Customers are focussed on hygienic and customizable products to ensure customer safety, according to Sartorius.
The firm told FoodQualityNews.com that companies want to ensure customer safety and are strongly driven by using equipment with a pre and post-sales support and service network.
Peter Grimley, senior vice president, Sartorius Intec, spoke to us after the publication of preliminary figures for 2013.
He told us that it expects to see revenue share increase in the segment in the short and midterm due to a couple of factors.
“The first is certainly the general increase in the processed food market and its disproportionate growth in the BRIC markets as well as the MINT areas and secondly the results of our increased strategic focus on this segment in the last years will develop strongly our position here.”
Sartorius Industrial Weighing is a provider of industrial scales, tank and silo weighing, and checkweighing and inspection equipment.
Industrial Weighing faced a challenging market environment in some areas but performed well overall, the firm said.
The food and beverage sector accounts for 50% of the division’s sales globally in the full portfolio, however in the detection and inspection business it would be more.
Industrial Weighing Division covers measurement and inspection equipment, such as high-capacity load cells, checkweighers, metal detectors and industrial scales.
Data and machine integration
When asked about trends, Grimley said: “One is the growing demand for data processing and analysis and a demand for data/machine integration. Traceability, improved yield and Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) are clearly benefits the customers look for.
“The increased interest in and demand for equipment and processes that satisfy increased customer safety and food hygiene requirements are also exciting areas of development for us.
“Product quality, consumer safety and OEE-are certainly in most producers target at the moment.”
After experiencing a challenging first quarter, Industrial Weighing, the smallest group division, showed positive performance during the rest of the year.
Grimley said there was certainly general market softness during 2013.
“This was already apparent in the last quarter of 2012 when it was clear to see that despite a rather robust business in central Europe for general equipment , larger projects where held back due to customer uncertainty based around the global economic situation.
“In addition the historic growth markets such as China suffered liquidity issues that slowed growth at a time when many key global players in the food market had completed their investment plans in these markets.”
Sales and order intake
For the full year, sales revenue rose 2.4% (reported: -0.7%) to €102m. At €99m order intake for Industrial Weighing was slightly below the prior-year figure (cc: -3.1%; reported: -6.0%).
Grimley said the reason for the sales rise but order intake drop came from the timeframe with which an order is taken in or invoiced out, for example 2012 ended with a strong order book that was produced and billed in 2013.
Underlying EBITDA for the Industrial Weighing Division was at €10.4m relative to €11.9m a year ago; this corresponds to a margin of 10.1% versus 11.6% in the year before.
In 2014 the Industrial Weighing Division projects sales revenue to increase by 1% to 4% and its underlying EBITDA margin to reach 10.5%.
“We expect the market to remain challenging but improving in all regions during 2014. We see growth returning to the developing markets as well as increased sales as new products and services are bought to the market by Sartorius- Intec,” added Grimley.