The turn of the year is always a good opportunity to take stock. For AKL-tec GmbH, a small mechanical engineering company from Alsdorf/Sieg in the northern Rhineland-Palatinate, this balance for 2017 is positive, even though the challenges and uncertainties in the per se global market for logistics automation have definitely become more complex. In addition to more uncertain times, digitalization and sustainability demand the innovative strength and flexibility of market participants.

“Behind us lies another exciting and successful year,” comments Rüdiger Elben, Managing Director of AKL-tec GmbH. Over the past year, the team has continued to grow, with around 60 employees supporting day-to-day operations in design and development, manufacturing and sales. “In terms of annual sales, we were able to maintain the previous year’s level, while we expect a slightly declining market for the first part of 2018. With new products and concepts, we are nevertheless competing to achieve a moderate increase this year as well,” explains Elben.

As in every year, AKL-tec presented itself at LogiMAT in Stuttgart and transport+logistik in Munich. At the trade fairs, the new APACHE flying forklift system was presented for the first time. The innovative concept for measuring freight in transit was very well received.

The “Pallet Dimensioning Days” were the notable highlight of the past year. The international integrator meeting at the beginning of September, which was hosted in a technical museum in keeping with the occasion, was attended by partners of the company from all over the world. Interesting best-practice examples and presentations, exchange of expert knowledge and “networking” were the focus of the three days. A worldwide network for solving tasks around dimensional measurement is a prerequisite for supplying a globalized industry.

In November 2017, new type certificates, in particular for the Flying Forklift products, were issued by the NTEP for the legally relevant use of the determined freight dimensions in the United States of America.

Marketing-related measures in particular were stepped up. Since the beginning of 2017, AKL-tec has been working closely with the PR agency Jansen Communications. In addition, the previously rather technical-rudimentary marketing approach was supplemented by appearances in the area of social media. The perception of the company is additionally aligned and controlled for the first time through the introduction of a CI. A new website is currently in the works and will be published in early 2018.

“We will face the technical and entrepreneurial challenges that await us in 2018 with our usual openness and unbroken drive to think outside the box. Innovation and service quality will be our most important points of focus,” summarizes Rüdiger Elben.