ETMM Exclusive FFG Europe eyes German ops, bigger share of mould market

Editor: Eric Culp

The Italian machine tool market has seen stark declines in recent years, but that hasn't stopped one company there from expanding. Based in Milan, FFG Europe first bought a number of Italian producers and then pushed into Germany, where it’s still on the hunt.

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Chairman Luigi Maniglio, here at the FFG Europe plant near Milan, said the company is still looking for possible acquisitions.
Chairman Luigi Maniglio, here at the FFG Europe plant near Milan, said the company is still looking for possible acquisitions.
(Source: Klöpping)

FFG Europe shook things up last year with the announcement that it would purchase a number of German machine tool builders. Yvonne Klöpping from our parent company Vogel Business Media travelled to Milan to talk with Chairman Luigi Maniglio, who has since moved to Germany to oversee the changes. He provided more details about the deal and the company’s plans for the tool and die sector.

ETMM: What will happen with ongoing MAG IE projects?

Luigi Maniglio: Of course we will continue any engagement and any ongoing project. And then we will evaluate – together with the German colleagues–other projects that we want to add to the board, if needed. Generally speaking [...] there are some R&D projects that have been presented at EMO. Those are going to go on. Then, of course, there are going to be many more projects that are going to be more organisational type of projects than real technical projects, because we need to create a new company. It is a division and because it (MAG IE) was a division, it was not a full company. Now it’s going to be a full and complete company, meaning that we are going to have a central staff to have all the typical components of the organisational structure, I mean of any independent, full-fledged company. So these are important projects, and then there is the second type of projects, the synergy-seeking projects with the remaining part of the FFG Group.

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Related: FFG buys German machine tool builders

ETMM: Will the current facilities/headquarters in Germany continue to exist?

Maniglio: We have six locations that are inside the parameter of our deal. There are three industrial locations–Mosbach, Chemnitz and Taunusstein–and they are going to remain. There are three more service locations: one in Witten, one in Offenburg and one in Göppingen. The ones in Offenburg and Witten are going to remain exactly as they are. The one in Göppingen is going to be put together with our future headquarters. We are currently looking for a location around Göppingen. So our main offices will be in the area of Göppingen/Stuttgart. We have a couple of options that we are evaluating. So there is going to be the service unit that was in Göppingen before and a part of the sales team, which traditionally was located in Göppingen for the horizontal turning machines. So it’s going to be 50 to 55 people.

ETMM: Are you planning to relocate some of the MAG IE products or product lines, for example, to Asia or Italy?

Maniglio: In principle, we don’t relocate production. We didn’t even do that here and we’ve already been working with Taiwan and China for two years and we didn’t relocate one single machine. This is not our philosophy. And therefore all production–let’s call it the FFG Werke, because MAG IE in that sense for me doesn’t exist anymore–so the production of FFG Werke GmbH is going to remain where it is. We are going to develop new product lines and this can be done jointly together with Taiwan or Italy, for instance, but we have no intention of moving the products around from where they are today.