headquarters in Austria and Sweden and a manufacturing plant in Shanghai, the first outside of Germany. This facility will specifically serve the Chinese market, which accounts for approximately 22% of the company’s sales.
Continued growth and development of the workforce
In the last fiscal year, Beckhoff hired more than 500 new employees around the world. This means that, as of March 2022, the family business now employs 5,000 people. Beckhoff USA hired more than 30 new employees in 2021 and now employs over 200 skilled team members. Beckhoff USA also continues to grow its development and internship programs for engineers, establishing new partnerships with numerous technical schools and universities across the country.
“Beckhoff USA is in a high growth mode in all areas and building a great team is an important part of that,” said Barker. “We are not only hiring talented engineers and business professionals quickly, but we are aggressively developing our existing team with a variety of initiatives to support the professional development of our employees. This includes reimbursements for continuing education, an ongoing engineering development program that expands the skills of our already talented engineers, and multidisciplinary internships to support students with hands-on on-the-job training. All these efforts will help ensure a bright future for Beckhoff USA ”.