Klöckner pushes ‘transformation’ towards processing in Europe

Klöckner & Co is accelerating its expansion into higher value-added services in Europe, a campaign which it calls a “transformation” of its distribution business.

On the occasion of the announcement of its half-year-results, chief executive Guido Kerkhoff told of several investments into processing, mainly at the company’s German sites.

He emphasised Klöckner’s ambition to “transform commodity warehouses into HVAB [higher value-added business] powerhouses.” The transformation is to a large extent linked with the expansion of laser capabilities. At the company’s headquarters in Duisburg, it will establish a second laser centre with three tube lasers that will complement’s Klöckner’s laser centre in nearby Velten.

Elsewhere, in Kassel, it will invest into a flat-bed laser that will facilitate its entry into the market segment for plate with specific thicknesses. In Bremen, northern Germany, it is about to put into operation an automated vision-guided deburring robot for post plasma-cutting processing. Klöckner claims this facility is unique in Europe and gives it a leadership role for such services.

The company is also pushing investment into downstream services in its other main market, North America (see Kallanish 3 August). In its European market, such ambitions are even more essential, as the company sees little perspective for acquisitions or greenfield sites, unlike in North America.

Christian Koehl Germany