SCHOPFLOCH, GERMANY - Homag Group said its sales revenue rose 24 percent first quarter, to € 254.3 ($282) million. The manufacturer woodworking technology said during its LIGNA 2015 last week that the 2014 acquisition of Stiles Machinery continues to positively impact revenues. 

Now part of the Dürr Group (it was acquired last year), Homag also reported a 10 percent increase in orders, to € 287.2 ($313) million while order backlog rose to € 354.1 million as of March 31, 2015 (prior year: € 294.0 million).

“We remain on our growth trajectory at the start of 2015,” says CEO Ralph Heuwing as he summarized the first three months of 2015. “We were especially successful in the system business with networked production and high levels of automation.”

Homag's net profit for the period almost doubled to € 4.1 ($4.5 million). and the company expects to approach € 1 billion in revenue for the year (€ 940 - € 960 million, around $1.6 billion U.S. at current exchange rates.)

Heuwing said during the press conference at the opening of the show, “We had a good start to the year and also anticipate a good performance at LIGNA." Judging from the crowds packing the exhibit area that is a likely outcome of the show.

Heuwing is also on the board of Dürr Group, which is in a range of industries such as automotive painting systems, gluing and sealing, measuring and process, even air purification systems, that present potential synergies with Homag. "In terms of the technology, we have a lot we can do together," Heuwing said, citing ERP systems, and robotics as examples. Used extensively in its automotive businesses, these were also plentiful at LIGNA 2015, all painted Homag blue. 

Heuwing  said he foresees growth in China and the U.S. leading the pack for 2015. "We will concentrate on the U.S. and China," he said, with "more focus, and more investment." 

Jurgen Koppel leads a tour through an augmented reality experience at Ligna 2015. The realistic virtual presentation
of cabinets and furniture selections for customers is driven
by the same woodNET and woodCAD/CAM applications that
run production machinery.

Homag's Jurgen Koppel said during the press conference that Homag will take aim with its Industry 4.0 technology strategy not just at large plants, but with solutions "that will address automation for small shops; a version of Industry 4.0." 

Koppel identified macro trends that he says will significantly impact the wood industry around the world: materials shortages, growing urbanization, and the tendency of consumers toward "cocooning" by creating a home that is also a respite from the intensity of the commerce of daily work life. 

Homag, which sells through Stiles Machinery and Homag Canada in North America, showed more than 60 machines and technology applications in its 60,000 square foot Homag City (above), centering its exhibit on the "Industry 4.0." theme of fully integrated manufacturing. It also emphasized that the technology is fully scalable, equally accessible to smaller shops. 



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