RATEC GmbH, an internationally-active manufacturer of magnetic formwork solutions, looks back on a satisfactory performance in 2020 despite the Corona situation. Although the industry is suffering from the pandemic, the Hockenheim-based market leader not only managed to maintain its position, but also partially strengthen it.
"There was a decline in sales, but it was not as severe as expected," says Jörg Reymann, summing up the past financial year. RATEC GmbH's CEO continues: "After the first lockdown in March/April 2020, the situation was markedly tense, but at the moment things are recovering well again." While the share of sales through third countries slumped, mainly due to the travel restrictions, Europe contributed strongly to overall sales last year. Germany led the way, with sales here rising from 19 percent (2019) to 24 percent (2020), and in Europe as a whole from 33 percent in 2019 to 37 percent in 2020. In total, this accounted for almost two-thirds of sales. In terms of exports, the Netherlands, France and Poland showed particularly strong growth, in addition to the top performers USA, Peru and the Philippines.
Encouraging news from within the company: Hockenheim site expanded production capacity
RATEC also reported positive developments in Hockenheim last year: The expansion of the office and production facilities in the Talhaus industrial park increased the company's production area to a total of around 6,000 square meters. The increased space requirement was necessary primarily due to the further development of the product portfolio for large formwork and room module formwork. "There was no pandemic in sight when we acquired the space," explains Jörg Reymann. And yet, he says, the decision to expand the site was strategically the right one: This is because the 3D formwork sector in particular grew last year. Accordingly, it was good to be able to have the space capacities required for this already available.
(Project) highlights 2020: a modular house production plant, formwork solutions and an anniversary
The past financial year, however, also featured additional highlights for RATEC: Following the commissioning of a second modular house production plant in Piura, Peru, the German domestic market also developed well - RATEC delivered numerous formwork solutions for transformer stations. Further orders have already been won here for the current year. And the order for a battery formwork with upcrete® pump technology in Germany was also an important milestone. Internationally, the anniversary of RATEC Asia Pte Ltd. was a particular cause for celebration. The company's first branch office in Asia celebrated its third anniversary at the beginning of 2020. The investments for the branch continue to be very profitable after three years.
Under the leadership of Reymann Technik, the general contractor in charge of planning and implementation, work on the construction of a modern automated pallet circulation system in the USA also significantly progressed in 2020. The circulation system is scheduled to go into operation as early as spring 2021. RATEC also contributed to the project by developing special window formwork that allows the windows to be casted directly into the element.
To improve internal processes, RATEC underwent an intensive audit process in 2020 and received DIN EN ISO 9001:2015 certification for its quality management system. This is linked to continuous optimization and regular audits by independent experts.
Webinars are also a new feature at RATEC. At the beginning of May, the company launched its webinar series and, over the course of the year, offered 13 individual sessions on various topics in the field of magnetic formwork technology or modular construction with 3D spatial elements made of concrete. A total of 342 participants are clear evidence of the success, and the program will be continued in 2021. The first two webinars have already taken place, and new topics and formats are being planned.
The forecast for the current financial year is also positive: with an increase in personnel in both the technical area and in sales together with a positive order situation, 2021 promises at least a stable result.
Several 3D moulds for different applications were produced in Hockenheim last year and delivered to customers worldwide.
The team of RATEC Asia Pte. Ltd. moved into their new office in Singapore.
Necessity is the mother of invention: The assembly of components for the second modular housing plant in Peru initially had to be coordinated via online assembly from Germany.