Grafenberg, August 24, 2012 – “In the current environment, we expect a positive financial year,” announced Michael Rampf, CEO of RAMPF Holding GmbH & Co. KG, at the press conference held last Wednesday, August 15, 2012, to mark the end of the financial year 2011/2012.
RAMPF is a development partner and system supplier for customized solutions in reactive casting resins, processing technologies, and machine systems. The family-run group comprises five companies in Germany and three international branches. Based in Grafenberg in southern Germany, RAMPF has around 550 employed personnel worldwide. The number of the employers at the RAMPF Group has risen by 20 percent over the financial year, from 444 to 533 (as of June 30, 2012). With consolidated sales of EUR 120 million up roughly 14 percent compared with 2010/2011, financial year 2011/2012 was the second consecutive record year for the RAMPF Group.
Financial year 2011/2012 ended in June 30, 2012. At the press conference, Michael Rampf summarized the highlights of the financial year and the Group’s planned investments for the financial year 2012/2013. Additionally the company founder Rudolf Rampf announced his retirement from the management team of RAMPF Holding, by handing over the reins to Michael Rampf, Matthias Rampf, and Horst Bader. An advisory board is incorporated into the structure of the RAMPF Group, resulting the Group’s succession planning to enter the next phase.
Succession planning in the RAMPF Group
Up to now, company founder Rudolf Rampf has been in charge of RAMPF Holding’s management team. His sons Michael and Matthias Rampf have been actively involved in the company for several years. As CEO of RAMPF Holding, Michael Rampf is responsible for sales & marketing, quality management, human resources, compliance, and IT services. Matthias Rampf is in charge of research & development, technology & production, service, occupational safety, and real estate. Horst Bader, CFO of RAMPF Holding, will continue to be responsible for finance, accounting, financial controlling, and strategic purchasing.
The RAMPF Group is structured in a traditional way, with a holding company. The Group’s eight operating companies are managed by independent managing directors from the relevant industries including chemistry, modeling, mold engineering, mixing and dispensing technologies, mechanical engineering, and recycling. Within the structure of the RAMPF Group, the new three-person advisory board chaired by Rudolf Rampf will approve key tasks in the future – for example, defining corporate strategy, signing off on the group-wide budget, approving the acquisition of land and property, and approving the appointment of managing directors. The two other members of the advisory board are old friends and entrepreneurs: Rainer Schiefelbein and former Minister of Finance of Baden-Württemberg Willi Stächele. “We have successfully made the transition to the next generation,” said Rudolf Rampf.
Review of financial year 2011/2012
The highlights of the RAMPF Group’s financial year include the creation of the “Sustainability and the future” department for the research and development of raw materials based on sustainable resources. With access to European funding, the new research laboratory has, for example, focused on the wood waste product lignin as a raw material for reactive synthetic resins. “The ‘Sustainability and the future’ department is another step toward improving sustainability in the Group,” says Michael Rampf.
RAMPF’s countless technological innovations include a non-toxic face casting system for the casting industry, the 1:1 scale casting of large-volume models by RAMPF Tooling, and the fast-curing RAKU-PUR Speed 32-3250-36 foam from RAMPF Giessharze. With its new EPUTRONIC product line, EPUCRET Mineralgusstechnik is setting itself up to date, integrating customer-specific positioning and moving systems into the machine bed for the machine tools industry at its site in Wangen near Göppingen. In the future, RAMPF Tooling will offer a comprehensive range of resin infusion systems based on epoxy resin for use in mold engineering applications, from wind turbine blades to musical instruments. Thanks to its lightweight design, good resilience over a temperature range of between 100 and 170 °C, corrosion resistance, and excellent malleability, this carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic is considered as the material of the future.
The RAMPF Group expects sales of EUR 120 million for financial year 2011/2012, a 14 percent increase over the previous year. Almost 50 percent of Group sales (EUR 60 million) were generated in the mechanical engineering segment, 28 percent (EUR 34 million) in modeling and mold engineering, and 22 percent (EUR 26 million) in liquid resins. Sales in the EU and the rest of world (ROW) were 14 percentage points higher than sales in Germany. Sales in Germany accounted for 43 percent (EUR 52 million) of total sales, while sales in the EU and ROW were estimated as EUR 68 million (57 percent of total sales).
The RAMPF Group’s total investments in the financial year 2011/2012 amounted to EUR 10.5 million, when 10 percent of which was used for investments abroad. Companies in the RAMPF Group are active not only on traditional markets, but also on new markets. Greater emphasis is therefore being placed on expanding capacities in these regions. The RAMPF Group, Inc. facility in Atlanta, Georgia, was expanded started producing this year, casting liquid products and for foaming components, which are used e.g., at the automotive industry using a contract manufacturing model. The same expansion stands for the sales department of RAMPF Group Japan, K.K.
Around EUR 4 million of investments at national level was channeled into the extension of RAMPF Dosiertechnik in Zimmern o.R. to accommodate a new logistics and service center. Further investments were made in a new grinding machine for the precision grinding center in Bessenbach and the expansion of the EPUGRIND (contract grinding of machine beds) and EPUSTONE (machine beds made of natural hard stone) product lines of EPUCRET Mineralgusstechnik.
Investments of EUR 4.5 million are planned for the financial year 2012/2013, primarily for capacity expansion at the Grafenberg site.
The Group’s increased presence at international trade fairs in the last financial year – including ELECRAMA and PlastIndia in India, Seatec, MESCPE, and Plast in Italy, EP Shanghai, CEF, and Chinaplas in China, and Winfair in Turkey – is part of the company’s “RAMPF thinks globally but acts locally” internationalization strategy. With three branches in the United States, Japan, and China and numerous sales partners, RAMPF has established a strong global presence as a development partner and system supplier.
Outlook for 2012/2013
In the financial year 2012/2013, the Group plans to exhibit at five major trade fairs in Germany, e.g., Motek and Bondexpo in Stuttgart, Fakuma in Friedrichshafen, electronica in Munich, and JEC in Paris. The premiere of the new EPUTRONIC product line at Motek will be an outstanding highlight of the coming trade fair season.
2012 wage and salary increase
The RAMPF Group’s wage and salary increase will take effect in September 2012. Employees will receive a 4.5 percent wage or salary increase amounting to no less than EUR 180 more per month. Trainees will receive an additional EUR 50 per month.
The Group forecasts sales of around EUR 122.5 million for the financial year 2012/2013. Order levels at companies in the RAMPF Group are expected to remain roughly on a par with last year. “In the current environment, we expect a positive financial year,” explained Michael Rampf.
Vision 2020 – 2030
CEOs Michael and Matthias Rampf have openly declared their goal to keep running the Group as an independent, family-run business and to allow it to grow organically using its own cash flow. The equity ratio should be at least 30 percent at all times and profits will be plowed back into the company. RAMPF will continue to offer skilled employees a future-oriented workplace which is going forward. As a training enterprise certified by the IHK (Chamber of Industry and Commerce), the Group trains young people in careers such as chemical technicians, chemical lab technicians, and industrial managers. Strategic topics that support the long-term growth of the Group through an excellent HR policy are another important aspect of corporate governance. The workforce has doubled in the last ten years.
The financial year 2011/2012 was a year of nominations for the RAMPF Group. In public recognition of its outstanding achievements in its role as a company and in the community, the RAMPF Group, headquartered in Grafenberg, Germany, was nominated for the “Grosser Preis des Mittelstandes” (Award for Midsize Enterprises) organized by the Oskar Patzelt Stiftung. Each year, SMEs throughout Germany and across all industries are nominated for the award, which is held under the motto “Healthy SMEs – strong economy – more jobs”. Organized by the Oskar Patzelt Stiftung since 1994, the “Grosser Preis des Mittelstandes” is considered the most prestigious and coveted business award in Germany.
Resin specialists at RAMPF Giessharze were also nominated for the German Industrial Film Award with their corporate movie “We love challenges”. The German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology will present the 45th German Industrial Film Award in recognition of exceptional films made by and about an industry. The film provides an amusing and engaging insight into a product that is little known to the general public – reactive casting resins from RAMPF.
Social commitments and sponsoring
As well as adopting a sustainable approach to building constructions, making investments, and research & development, the Group’s corporate philosophy also encompasses the social commitments of the Rudolf Rampf Foundation. Such commitments include the sponsorship of the regional handball and soccer teams (TUS Metzingen, TV Neuhausen, TSV Grafenberg), clubs, and social establishments such as kindergartens, children’s homes, and partnering with various industry-related universities. “Projects like these encourage young people, draw attention to RAMPF as an attractive employer in the region, and are a lot of fun, too,” says Michael Rampf.
Innovative corporate development
“Innovations stems solely from communication, and ideas are an essential ingredient of creativity,” said Michael Rampf. As part of the innovation drive, which started in 2008, RAMPF launched an event series known as “Innovation stars on the red couch”. The guests who were invited to the red couch have broken new ground with courageous innovations. The first guests in the RAMPF Innovation Center in Grafenberg were sound designer and composer Peter Philippe Weiss and Britta Heidemann, a gold Olympic medalist in Beijing and silver medalist in épée fencing in London. RAMPF uses this discussion platform to encourage employees to share experiences across different departments and generations.
A group of employees created the new RAMPF corporate sound themselves. Equipped with recording equipment, they passed through the production facilities and administration offices recording the sounds of their workplace. Using the necessary equipment they fashioned themselves from with typical company materials, such as board material, foam gaskets, and adhesive. They managed to capture the sound of the technical equipment and reactive resins that they develop in the company. Peter Philippe Weiss then used this to create “The Power of RAMPF”, the sound of the company – dynamic, sustainable, global, and inventive.
Core business areas of the RAMPF Group
The Group’s core business areas include the automotive, electronic/measurement/sensor technology, wind and solar energy/photovoltaics, foundry, marine, aviation, machine tool, and special machine industries. The RAMPF Group consists of five companies – RAMPF Giessharze (Grafenberg), RAMPF Dosiertechnik (Zimmern o.R.), RAMPF Tooling (Grafenberg), EPUCRET Mineralgusstechnik (Wangen near Göppingen), and RAMPF Ecosystems (Pirmasens). They are all united under a holding company. Key foreign markets include Europe, Asia, the United States, and Mexico.