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SCHAEFFLER ACQUIRES MELIOR MOTION GMBH AND REINFORCES ROBOTICS BUSINESS

21 February, 2022

Automotive and industry sector supplier, Schaeffler, has signed an agreement to buy the entire share capital of Melior Motion GmbH. The acquisition of this supplier of precision gearboxes for robotics and other automation applications broadens the robotics product range of the Schaeffler Group's Industrial division. Given that the automation of both simple and repetitive tasks and complex manufacturing and assembly processes is progressing rapidly, the Industrial division is systematically expanding its positioning as supplier of robotics systems and components. In a first phase, the division made headway with a gearbox equipped with sensors and an electric motor for use in cobots (collaborative robots), bringing it to the point that it is now ready for serial production. In the second phase, it is now incorporating more powerful gearboxes into its product range, with superior load capacities in industrial applications.

Over several years, Melior Motion GmbH has developed and successfully brought to market an innovative high-precision planetary gearbox for industrial robots, which offers an exceptional repetition precision, low noise emissions and high durability. A modular platform concept has been developed based on this technology. The first gearboxes with this design have been on the market since 2017 and are performing well, while meeting rapidly growing demand.

The company, which generated turnover of approximately 23 million euros in 2021, has a workforce of over 100 and is located in Hameln, Germany. It is currently planning another manufacturing location in China. Right now, Europe and China are the main sales markets of Melior Motion, GmbH. The company was set up in 2017 and its origins go back to Stephan-Werke, which was founded in 1908 and acquired by Premium Ltd. in 2011.

The parties have agreed not to disclose the financial details of the transaction, subject to compliance with the usual conditions of finalising an agreement.

Strategic acquisition in area of growth within Industrial Automation business unit

Dr. Stefan Spindler, Industrial CEO of Schaeffler, stated that: “With Melior Motion GmbH, we are acquiring a highly innovative business in the field of robotics and with a strong growth trajectory. This purchase adds to our still young range of robotics module products and considerably broadens our position as an innovative supplier in this important business area. We ourselves, as robot users, will also benefit from the special features of this range of products to increase efficiency in our 75 Schaeffler production facilities”.

Melior Motion GmbH and its predecessors have developed precision gearboxes for robotics manufacturers and applications in industrial automation for over 30 years. After many years of collaboration with Kuka, the new and innovative precision gearbox also obtained certification for use in two industrial robots and is currently being installed in two axes of the KR Cybertech and in six axes of the KR Iontec. As a result of the success of these products on the market, particularly promoted by the features of the new drive concept, Melior Motion GmbH will considerably broaden its production capacity in 2022.

Ralf Moseberg, Senior Vice President of Industrial Automation at Schaeffler Industrial, has said: “The developments and products of the highly qualified team at Melior Motion GmbH constitute an ideal addition to the Schaeffler Group's product range. In comparison to the products of the competition, the clearance is much less and this is derived from an ultra-precision planetary gearbox concept with special features. The high density of the pair, prolonged useful life and excellent energy efficiency are of extraordinary interest to our large customer base in the robotics field. The products of the two companies complement each other and share the same group of customers. We also expect that the similarities between our manufacturing technologies will enable us to benefit from synergies in purchasing and manufacturing”.

Chris Morrell, chief executive of Melior Motion GmbH, affirmed: “We are delighted to have the Schaeffler Group as our new owner and strategic partner going forward. Its global presence, expert manufacturing know-how and, in particular, its business expansion capacity will enable us to launch another phase of accelerated growth on the machine tool and industrial robots market. Together with Germany, our fundamental plan is to substantially increase the local production capacity in China. Now we will be able to bring these plans to fruition much faster within the existing infrastructure of Schaeffler”.

    21/02/2022News

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