While the expectations of the Shop Baking Equipment division were fulfilled by reaching the forecast result, the Bakery Processing Plants division was exposed to a market/demand situation which could only be described as difficult. That applies in particular to the "classic" plant engineering section, i.e. tunnel/continuous ovens and upstream automatic proofing units.
As a result of the above-mentioned market situation in plant engineering, MIWE in 2012 fell short of its budget turnover by approx. € 10 million. By contrast, the development of the craft/batch ovens was extremely positive with a turnover increase of approx. 12% over the previous year. The external sales of MIWE Service increased in particular due to an increase in growth in the maintenance agreements by approx. 6.8% by a total of € 14.1 million. Exports (excluding service turnover) accounted for approx. 54%.
The global market for flexible, mostly multi-deck, thermal oil heated continuous ovens declined considerably. MIWE had to and has (!) reacted flexibly to this change in our industry, and is repositioning itself as part of the continuing roadmap of the corporate strategy in industrial production environments specifically as a system partner for highly-automated batch production. By doing so, MIWE is taking two developments in the industry into account. For example, the demand for greater range flexibility and extremely characterful products is increasing significantly, even in industrial production environments; both are far easier to implement with MIWE's highly automated, batch-focused production system even with high quantities and continuous around-the-clock operation than with rigid line concepts.
In order to generate sustainable, profitable growth in international competition, the company started to restructure/reorganise its international sales in 2012, with the aim of implementing/establishing it on 1 January 2013.
Furthermore, this reorganisation entails the following goals:
- Establishment and expansion of MIWE's position in growth markets and high-potential market segments
- Harmonisation of developed regional structures
- Regionalisation of market development and market penetration
- Regional expertise in sales and service
- Increased presence on the market, more direct customer loyalty development, more market knowledge, faster communication
- Streamlining customer-related processes
- Regional differentiation of the MIWE overall strategy
- Optimal utilisation of the market potential
These goals and the incorporation of the current MIWE position in the various markets led to the formation of a total of 6 market regions. In future, they will be planned, developed and managed based in harmonised principles, but are autonomous in their regional product and marketing strategy. One responsible Regional Manager (RM) is responsible for each region. The RM also coordinates and develops the MIWE companies and sales and service partners in the region.
In the 2012 business year, MIWE Bäckereitechnik AG in Switzerland and the subsidiary in Russia generated positive net income far in excess of the already ambitious forecast annual figures. The figures from North America, i.e. the MIWE subsidiaries in the USA and Canada also reported positive figures. MIWE France also reached its turnover and revenue goals (in relation to the forecast value added at the Arnstein and Meinigen production locations). MIWE Italy's closing balance sheet for 2012 was negative. Appropriate steps, such as expanding the sales and service structure, have already been taken and the incoming orders in the first four months of the new business year lead us to expect a positive net income for MIWE in Italy in 2013. MIWE-Austria GmbH, Vienna, reached the forecast figures for its actual business operations, i.e. providing service and maintenance. Due to necessary restructuring measures in our Austrian service organisation and the associated costs, the report period closed with a loss.
Another look at the map reveals positive trends and results across the board. For example, the markets in South Korea and Japan, already mentioned positively in the 2011 annual report, have continued to grow at a good level as indicated by the incoming orders. Based on the incoming orders in the 2012 business year, the same can be said for the entire Baltic region. This positive trend is continued in Central and Eastern Europe, for example in Hungary and Romania. In 2012, Poland once again proved itself an extremely important, stable market.
MIWE's presence in the Australian market, which started in 2005, was rewarded with incoming orders 90% above the forecast. We must also mention that even in crisis-stricken Greece, a turnover of several hundreds of thousands of Euros was generated.
2012 – an IBA year
The 2012 business year was dominated by the IBA (International Baking Exhibition – Global Baking Market), which remains the undisputed leading trade fair for our industry. Even though the overall number of visitors to IBA 2012 in Munich decreased compared with 2009, the number of valuable trade fair contacts for MIWE, with in-depth talks on specific projects was extremely and pleasantly high.
MIWE chose the motto "Baking expertise has many faces" for its appearance at IBA 2012. Based on the knowledge that it is now no longer sufficient to add individual standalone functions to a bakehouse/production line, MIWE presented itself as a systems provider for all customer requirements, and the trade fair stand backed this up. When looking at our markets and customers, "Baking expertise has many faces" means understanding and supporting their organisational structures, ranges and processes. Perfectly integrated MIWE system solutions make it far easier for customers to concentrate on what is most important: doing better business with better baked products.
"MIWE smart engineering" is what the MIWE sales teams' consulting expertise focuses on. This primarily involves bakehouse planning, i.e. manufacturing concepts and complex production lines. That means uniting and optimising the requirements of dough technology, plant engineering and operative organisation in a clever concept with a view to the planned target range, taking profitability and the required product quality into consideration.
Good production planning therefore always means considering the planned workflow and the parameters to be influenced carefully in their entirety, and on this basis, to develop a manufacturing and organisational concept which meets the individual needs and requirements optimally.
MIWE energy – the MIWE e+ brand
At MIWE, we are committed to using energy efficiently and making a lasting contribution to energy conservation. This commitment applies to our own activities in the company and even more importantly, to the systems, devices and processes we develop for our customers. For cost reasons, with a view to the increasingly strict standards and legislation, and also out of responsibility for the environment and nature, we do everything in our power to reduce the energy required to operate our systems to the technically and technologically essential minimum. MIWE energy makes us the energy efficiency innovators in the baking industry.
MIWE's e+ brand is the expression of the commitment we made in our strategic principles to make a comprehensive and substantial contribution to the efficient use of energy and sustainable energy savings. Only new and upgraded products which significantly increase the energy efficiency compared with the products they replace (at least 5%, the design goal is always >10%), receive the e+ label/quality mark.
MIWE synchro – Adding value without waste
MIWE synchro's main goal is to add value without waste, optimal synchronisation of processes and sub-processes to reduce cycle times and increase quality and flexibility. Methods and principles from lean management are used to achieve this goal. They primarily include the internal customer-supplier principle, which means that we see everyone who needs the results of our work as a basis for their work as our (internal customer) and act accordingly.
As a result, we took the next step to optimise the value chain in 2012, by preparing to integrate production directly in the divisions' value chain. That means that production is no longer a service provider to the division, but part of the process chain. In turn, this reduces cycle times significantly. The organisation described here will take effect from 1 January 2013.
The service sector will also be incorporated in the divisions, which means that MIWE's services to customers will be integrated directly in the customer philosophy/division strategy.
MIWE Service – 24/7, 365 days a year
MIWE Service offers our customers a comprehensive range of services developed in close cooperation with bakers around the world to fulfil exactly what our customers expect. Customers around the world now expect a service hotline/helpline staffed 365 days a year, 7 days a week, around the clock, as standard. But MIWE goes above and beyond this with a helpline staffed exclusively by qualified personnel, so that our customers reach precisely the right contact who can take care of their needs and help customers with their expertise, even outside normal business hours.
Customers who value reliable production, can put together a service package to meet their needs exactly with a MIWE service agreement. For example, they can combine different service components and intervals for different systems. The "MIWE Remote Service" packages are also individual and demand-based. For instance, if a customer chooses the "diagnostics" service package (note: currently available for all MIWE cooling systems), all messages sent by the control units of the connected systems are monitored around the clock from the MIWE control centre. If a problem occurs, a MIWE expert contacts the customer. After immediate analysis, the MIWE specialist reaches the customer's premises with the right replacement part within 24 hours if a service deployment is required. Remote Service often even allows MIWE to intervene in the control unit and rectify the fault quickly without having to send out a technician.
The above-mentioned customer-specific service packages, combined with continuous personnel development, process improvements and active customer consultation have helped MIWE Service to grow its turnover in the 2012 business year compared with the previous year by 6.8%, now reaching an overall turnover including sales of replacement parts of > 14 million Euros.
Research & Development
Cooperation with universities and colleges of applied science has proven itself in fundamental research. Among others, the Bakery Processing Plants division carried out fundamental research work as part of two final theses in 2012.
The first investigated controlling moisture and temperature in baking chambers to achieve a reproducible increase in baking quality while using energy efficiently. The next, upcoming step is to implement the results achieved in practical applications.
The second final thesis was divided into theoretical and practical sections. It developed a model of a fully automatic proofing unit to perform flow simulations to optimise the geometry to make the air flow as even as possible over all products to be proofed. The practical section validated the results from the flow simulation using appropriate measurement technology. Our customers already have initial prototypes for practical testing, the products exhibit significantly better skin formation and evenness.
For MIWE (bakery) cooling systems, a process optimisation was developed for the fully automatic proofing unit MIWE-GVA using control technology (MIWE-TC), primarily by using/installing frequency controlled fans. Combined with other design measures/changes, this increased energy efficiency by more than 10%, earning the fully automatic proofing unit the MIWE e+ label (see also "MIWE energy").
The rack oven MIWE roll-in e+ was also upgraded, and can now be justifiably called probably the most economical/energy efficient rack oven in the world. The rack oven MIWE roll-in e+ has been further improved in terms of energy efficiency, by installing a self-regulating flap in the flue gas duct, MIWE eco:wing.
Installing a new steam device made of grey cast iron improves the sheen on the baked goods and an optional heat storage wall reduces the temperature drop when loading the oven for batch-after-batch baking (continuous baking) to just a few degrees Celsius. The connected load of the MIWE roll-in e+ was reduced by a further 25 kW, this value refers to the model for the baking tray size 60 x 80 cm (DIN 58 x 78 cm). In addition to this, the MIWE e+ rack oven product family was supplemented with a model for tray size "60 x 60" (including for baking trays of sizes 18" x 26" and 18" x 30").
The flue gas-heated deck ovens MIWE ideal remain an important supplier of turnover. This model series features two innovations to improve the baking results and another measures for energy efficiency. A new, powerful steam unit helps
improve the baking results. The "mass", i.e. the evaporation performance, was increased significantly by using larger steam pipes. The second measure is using a new burner technology, combined with a new control software. Together, they permit stepless adjustment of the heating output and thus reproducible operation of the oven with a baking curve coordinated for the respective baking product.
The MIWE ideal also earned the e+ label granted based on strict internal guidelines. The energy efficiency increase required for this was achieved by installing a self-controlling flap in the flue gas duct, as with the rack oven MIWE roll-in.
The BS division focused on developing a new generation (series 2.1) of the convection oven MIWE aero, with improvements in specific areas.
The baking chamber cleaning procedure MIWE cleaning control 3.0, which is both environmentally friendly and fully automatic, using a liquid cleaning agent, is particularly worthy of mention. An automatic timer allows the cleaning process to be integrated in the store/branch workflows via the oven control unit. The liquid cleaning agent developed with a specialist laboratory specifically for use in our in-store baking stations is food-safe, poses no risk to health and is therefore also environmentally friendly. With the MIWE cleaning control 3.0, our developers succeeded in ensuring a hygienically clean baking chamber after each cleaning cycle with optimised water and energy consumption.
For bakery branch operators and the grocery retailer/discounter growth market, a manual loading system (one loading trolley) is now available as an optional accessory for the convection oven MIWE aero.
The electrically heated deck oven MIWE condo was upgraded in 2012, with a new control unit MIWE-MNCS plus one, a touch control unit with a capacitative glass display (also used in other MIWE systems). The MIWE TC (the name of this new control unit) is particularly easy to operate with the practical easy mode and geared toward the needs and possibilities of in-store baking and safe operation. With the fully flush glass panel on the MIWE TC, it is particularly easy to clean, the new high-contrast 7-inch display is easy to read, even from far away.
The redesigned loading door of the multi-purpose oven MIWE condo offers further significant customer benefits. Equipped with a special loading position, the inside (!) of the glass/window pane of the baking chamber door is simple to clean, without soiling the baking chamber.
The under-counter proofing cabinet MIWE GSA, as the most important accessory in combination with the MIWE in-store ovens, has been completely redesigned. It features a deep-drawn proofing chamber, seamlessly welded without dirt traps like joints, edges and screws,
and completely free of silicone susceptible to mould, the proofing cabinet MIWE GS complies with strictest hygiene specifications and requirements.
With a consistent implementation of lean production principles in cooperation by manufacturing and design in the project, and also with focused make-or-buy analyses, assemblies were outsourced to qualified suppliers/partner companies where it made economic sense. In turn, that significantly increased the manufacturing capacity, against the background of the expected increases in lot sizes in the 2013 business year, and as a possible measure in the event of macroeconomic/utilisation fluctuations.
The ten new product/innovation ideas which were passed on to the development phase in 2012 via the product development process prove that research and development play a key role at MIWE.
Compared with various current food production sub-industries, the baking sector faces a relatively high consolidation pressure. The reasons for the structural simplification of the bakery market are primarily the higher purchasing costs and rising energy and rental prices, as these cost increases cannot be passed on to consumers in full. It can be assumed that the number of independent producing companies/bakeries will decrease significantly.
Of course, we also retailers/discounter drivers of structural changes, with roughly half of consumer expenditure on bread and bakery products are made in the food retail sector. The constantly increasing success of discounters as sellers of baked goods has further increased the price pressure.
The baked goods industry faces the challenge of optimising all aspects of its production workflow. In the branch sector, this can/will result in closures of unprofitable locations. The international competitive intensity is also increasing, with foreign companies having long since considered a presence on the German market as profitable. Thus, the structural simplification in the baked goods industry is in full swing. Baking companies must review their current strategy, and consider their options in the consolidation process to survive on the market as winners.
In summary, the national and international markets are currently experiencing major upheaval:
- we are seeing larger production units with significant increases in process industrialisation as well as differentiation and internationalisation of distribution channels.
- Craft organisation forms and smaller producing companies are suffering increasingly.
- Retailers and discounters are taking over the supply of baked goods to a large extent.
In light of all this, MIWE considers itself well positioned with a range of consulting, products and services focused directly on the requirements and needs (demands) of the growth markets/growth segments in our industry.