Last year, Liebherr’s turnover from truck mixers, concrete mixing plants and concrete pumps was 212 million €, a drop of 21 million € or 9.0 %.
Manufacturers of construction materials worldwide expected turnover in 2015 to reach the previous year’s level. Demand in the form of new infrastructure projects in this business area was absent, and both customers and manufacturers were exposed to competition in pricing. The German Ready-Mixed Concrete Association registered a slight drop in turnover.
Liebherr’s individual product areas developed in very different ways. Revenue from concrete mixing plants was distinctly lower, but turnover from truck mixers rose slightly and there was a noticeable increase in the contribution to turnover made by concrete pumps.
In Western Europe, the division’s turnover was slightly higher than in the previous year, with increases in the concrete mixing plant and concrete pump areas. Reduced demand for truck mixers was evident, however, especially on the French market.
The business year progressed well in the Near and Middle East, and Liebherr was able to record strong growth in the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait in particular. Sales revenue in the Far East remained at approximately the same level as that of the previous year. Higher turnover was achieved on the African continent, mainly due to increases in Egypt and South Africa. In America and Eastern Europe, on the other hand, turnover decreased noticeably. This was caused by reduced business volume in Brazil and Russia, countries suffering from economic recession.
In 2015 lightweight truck mixers continued to gain in importance in Central Europe. Ultra-light versions with weight-optimised chassis have only played a relatively minor role in the market until now.
Among the major projects undertaken was the development of a new truck mixer. The emphasis was on optimized functions for easy operation of the controls and safety of the operating personnel. Further, there was a project on the reduction of weight for a new generation of truck mixers. Comprehensive customer analysis was undertaken for the development of the new truck mixer generation.
A special innovation was presented for the first time in early 2016: a truck mixer featuring a novel, versatile platform concept for the installation of attachments such as tool boxes, and also the new LICRO 500 grade of steel for the mixer drum. Development also went ahead on a ring-pan mixer for various special grades of concrete with continuously variable mixing and agitator speeds.
The conveyor belt product family has established itself extremely well on the market over the past ten years. Unique sales features are the drive layout with two ball slewing rings and the supports, which are similar to those used on the mobile cranes.
In the mobile mixing plant area, changing market demand was catered for with the folding Mobilmix concept. It has a twin-shaft mixer holding 2.5 m³. New horizontal mixing plant concepts were developed for various growth markets.
A vibration damping concept for the concrete pumps was assessed. Its feasibility for mechanical and hydraulic elements and its integration into the control concept were explored.
In the measurement technology and control system areas, the LWS3 measuring amplifier reached series production readiness after extensive field testing, which continued around the clock for a period of ten months and has yielded a highly stable, reliable device.
Another major innovation was the development of a digital streaming sensor, which permits plant and machinery manufacturers to integrate measured values directly into their control systems. This sensor is already being used in the animal food industry and on plot combine harvesters in the seed cultivation area.
The division’s main investments were in machines and plants. Liebherr expanded its truck mixer production in Saudi Arabia. Since 2016 the division has been represented in Bulgaria by the Alki-L dealership, which has been performing this function for other Liebherr divisions for some time.
The introduction of new products and a recovery in demand for concrete mixing plants enables a forecast of a distinct increase in the division’s 2016 turnover. Risks may arise from a more severe competition.