January 19, 2021
Production relocations and investments at the Besigheim site
CERATIZIT S.A., Mamer, Luxembourg (headquarters) and KOMET Deutschland GmbH, Besigheim, Germany, January 19th, 2021
In response to the decline in turnover and profit over the past financial years, as well as to the difficult and changing market environment, the Supervisory Board of KOMET Deutschland GmbH has decided to execute a comprehensive restructuring plan for the Besigheim site. In addition to measures that are intended to reduce costs, the plan also envisages a range of investments to secure the future of the location.
Since 2019, the consequences of a slowdown in the automotive market, partly due to the e-mobility transformation, combined with the coronavirus pandemic, have taken their toll on KOMET, a precision tool manufacturer belonging to the CERATIZIT Group. Hence the Supervisory Board has been forced to act, as the Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Dr Andreas Lackner, explained. ‘KOMET has suffered from considerably reduced profits over the last two financial years, despite a whole range of countermeasures. In this difficult market environment, KOMET will no longer be competitive, even in the long term, without a significant restructuring of the two plants in Besigheim and Stuttgart.’
Several production relocations are planned to make better use of economies of scale and other advantages in the CERATIZIT Group’s production network. ‘Unfortunately, this also means a loss of jobs in Besigheim and Stuttgart,’ according to Lackner.
Investing in the future
The restructuring measures are accompanied by investments in the remaining production areas to make KOMET Besigheim competitive in the long term as a lead plant for the ultra-hard cutting materials and carrier tools sectors, and to secure the remaining 325 jobs for the future. In addition, production will be automated and further digitalised and the share of multi-machine operation will be expanded. As this requires new skills, a qualification initiative will prepare the staff for future tasks.
Socially responsible implementation
The implementation of the planned restructuring will be in a socially acceptable way. ‘We intend to quickly start negotiations aimed at a reconciliation of interests and a social plan for the affected employees,’ said Managing Director Gerhard Bailom.
For over 100 years, CERATIZIT has been a pioneer in developing exceptional hard material solutions for machining and wear protection. The private company, with registered offices in Mamer, Luxembourg, develops and produces highly specialised cutting tools, indexable inserts, rods made from hard materials and wear parts. The CERATIZIT Group is the global market leader in various application segments and successfully develops new carbide, cermet and ceramic grades, such as for wood and stone working.
With more than 7,000 employees at more than 25 production facilities and a sales network with over 50 branches, CERATIZIT is a global player in the carbide industry. The company's international network includes subsidiary Stadler Metalle and joint venture CB-CERATIZIT.
The technology leader is continually investing in research and development and holds more than 1,000 patents. Innovative hard material solutions from CERATIZIT are used in various sectors, including mechanical engineering and toolmaking, in the automotive and aerospace industries and in the oil, gas and medical industries.