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High-Tech Products from Lower Austria

igm Wiener Neudorf

Robotic systems. World-wide success with precision and advanced technology

As Austria’s only welding robot manufacturer, and the only one in the world to cover the full spectrum of welding and cutting automation processes, from arc through laser to electron beam technology, igm Robotersysteme AG can soon look back on 50 years of history and success. Founded in 1967 as a dealer in welding engineering products, the company developed the first robot suitable for arc welding as early as the mid-1970s. The two-arm Limat 2000 robot was a highly innovative machine for its time. In 1983 the first five-axis articulated arm robot was introduced. igm was granted the Austrian coat of arms in January 1983, and in 2012, the company was awarded the prize for innovation by the state of Lower Austria and by the Lower Austrian Economic Chamber.

20 countries, 800 employees

igm itself views its primary mission and achievement as the technical consolidation and comprehensive advancement of the areas of robotics, welding and automation. The customer’s application needs are always the top priority for the Lower Austrian company. igm robotic systems are found mostly in the market niche of welding for heavy machinery production, with a great number of investments also made in railway and construction machinery, as well as bridge and factory construction and the fabrication of cranes, forklifts and other types of transport equipment. Sales of more than 5,000 such systems make up the foundation for a solid international customer base. In the meantime, parts for railway vehicles are welded together by igm robots all over the world. The precision of these Lower Austrian robots is used to build freight cars, passenger carriages, locomotives, high-speed trains, commuter rail cars, streetcars and subway trains.

In 1983 the company established its first subsidiary in Germany. By 1992 there were already eight wholly-owned subsidiary companies. Today, igm has branches and partners in more than 20 countries. Commercial and production facilities on five continents handle the development, sales and maintenance of systems tailored to customer needs. The company employs some 800 workers throughout the world, 93 of them at the Neudorf site in Vienna.

Export empire

The export ratio of the business is around 90 percent. “Some 60-70 percent of all projects in the past year were completed in Europe, primarily in Germany, Austria and France. Europe therefore unquestionably remains our core market,” according to Martin Merstallinger, CEO of igm Robotersysteme. “China is, as in past years, our largest single sales market. The general business trend in Asia for fiscal 2015 remained, as expected, somewhat reserved, with further momentum anticipated in 2016/2017, primarily from India, to warm up the currently cool investment climate.” In China, in 2009, igm received one of the largest orders in company history. The company supplied welding robots for the new high-speed railway line between Beijing and Shanghai, valued at seven million euros. “Many well-known manufacturers would not be able to produce their products without our welding robots,” explains Martin Merstallinger. And so companies like Siemens, Caterpillar, JCB, Liebherr, Bombardier, and Doppelmayr put their trust in this company from Austria. New customers are won not only by subsidiaries in various countries, but also through participation in international trade shows, such as Euroblech, which takes place in Hanover from October 25 to 29, 2016.

Latest developments

With the introduction of the new RTe 400 robot series and the new controller generation K6, a model line came to the market that meets today’s requirements for the greatest possible flexibility. Once again, igm is demonstrating its innovative power. All over the world, more than 300 welding robot systems with this controller generation have already been delivered and put into production. CEO Martin Merstallinger on the subject of development: “Throughout the world, robots represent progress and the future. As the leading robot manufacturer in the field of arc welding, igm can draw on its existing technical expertise or further build upon it to even greater benefit. igm’s customers increasingly expect designs and solutions for fully automated factories with flexible production lines, in which the entire factory is continuously reconfigured depending on changing requirements. The autonomous electronic cooperation of the machines will bring about continuous change to the daily work routine.” Then adding, “The demand for more complex systems, such as pick & place robotic systems, as well as FMS production lines, in combination with higher welding speeds and different welding processes, is growing from year to year. igm Robotersysteme AG has already successfully completed several projects in this area worldwide, and in the years to come also plans to implement many more custom-tailored solutions, in which digitized production with self-optimizing processes for the entire system – self-improving work processes – is the main focus.”


Author: Lena Roth – Kurier special edition: „Unser Niederösterreich“; published on March 31, 2016


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igm Robotersysteme AG, Straße 2a, Objekt M8, Industriezentrum NÖ-Süd, Wiener Neudorf, Austria, T: +43 2236 6706-0, F: +43 2236 6706 99101, Mail: office@igm-group.com
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