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Our Strategy

Sustainably Outgrowing ­Markets, ­Generating Above-Peer-Group Returns

Oerlikon is the number 1 supplier of polymer processing equipment and integrated polymer plants for the chemical fiber industry and continues to hold the number 1 market position for surface coating materials, equipment and services. Leadership in these fields positions the company strongly to continue delivering above-GDP growth and for further expansion in its key markets and in adjacent markets. 

This strategy has been well tested and proven to deliver positive results in support of the company’s roadmap for growth. In addition to launching new solutions, Oerlikon consistently identifies opportunities to expand its existing technology to new applications or use in additional industries. 

The company is equally attuned to market gaps or business practice developments that create openings for expanded or enhanced service offerings. Oerlikon closely monitors emerging trends so that it can continue to anticipate tomorrow’s market opportunities and respond swiftly as they arise. 

In close collaboration with customers and partners, Oerlikon continues to research and develop the next generation of technologies to help customers meet existing, new and emerging challenges in their respective markets. Driven by megatrends such as population growth, higher demand for mobility and environmental sustainability, customers need to continuously improve their products and solutions to meet such demands. This is where Oerlikon plays a major role in supporting customers in their efforts to increase efficiency and productivity while saving costs and resources.

In 2020, Oerlikon invested CHF 118 million in R&D, reflecting its continued commitment to invest more than 4% of annual revenues in R&D. This supports Oerlikon’s objective of maintaining its lead with sustainable innovations by feeding its strong pipelines of solutions for services, equipment and materials. Oerlikon’s success in executing R&D throughout 2020 is illustrated by a number of new product launches.

Oerlikon relies on competitive capital allocation to bring its strategic objectives to fruition. For instance, in 2020, Oerlikon acquired a majority share in Teknoweb Materials S.r.l., which was established in 2017 as a joint venture. The JV and majority stake have proven to be the right strategic steps for Oerlikon to strengthen its offering in the market for flushable wipes and to meet the growing demand for nonwovens used to manufacture protective wear and face masks as well as filters and disposables. 

In 2020, a key success by Oerlikon was the execution of its restructuring and cost-out programs 
to reduce operating expenses and capital expenditure and rightsize some business areas according to market demand.

Oerlikon’s strategy to sustainably outgrow markets and generate above-peer-group returns are built on the aforementioned fundamentals, strengths and action plan. The Group’s track record in growing above GDP over the past few years (excluding the extraordinary pandemic-impacted year) affirms its strategy and confirms that it is heading toward achieving its EBITDA margin target of 16 –18% and to realizing sustainable long-term growth in attractive end markets.

Selected Examples 2020

Expand into adjacent ­markets
Entered the dental prosthesis market with BALIMED TICANA coating to meet the growing demand for implants that meet strict quality requirements.
Extended into PET polycondensation plant solutions for packaging application.

Competitive capital allocation
Acquired the thermal insulation systems business from Crosslink, Germany, to expand the portfolio of solutions for Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) for the global automotive industry.
Took majority stake in Teknoweb to strengthen foothold in nonwoven disposables market. 

Effective research and development 
Launched BALINIT PROTEC: an eco-friendly coating for industrial gas turbines to provide erosion and corrosion protection.
Introduced ecuTEC: a patented electrocharging unit used to apply an electric charge to fibers to enable filters to provide good respiratory protection.

Protecting profitability
Delivered on restructuring and cost-out measures that protected profitability in a highly challenging year.

Sustainable innovation
Developed an AM-printed e-Axle Housing with a customer to bring design, functionality and reductions in both weight and mass.
Developed a Vacufil recycling technology that enables the reutilization of polyester waste into high-end textile filament and fiber products for nonwoven applications.