Sepro achieves record year for sales

French robot maker Sepro Robotique is closing 2013 on a successful note, having sold 1, 650 robots and sprue pickers to customers around the world -- a 26% increase from its 2012 sales.

CEO Jean-Michel Renaudeau says that factors including the overall strength of the global plastics market provided the push for the equally strong sales this year. He added that over the last five years Sepro has invested heavily in the development of new robot technology, expanding its presence in key global markets, and building strong partnerships with automation specialists and injection moulding machine manufacturers.

Its latest products include new 3, 5 and 6-axis robots as well as speciality robots for in-mould labelling (IML), two-material moulding and three-plate moulds.

The company, which used to cater only to the European market, noted an increased awareness of and interest in Sepro, as evidenced at the K 2013 tradeshow, held in October in Germany. Sepro hosted 65% more customers and prospects than it did at the previous show in 2010. These numbers are even more impressive when compared to overall attendance at the show, which was actually down about 2% in 2013 than in 2010, says the firm.

Sepro also noted an increase in sales outside of Europe, with the US being its largest market, accounting for more than 20% of global sales. Meanwhile, Latin America has jumped to 10% and Asia has doubled its share, the company says. Furthermore, its sales in Germany as well as in other European regions have seen significant boost.

Last year, Sepro Germany moved to a new plant in Dietzenbach near Frankfurt, to allow for more space for administration and sales as well as about 700 sq m of floor space for robot engineering, assembly, testing and training. Sepro Germany also strengthened its sales and service staff. Elsewhere in Europe, sister companies in the UK, Spain and the Benelux countries are also growing along with Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, where it is represented by independent distributors.

More recently, in December, Sepro America moved to a new building in Cranberry Township, near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The facility, which is nearly double the size of its previous space, is needed to support growth in the region. This year, the US subsidiary recorded all-time high sales, with orders outpacing by some 40% over 2012 and double the 2011 sales. A large portion of this growth has come from the West Coast, where 2013 sales levels are three times what they were just a year ago. The company now employs nearly 30 people (up from 20 in 2011) and anticipates adding at least two more positions during 2014.

In Latin America, both Sepro do Brasil and Sepro Mexico have been expanding, and in 2014 the company will intensify its efforts in other South American countries, especially Peru, Colombia and Chile, where it is positioning additional representatives.


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