Ralf W. Dieter

"Industry 4.0 has evolved into an important aspect of innovation at Dürr. Our digital@DÜRR strategy relies on four pillars:

Smart products: We develop intelligent products which are self-regulating, detect changing production tasks and report servicing requirements at an early stage.

Smart services: We use the internet to analyze and service customers’ equipment online.

Smart processes: We utilize intelligent software and simulations to optimize order execution. Examples of this include virtual commissioning and virtual tours of models.

Smart factory: The key technology for any state of the art factory is powerful MES software (Manufacturing Execution System), which controls the production process. In 2015 Dürr acquired iTAC Software AG, one of the key players in that technology."


Business Model

Dürr is one of the world's leading suppliers of automated systems, services and products for the car making, furniture and the general industry. We achieve round 60% of our sales in the automotive business. We also supply equipment to the woodworking industry (among others furniture industry) , the machinery industry, and to the chemical, pharmaceutical and printing industries. About 40% of our activities are in plant engineering, 60% are in the machinery industry.

Dürr is represented in 28 countries at 86 business locations (thereof 45 with production facilities). The Dürr Group operates in the market with five divisions: Paint and Final Assembly Systems plans and builds paintshops and final assembly systems in particular for the automotive industry. Application Technology provides automated paint application, sealing, and glueing with its robot technologies. Machinery and systems from the Measuring and Process Systems division are used for balancing and transmission manufacturing as well as in final vehicle assembly, among other areas. The fourth division, Clean Technology Systems, specializes in processes to improve energy efficiency and exhaust air purification. Woodworking Machinery and Systems presents woodworking machinery and manufactures systems under the brand name HOMAG. Besides a few global competitors there are some competitors in local markets.

Production depth within the Dürr Group is relatively low. As a result, Dürr can react more flexibly in a economic downturn, and has a smaller business risk than companies with a high production depth. Dürr achieves typically high ROCE margins. 

Dürr depends on the long-term capital spending behavior of the industrial customers. Growth rates of around each 3-4% are expected in the automotive industry and in the furniture industry as well. Growth is driven by the emerging markets; with China in the lead. The share of the emerging markets in Dürr's incoming orders of about 40-50% is very high.


The “Dürr 2020” strategy is our roadmap for the Group’s development through 2020. It defines the following targets:

  • Sales: increase to as much as € 5 billion by 2020 through organic growth and further acquisitions.
  • EBIT margin: increase to 8 to 10% by 2020.
  • ROCE: Planned level of more than 30% by 2020 on a sustained basis.

Portfolio strategy: Tapping new areas of growth

A key element of “Dürr 2020” entails tapping new areas of growth. Following the successful takeover of the HOMAG Group in 2014, we want to continue on our acquisition course outside the automotive industry.

The acquisition criteria for potential targets are:

  • Mechanical and plant engineering or related services and technologies (e.g. software)
  • Leading market and technological position
  • Not in need of restructuring but offering potential for improved earnings and synergies
  • A corporate culture which is a good fit for Dürr

Further strategic areas

Our strategy for the existing portfolio has one main goal: to ensure that Dürr as a plant and mechanical engineering specialist retains its position at the market vanguard in the digital era. We are driving forward the digitization of our products, services and processes under digital@DÜRR. As the core element of our strategy, digital@DÜRR has ramifications for the four strategic fields that accompany it. We are implementing digitization initiatives in all four segments and simultaneously working on aspects critical for success such as the optimization of our organizational structures and the development of technology.

The main thrusts of the individual strategic fields are:  

  • Innovation:
    Internet of Things (IoT); Smart factories, smart products, smart processes; Automation
  • Globalization:
    Further localization of manufacturing input in the emerging markets
  • Service:
    Smart services (e.g. predictive maintenance); Customer relationship management; Growth through optimized service for the installed base
  • Efficiency:
    Digital transformation of the value creation processes; Process optimization
Dürr News