Milling at its best

InterviewSouth-East European INDUSTRIAL Мarket - issue 3/2009

Dipl. Ing. Hans-Joachim Holstein, Managing Partner in Maschinenfabrik Berthold Hermle AG for South-East European INDUSTRIAL Market magazine

Dear Mr. Holstein, HERMLE is one of the leading European manufacturers of metal processing machines. What is your opinion about the present market situation in your branch?
The market of machining centres worldwide is in intense break in. At the moment a lot of branches don’t invest in new technologies as 5-axis technologies. We have a lot of activities at all markets worldwide as trade fairs, the world wide web and our dealers and subsidiaries respond directly to interests, demands and customers. We don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.

How do you evaluate the development opportunities at Bulgarian market of metal processing machinery?
The Bulgarian and South East market has a long tradition in metal processing. Now instead of the centralized market we have a middle-class industry with a lot of medium and small companies.

Many foreign companies stepped on Bulgarian market for a long time and already have a developed trade and service structure. How will you manage to cope with that competition?
The high quality of our products brings the success. At the moment we have a trade representation in Bulgaria, but we intend to develop to a subsidiary for sales, distribution and technical services. We have to parent our customers here but also study the market demands and fill in the list with new ones.We are planning marketing activities at trade fairs, a lot of adds, etc.

Please, define the most specific features of markets in Southeastern Europe compared to Western or Global?
The Southeastern market has a potential of development in the future. The structures in a lot of countries will be further established. We don’t see the South-East Europe as a competitor, but as an addition to the western market. The region needs a lot of engagement and comprehension and an improved adjustment to the market.

Please, present HERMLE as a scope of activity, history, structure and market positions.
HERMLE was established in 1938. Nowadays the company has 770 employees and many subsidiaries all over the world. Our slogan "Milling at its best" presents high-performance, highly innovative machining centres that have risen to a leading position nationally and internationally. It stands for a sprawling and closely meshed sales and service network and the presence world-wide of more than 19,000 successfully installed machines. And finally, it stands for the success of our customers who achieve the best results in terms of precision and efficiency using our products. HERMLE’s universal milling machines and machining centres are used for the rational machining of tools, moulds and series-produced parts. Owing to their quality and high precision, they are being used in a large number of production areas, including in particular highly demanding sectors such as medical technology, optical industry, aircraft, automotive, car racing industries and their subcontractors.
By offering its machines completely from a single source, ranging from simple special components to a flexible manufacturing cell, HERMLE is able to provide individual customer solutions. They include handling systems in a wide range of designs, many different variations of magazine extensions, palletisation of HERMLE products and also turn-key projects.