Harting Technology Group announces highest sales in company’s history
Mike EdwardsPeople in Process connectors Ethernet
Despite the challenges posed by the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic, fragile supply chains and supply bottlenecks, the Harting Technology Group, based in Espelkamp, Germany, has continued its path of growth in the 2020-21 business year.
The family-owned and operated global company generated sales of US$956 million, up 14.5 percent on the previous year. Harting Canada is located in Montreal.
“We’ve successfully overcome the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and have enjoyed strong growth,” explained Philip Harting, chairman of the board of the Technology Group.
“We’re very happy with the outstanding result and proud of what we’ve achieved over the past few months.”
Sales up across the regions
All global regions in which Harting operates performed positively during the period, with many enjoying substantial growth. Sales in Europe (excluding Germany) were up by 15 percent to US$44 million, while the Americas region posted gains by 14 percent or US$13 million, followed by Asia with sales growth of 6 percent or US$14 million. Leading the field was Germany, where sales were up by 23 percent or US$44 million.
Harting credited these positive business developments to a broad-based positioning in various sectors, markets, and regions. The company also intends to keep on mastering the challenges of the future with powerful connectivity solutions for the transformation of industry.
The company has put forth plans for continuing to overcome obstacles resulting from challenging conditions. These obstacles include inflation, supply bottlenecks caused by a shortage of materials, fragile supply chains, rising energy prices and the significant commitment and work involved in bringing about the energy transition. The coronavirus pandemic will also continue to have an impact on market trends and company performance.
Managing the pandemic
To maintain operations and continue to support customers globally, Harting set up an in-house pandemic response team in 2020. The team oversees all communications regarding the pandemic and set up several protocols to protect customers and staff alike. This team enabled the company to continue to deliver reliable and robust products on a global scale.
The ongoing pandemic also led the group to instigate a systematic global expansion of digitalization in its communications and marketing measures, which enabled it to stay connected to its customers and markets.
The Digital Studio in the U.S. and Harting Forum in Germany are events space equipped with broadcast quality cameras, lighting, sound, and LED walls that form the beating heart of these communications operations. These spaces have been used intensively for events, live online seminars, online press conferences, and direct digital one-to-one communication with customers.
Divisions focus on megatrends, IIoT, the energy transition and collaborative engineering
The Harting Technology Group’s various divisions have been focusing on a range of key trends in recent months. Under the tagline “All for Energy”, the company is tackling the energy transition by making energy storage systems quick and safe to scale up. Meanwhile, “All for Railway” is addressing key trends in the rail sector: transmitting higher currents and voltages and reducing CO2 by making rail vehicles more lightweight.
As one of the founding members of the “SPE Industrial Partner Network”, Harting has proven its commitment to promoting the new global infrastructure standard for the digitalization of industry in the form of single-pair Ethernet (SPE).
This new form of data transmission for industrial automation, which delivers an improved performance at a lower weight by using only a single pair of wires, is designed for use in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). SPE allows the field level to be connected seamlessly to the cloud.
With the company’s Customized Solutions Global Business Unit, the Technology Group is bringing together elements from three divisions: Engineering, Connectivity and Cabling. Co-engineering, customer proximity and developing integrated solutions together with partners are all ingredients in the recipe for success that is being driven forward by the Application Engineering Centers in the regions.
US$44 million in new investment
“We’ve optimized our sites, which means we’ve invested in new technologies and automation measures,” says Harting, commenting on the US$44 million or so invested over the past business year. While the future of the Espelkamp site has been secured by continuously expanding digitalization and automation there, the national subsidiaries around the world have been following the motto “In the region, for the region” for their own spending plans.
The company is focused on making investments that support sustainability and mitigating climate change. “We’re green in what we do, not just in how we think,” says Harting.
“For over 30 years now, we’ve been a green company out of a sense of conviction and base everything we do on this green guiding principle.” For instance, he says, the company has saved around 175,000 tonnes of CO2 since 2011 by using “green” energy – including some it generated itself – as well as by investing in photovoltaic technology and energy-efficient production processes.
However, sustainable, resource-efficient thinking does not just shape internal processes – combined with the social trends of demographic change and deglobalization, it forms a triad of technological trends that are driving the transformation of industry.
“We want to create demonstrable added value for our customers with new, innovative connectivity solutions and make a major contribution to electrification and digitalization,” Harting explains. To this end, he adds, the company is undertaking considerable efforts and is making record investments of US$99 million in the coming year in its own production facilities, in developing new technologies and in making all its global sites climate neutral. “We feel we’re in a good position.”
Despite persistent risks such as a shortage of materials, rising energy and transport costs and the coronavirus pandemic, Harting believes that the company is on course for strong growth:
“Assuming everything continues as positively as it has up to now, we see no reason why we can’t achieve double-digit growth again in the 2021-2022 business year.”
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