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Web Exclusive | May 2018

Oerlikon, AC-Automation integration completed

Oerlikon has acquired Germany-based AC-Automation GmbH & Co KG, an engineering company specialising in large-scale plant automation solutions for textile and packaging industries. The two companies have been partnering since the early 1980s. The integration of AC-Automation in Oerlikon expands the market-leading technology portfolio of its Manmade Fibers Segment. It also marks a milestone in Oerlikon’s ongoing quest to offer innovative, fully automated and digitally networked Industry solutions in the manmade fibre (MMF) industry.

The 60 employees at AC-Automation’s Bernkastel-Kues and Augsburg locations will become part of Oerlikon’s Manmade Fibers Segment, which includes the leading brands Oerlikon Barmag and Oerlikon Neumag. The move will expand the Segment’s business model, adding another key core component to its current offering of production plants and technology solutions from melt to yarn, fibers, and nonwovens. Ultimately, Oerlikon will be able to offer customers a total solution from a single source, including automation logistics for packaging, high-bay storage, and other areas, which complement its current market-leading spinning and process technologies for the textile industry.

“We see our expanded overall offering as an industry solution, reflecting the future of an even more efficient, digitised and profitable chemical fibre industry, especially for large-scale plants with daily production capacity of several hundred tonnes of polyester, nylon, polypropylene, or other manmade fibers,” explains Georg Stausberg, CEO of the Manmade Fibers Segment. MMF producers from China — the world’s most important market, generating more than 70 per cent of worldwide MMF production — as well as companies from other fast-growing markets such as India, Turkey and the USA are also relying on automated and networked Industry total solutions.

“The acquisition and integration of AC-Automation’s automation solutions will provide new opportunities for our MMF business. It enables the segment to increasingly position itself as an Industry solution provider in combination with our own digitisation solutions,” says Oerlikon Group CEO Dr Roland Fischer. “As a leading provider of advanced materials, surface solutions and materials processing including the engineering and production of polymer plants, this acquisition marks another milestone in Oerlikon’s strategy to strengthen its businesses and thus sustain profitable growth.”

“After such a long partnership, we are excited to be able to benefit even more in the future as part of a global player in the textile industry. Our market access will further improve with the help of the Oerlikon Group's sales and service network. For my employees, I am very pleased to be able to bring them into an international Group, in which there would be new opportunities and perspectives for them personally,” said Rolf Gänz, AC-Automation’s Managing Director.

Oerlikon engineers materials, equipment and surfaces and provides expert services to enable customers to have high-performance products, and systems with extended lifespans. Drawing on its key technological competencies and strong financial foundation, the Group is sustaining mid-term growth by executing three strategic drivers: addressing attractive growth markets, securing structural growth, and expanding through targeted M&A. A leading global technology and engineering Group, Oerlikon operates its business in three Segments – Surface Solutions, Manmade Fibers, and Drive Systems – and has a global footprint of approximately 15,000 employees at 186 locations in 37 countries. In 2017, Oerlikon generated CHF 2.8 billion in sales and invested CHF 107 million in research and development (R&D).

The AC-Automation company is located in Bernkastel-Kues, close to Trier one of the oldest cities in Germany with a branch in Augsburg. With more than 30 years of combined experience in the field of man-made fiber production-automation AC-Automation is prepared to fulfill all customer demands. Starting with filament production-automation department in the early 80s the focus always was to deliver maximum benefit, functionality and smart innovations to customer.

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