Seaming machine specialist Ferrum is investing heavily in increasing manufacturing capacity at its headquarters in Switzerland and setting up a new subsidiary in Vietnam, as part of efforts to extend its international reach and shorten supply chains.
Ferrum has earmarked CHF40 million (US$44m) to build up capacity and integrate the manufacturing of can seamers at Schafisheim, 40km west of Zurich. Construction is due to commence this summer.
In the early part of this year, Ferrum will also establish a new office at Ho Chi Minh City in southern Vietnam.
“For 2023 we are back on our growth path,” said Ferrum executive chairman Beat Bühlmann. “I am very pleased to continue our international expansion.”
Although Ferrum enjoyed record sales of CHF220m in 2021, they fell to CHF200m last year, due to what the company described as “geopolitical difficulties as well as the supply chain challenges”.
Global supply chains have been redrawn by the Covid pandemic, during which trade slumped and once-thriving international trade routes closed. They’ve also been hit by tensions between China and the US, with protectionist measures rising in response. The resultant rise in transport costs and longer delivery times has prompted manufacturers to source raw materials and equipment closer to home.
Despite 2021’s sales decline, Ferrum is planning to grow its business and last year opened two new sales and service centres. One is at Bangkok in Thailand, and the other is at Solihull in the UK’s Midlands.
“The internationalisation gives Ferrum’s global customers quicker and better access to all products and services,” the company said in a statement, which went on to suggest it is considering adding a further two international sites in 2024.
Can filling equipment provider KHS part owns Ferrum and has worked closely with the German company for many years the two seek to provide a more integrated offering to customers.
Ferrum also has overseas offices in Germany, Poland, the US, Brazil, India and China.