2018 was another record year - the third in a row - for the Italian drive specialist Bonfiglioli, with total revenues of 913 million Euros and a growth of approximately 13 percent on 2017.
In terms of regions, the emphasis has shifted further towards China, India and the USA. Europe is still the most consolidated market in terms of trends among various industries. Drives for mobile equipment generated more than 45% of the total turnover, while drives for wind turbines accounted for 13% of the turnover. The remaining revenues were generated by drives for industrial applications. According to Fausto Carboni, Bonfiglioli Group CEO “it’s been a very exciting year; the 3 year investment plan of 158 M€ and the strong commitment of Bonfiglioli global team have supported an extraordinary growth, and, at the same time, provided a solid foundation for future development in term of Technologies, Processes and Service.”
When it comes to the Construction Machinery Sector, in the last 2 years, Bonfiglioli has globally grown 6-7% faster than other companies on the market, confirming itself as a global market leader in the planetary gear technologies. USA, China and India have cumulatively doubled revenues in the last 2 years. In addition to their highly recognized quality standard, the keys for the success is the widest product portfolio suitable to a very broad applications range, the development of co-engineered customized solutions, and the recent O&K integration.
In fact, in 2018 Bonfiglioli finalized the acquisition of O&K Antriebstechnik GmbH in Hattingen, thereby making Bonfiglioli the sole owner of the German company. The leverage on the excellent market and product complementarity between Bonfiglioli and O&K enabled a very effective market response and produced very efficient operative synergies since Bonfiglioli has taken over O&K Antriebstechnik GmbH in late 2015. As matter of fact, in this period, sales of the entire O&K branded products boosted from 36 million euro of consolidated revenue in 2015, to approximately 71 million euro in 2018. The positive trend is expected to continue in 2019, also thanks to new and more efficient products design and new applications development in the marine and offshore fields.
December 2018 saw another recent development: Bonfiglioli launched its new environmentally-friendly production line for electromobility in Forlì, Italy, with an area of around 10,000 square meters. Entirely dedicated to the production of electrical axles for powertrain and wheel drives of different sizes, the new production line was implemented by adopting a wide range of Industry 4.0 technologies and conceived with high level of flexibility, resulting into the capability to manage 25,000 products per year of very different shapes and sizes, with reduced machine set-up times. According to Marco Cesari, Mobility & Wind Industries Business Unit General Manager “This expansion gives us the opportunity to better support our customers with innovative solutions for electrical and hybrid industrial and commercial vehicles. We decided to employ the best Industry 4.0 technology, in order to create flexible processes, and enhance quality and productivity standards.”
In 2018, consistently to the motto of the Italian family-run business - Forever Forward – Bonfiglioli launched a new production plant in Chennai, India. The newly built 14,000 square meter facility is adjacent to the existing plant and is equipped with state-of-the-art assembly lines, a global research and development center and test laboratories that meet the highest quality and safety standards. With an annual capacity of 75,000 units, Bonfiglioli can seamlessly manage all existing and new markets, as well as customers in the off-highway, construction, mining, agricultural and material handling sectors.
The extension strategy continues in 2019 with EVO, the main plant for industrial gearmotors technology based in Bologna. It will represent a transformation platform for the leap into digitalized processes in accordance with Industry 4.0 best practices. EVO is designed around these principles, for a digital revolution with the man at the center of technology, following Bonfiglioli's Digital Re-Training, the first concrete example in Italy of a holistic approach to the development of skills, along with a re-qualification course that includes technical and cultural content.
2019 will be another important year also for the new technologies and solutions launched, starting from the most important public appointment for the construction sector, the Bauma exhibition in Munich, where, in addition to the traditional product lines, we will display new electric track drives for crushers; new electric slew and track drives for mini excavators; and two new IIOT solutions based on Bonfiglioli’s tailored-made IIOT platforms. The most remarkable innovation among the new products is represented by ECGenius, Bonfiglioli Continuously Variable Transmissions. developed in cooperation with the Canadian company CVT Corp.