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A 2022 growth story of Fritz Studer AG
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A 2022 growth story of Fritz Studer AG

February 13, 2023 11:24 am

STUDER achieved continuing growth course in 2022 and significantly increased sales. 

 

 

“Exactly 111 years ago, Fritz Studer founded his company in Steffisburg. Switzerland. Since then, the pioneer in cylindrical grinding has presented countless technological innovations—a long tradition that is our obligation for the future.”

 

 

Record breaking orders

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“Overall, it was the third-best year in our company history in order intake,” said CSO Sandro Bottazzo. Êxpectations were exceeded by far in all sales regions. Some countries, such as Turkey, even recorded the highest order intake in company history. As a global manufacturer of high-precision grinding machines, STUDER is active worldwide. “All in all, in 2022, we once again succeeded in expanding our position in the most important markets in the world and increasing our market share,” summarised Bottazzo.

Bleher is also very optimistic about the outlook for 2023: “After a remarkable final spurt at the end of the year, STUDER started 2023 in full momentum, with a large order booking.”

In 2022, almost all markets showed growth in orders. Furthermore, December 2022 was the second-best individual month in history. The Aerospace and Energy segments significantly contributed to this positive development. The Tooling, Die and Mold, and Machine Manufacturing segments remained stable at a very high level. The Precision Engineering segment, with small and medium-sized supplier companies and contract manufacturers, is marked as the most prominent individual segment. Automotive sector businesses were in decline, specifically affecting demand for production machines. “However, our good positioning and broad portfolio are helping us greatly,” emphasises Bottazzo. 

Broad portfolio as key to success

A broad portfolio that can fulfil various customer requirements is the trademark and an essential pillar for STUDER’s success. In 2022, universal and internal cylindrical grinding machines showed a positive trend in the standard and system business. The bestseller among the STUDER machines was once again the versatile S33 CNC universal cylindrical grinding machine, capable of producing small and large workpieces in single and series production. Other favourites were S31 and the S41. STUDER achieved its second-best annual result in the sales of internal cylindrical grinding machines. Another area that reached a record high was the WireDress® technology, which enables the precise dressing of metal-bonded grinding wheels and boosts productivity to extremely high levels.

A new revenue record

STUDER achieved a new revenue record in 2022. “All business areas did very well, with service, maintenance, and individual business set new records to be the second-best year in the history,” he says. Because of good business development, STUDER has further expanded its service organisation for better availability and faster problem-solving. Additionally, numerous business processes have been digitised and optimised. “We will continue to grow our Customer Care to provide even better performance and to be closer to our customers,” announced Bottazzo.

Development of multiple new products

The 2022 business year also brought numerous new developments and an expanded product range. “With our product offensive, innovative, and application-specific solutions, we can even better address the needs of our customers,” says Daniel Huber, CTO at STUDER. A new generation well-proved KC33 CNC universal cylindrical grinding machine was launched in China. With the ecoGrinder, Chinese customers now have an economical entry-level solution available—and already been bought by numerous customers. “In 2022, we presented an innovation at almost every large trade show,” says Huber. This includes the S36 production machine at GrindingHub in Stuttgart. It closes a gap in the portfolio between the S11 and S22 and is particularly well-suited to applications and components in electromobility. Now the S36 is also available with an innovative energy monitoring concept. Or there’s the new S100 presented at the BIMU in Milan, a perfect entry-level option in CNC universal internal cylindrical grinding machines.

More machines with “CORE”.

The revolutionary and cross-brand hardware and software architecture of the UNITED GRINDING Group is another innovation. CORE offers smart networking of several machines, freely configurable and user-friendly operation, and latest-generation contact sensors. CORE also features a modern, large-scale multitouch display with intuitive operation and numerous visualisation options for more efficient production. In 2022, STUDER converted four machines to CORE and will continue with the internal cylindrical grinding machines in the coming year. “We are the only manufacturers offering intelligent machines with intuitive operation, digital assistance, monitoring systems, and automation options,” says Huber. 

Challenges in the supply chains

The supply chain situation remained an important topic in 2022. CEO Jens Bleher notes: “Despite the tense situation in the procurement markets, our operations and engineering teams succeeded in producing reliably and continued to provide very competitive and reliable delivery times.” COO Stephan Stoll clarifies: “Our strategy of keeping our production resources stable even during difficult phases was as much part of this success as the long-term partnerships with the supplier base.” 

STUDER also benefited from the risk-based supply chain approach they have followed for several years to minimise single-source dependencies. 

Investment in the future

Regular and systematic investments in all company areas are part of STUDER’s philosophy. “We are convinced that this will keep our locations competitive and that Studer machines’ Made in Switzerland’ will have a strong foothold on the world market in the long term,” explains Stoll. Following the redesign and modernisation of assembly, the focus was on manufacturing over the past few years. In 2022, several projects contributed to ensuring that the production resources remain state-of-the-art, emphasising automation and digitisation. Spindle shaft production will be renewed and expanded in the coming year, and the warehouse and logistics infrastructure will be modernised by 2025.

Training and career opportunities

Vocational training and career opportunities can also be improved through investments. “Modern workstations and top-level vocational training ensure that we remain attractive as an employer and can recruit the best talents and top employees, even in times with a shortage of skilled labour,” says Stoll. 

STUDER provides in-house vocational training to qualify its skilled workers and offers them attractive career and professional development opportunities. CEO Jens Bleher emphasises the importance of well-trained employees for a technology company: “STUDER kept its vocational training program running fully at all times.” Trainees account for more than 11 percent of the workforce. “We consider this by investing in the latest generation of CNC machines for the training workshop, as we did in previous years.”

The management was also particularly pleased about the successes at the World Skills competitions. After winning the gold medal at the SwissSkills and the silver medal at the EuroSkills competition, polymechanic Gil Beutler crowned his excellent performance with a bronze medal at the WorldSkills in Canada. CEO Jens Bleher: “We are pleased about Gil’s successes and view his top placements on an international level as a confirmation of the consistently excellent work of our entire vocational training team over many years.”

The seventh edition of the “Fritz Studer Award.”

The “Fritz Studer Award” is another way the company promotes the best talents and innovative ideas. The research award comes with a prize of CHF 10,000 and will be hosted for the seventh time this year. It is aimed at students of European universities and technical colleges. Submissions are invited from students on innovative machine concepts, digital solutions supporting the grinding process, or alternative materials.

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