At the end of 2013, Sepro Robotique celebrated its most successful year ever, selling 1650 robots and sprue pickers to customers around the world, which is about 26% more than in 2012. Jean-Michel Renaudeau, CEO of Sepro, La Roche sur Yon, France, acknowledged in a news release the overall strength of the global plastics market, but noted that several other important factors played into his company's success this year.
"Over the last five years," Renaudeau said, "we have invested heavily in the development of new robot technology, expanding our presence in key global markets, and building strong partnerships with automation specialists and injection-molding machine manufacturers. Our product line is almost completely new in the last three years and now includes new 3-, 5- and 6-axis robots as well as specialty robots for in-mold labeling, two-material molding and three-plate molds. Our Touch and Visual control systems are also evolving so that customers can have the same easy-to-use platform whether they need the simplest 3-axis functionality or complex multi-axis capabilities inside and outside the molding area."
At K 2013, Sepro made contact with 65% more customers and prospects than the company did at the previous show in 2010.
In 2008, Sepro Robotique was mainly a European supplier, with nearly three quarters of its sales France, Germany and other European countries. Today, sales outside Europe have increased by almost half. North America has become Sepro's largest market with more than 20% of global sales, Latin America has jumped to 10% and Asia has doubled its share. At the same time, sales in Germany have held steady while most other European regions have seen significant increases.
The growth in North America and Germany, Sepro's top two global markets, has been supported by moving these regional daughter companies into new expanded facilities and by adding personnel, the company said.
In 2012, Sepro Germany made the move to a new plant in Dietzenbach near Frankfurt. The new building offered more space for administration and sales, and it also opened about 700 square meters (7534 square feet) of floor space for robot engineering, assembly, testing and training. Sepro Germany also strengthened its sales and service staff. Elsewhere in Europe, daughter companies in the UK, Spain and the Benelux countries are also growing along with Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, where Sepro is represented by independent distributors.
On December 1, 2013, Sepro America moved to a new building in Cranberry Township, near Pittsburgh. Sepro says the facility, which is nearly double the size of its previous space, is needed to support growth in the region. In addition, 2013 was been an all-time record sales year for the Sepro daughter company, with orders outpacing 2012 by some 40% over 2012 and double 2011 sales. A large portion of this growth has come on the West Coast, where 2013 sales levels are three times what they were just a year ago, when Sepro stationed a new regional sales manager there. Other new staff includes an East Coast regional sales manager as well as more field-service staffing and in-house engineering personnel. 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 Brazil 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 Sepro is positioning additional representatives.