The German machine tool manufacturer is among the tooling giants that have invested significantly in 3D printing in recent years, introducing systems for powder bed and powder fed processes. The company refers to its own technologies as LMF (laser metal fusion) and LMD (laser metal deposition). These efforts are now paying off as the TRUMPF board of directors is reporting that AM’s growth is a key part of the company’s recent successes.
“In many markets, we exceeded our targets, with all our products contributing. We registered gratifying growth in the future technology of additive manufacturing – that is, in industrial 3D printing – and in the laser business for microchip manufacturers,” said CEO Nicola Leibinger-Kammüller. “Even so, we are monitoring the global economy’s development very closely. There are increasing signs that this long phase of recovery could soon be over. We want to be prepared for that.”
Overall the TRUMPF Group posted a significant increase in sales of around 15 percent at the end of the 2017/18 fiscal year on June 30, 2018. According to preliminary calculations, sales amounted to 3.6 billion euros (3.1 billion euros in the 2016/17 fiscal year). Orders received rose to 3.8 billion euros (3.4 billion euros in the 2016/17 fiscal year). This is an increase of around 13 percent.
Germany was the biggest single market with sales of over 700 million euros, followed by the USA and China, each with sales of around 450 million euros. Sales to European customers were also encouraging. The expansion of the EUV business had a significant impact here. TRUMPF supplies special lasers to ASML, a customer in the Netherlands; these lasers use extreme ultraviolet radiation to expose chip surfaces for the computer industry.
The number of employees across the Group rose more than 10 percent to around 13,500. There were 6,700 people employed in Germany as at June 30, 2018, with nearly 3,900 working at the Ditzingen headquarters.
In the past fiscal year, TRUMPF continued to invest in digital connectivity and began optimizing sheet metal machining processes towards the goal of fully automated production. A large share of investments again went to the structural expansion of locations in and outside of Germany.
The company erected a manufacturing building with clean rooms and office space at the headquarters in Ditzingen to expand its high-tech production capabilities, particularly for lasers used in EUV lithography for microchips. It also invested in manufacturing buildings at the Teningen and Schramberg locations. The TRUMPF Group’s largest production site was set up in China. The majority of investments went to the locations in Germany. Significant investments were also made at the sites in the USA and Asia.