Image: Balluff

Balluff Changes Worldwide Corporate Structure

Number of employees decreases from 3,600 to 3,200!

Around half of the job cuts affects the headquarters in Neuhausen.

The management of the sensor and automation specialist Balluff presented to the workforce its plan to secure the competitiveness and further development of the group of companies and its global development and production network.

The global transformation program includes, among other things, shifting production volumes from the headquarters to locations in Hungary and China and, in return, systematically developing Neuhausen into an innovation and competence center for net-working, software and IIoT solutions, opto- and (magneto-) inductive sensor technology and RFID. Worldwide, the company's management is aiming to reduce its workforce by around 400 jobs by the end of 2021, about half of them at headquarters.

In 2019, the Balluff Group recorded a decline of 3.9 percent with a total revenue of EUR 469 million. The first quarter of the current financial year closed with a decline in revenue of over seven percent.

The management cites as reasons for this development not only the effects of the Corona crisis but also the economic downturn already noticeable last year in industries important to Balluff such as the automotive industry or mechanical and plant engineering due to the far-reaching structural change.

At the same time, competitive pressure increased due to falling prices as a result of global overcapacities. The Group therefore expects a longer recovery to the sales levels of earlier years.

"We are dealing with a combination of the effects of COVID-19, a longer-term economic downturn and profound structural change. We cannot counteract this with temporary measures such as short-time work or collective agreements on job security alone. We must therefore react differently to these fundamental changes," says Managing Director Katrin Stegmaier-Hermle, explaining the reasons for this approach.

"Of course, we will make the restructuring as socially balanced as possible. But unfortunately, we see no other way to secure the competitiveness of the Group for the future.

In the long term, the company believes it is well positioned despite the current challenges.

The trend towards even more connected automation components and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) continues to offer Balluff great opportunities for future growth. High-quality sensors are becoming reliable data sources for a smart industrial production.

"Our existing portfolio offers a perfect basis for linking hardware with software to form smartware in the future, thus making even more useful data available for machines and systems," says Managing Director Florian Hermle, describing the company's future focus.

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Oliver Pütz-Gerbig
Oliver Pütz-Gerbig
BU Identification Product Manager
Neuhausen a.d.F., Germany
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