On the basis of its own, clearly positioned brands, Ringfeder Power Transmission offers technically leading products and systems for use in the areas of mechanical power transmission as well as energy and shock absorption.
Internationally leading brands
Ringfeder Power Transmission has about 20 product lines among its Ringfeder, Tschan, Henfel and Gerwah brands. The division’s shaft and hub couplings account for the largest share of turnover. These types of couplings are commonly used in cranes and hoisting devices. Shrink discs comprise another of the division’s products and can be found in transmissions for industrial use. The division’s friction springs is the product category on which the business was founded nearly 100 years ago. Currently, it accounts for less than one-quarter of the division’s turnover. Friction springs are used, for example, in the aerospace industry as damping components in the system for adjusting the position of the wing flaps, and as overload protection in emergency exit systems. Friction springs are also used to earthquake-proof buildings, bridges and power plants.
Ringfeder Power Transmission has more than 4,000 customers worldwide. In simplified terms, the division targets customers in 16 different segments. Among the largest segments are mines, metals and energy production. The fastest growing segments are pumps and foods. In addition, the division is concentrating on increasing its exposure in the industrial automation segment. It also aims to grow in the aftermarkets of several of its customer segments.
The market is highly fragmented with few major players. Ringfeder Power Transmission has a major competitive advantage thanks to its size, expertise, broad product portfolio and high-quality products.
The mining, oil and gas industries are among the most important market segments for Ringfeder Power Transmission. Demand from these segments largely correlates with the trend in commodities. In the Asian and South American growth markets, industrial manufacturing is steadily growing, which drives demand for Ringfeder Power Transmission’s products. In the mature Western European and North American markets, constantly higher rationalisations drive the need for automation, which benefits the division.
Interview with Thomas Moka
"We have streamlined our product range to enhance profitability"
Division Manager at Ringfeder Power Transmission
You have expanded a great deal in recent years, though profitability has declined at the same time. How have you worked during the year to reverse the negative trend?
In 2017, we worked hard in line with the action programme launched at the end of 2016 that aims to enhance profitability at Ringfeder Power Transmission. Within the scope of the programme, we have optimised stocking and specialised our plants for different types of production – one with flexible manufacturing in smaller series and one for more large-scale production. We also streamlined our product range towards products where we can see greater profitability potential. Moreover, I am convinced that our transfer of Ringfeder products to Henfel and the Brazilian market, as well as the cross-selling we initiated between Tschan and Ringfeder, mainly in the German market, will have a positive impact on the division’s profitability in the future.
What do you see as the main challenge facing Ringfeder Power Transmission?
The business model we have chosen to follow means we own the entire chain – from idea to sales – and we can therefore provide a broad range of products to many, widely disparate customer segments. This is one of our strengths, though it is also a challenge to manage the business model, as it makes demands on a very high level of quality in all parts of the chain, at the same time as we must distinguish ourselves as a business, towards our competitors, by offering both specialised product solutions and exceptional service.
Your broad range of products means you have customers in widely disparate industrial markets. Have you had any exciting customer collaborations during the year?
Most exciting during the year, I think, was the sale of a complete system solution for a robot system to a customer in the automation industry and where we are now the sole supplier of these components to the robot system. We have also delivered our Tschan TNR coupling to the world’s largest cement mill for a customer in Bangladesh. Another different and successful collaboration during the year was in helping Siemens AG in China to secure power supply to its facilities in the event of an earthquake, by installing our shock-absorbing friction springs along an almost 2,000-kilometre transmission line that runs through the country.