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Berger Lahr targets top OEM slot

15 March, 2007

Schneider Electric’s machinery automation subsidiary, Berger Lahr, has set itself the ambitious goal of becoming the number one supplier to OEMs in the markets in which it operates by 2009. The German-based manufacturer – whose product portfolio includes servo and stepper motors, motion controls, intelligent compact drives, electronically commutated motors, and linear axes – has doubled in size over the past two years, and last year achieved sales worth €110m. Globally, Berger Lahr now has a staff of more than 700 people.

In the UK, where Berger Lahr employs 14 people, sales expanded by 28% last year. It aims to grow by a further 66% this year. The company deals directly with machinery OEMs and does not get involved with end-users. "We will never sell through distribution in the UK," declares Martin Preece, the company’s sales and marketing manager in the UK.

According to Preece, one of Berger Lahr’s strengths is that it works closely with its OEM customers and "takes the time to understand their machines. Our goal is to take complete control of customers’ machines." He says that this approach is needed in the UK because "there’s a lack of knowledge at OEMs – everyone has cut back".

Berger Lahr was founded in 1941 as a manufacturer of measuring instruments, and later controllers and relays. In 1958, it produced its first stepper motor. In 1988, it was taken over by the Swiss group SIG and the following year it launched a range of linear axes. In 2000, SIG sold the business to Schneider.

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