WIKUS Annual Review 2023 & Outlook for 2024

The 2023 financial year was a very special one for WIKUS-Sägenfabrik Wilhelm H. Kullmann GmbH & Co.: the traditional company celebrated its 65th anniversary and continued its successful path of internationalization. WIKUS Italia was launched in summer 2023 and in Mexico additional milestones were reached for WIKUS Sierras Cintas.

Spangenberg, January 8, 2024:In 2023, WIKUS celebrated 65 years of tradition in the sawing industry. The Sägenfabrik’s long-standing expertise is not only reflected in its high-performance band saw blades and precision circular saw blades. The past year was also marked by the addition of digital tools. This gives customers an even more comprehensive service beyond sawing tools and consultation.

In addition to the existing online cutting data program ParaMaster®, which is constantly updated, or the 3D-Showroom, this year WIKUS also developed additional tools for the improvement of efficiency and cost savings.
For example, the automated ordering and inventory management system WIstockIT® was improved upon. The optimized mobile app-based system has been available since September 2023. It replaces the previously stationary, RFID-based components and enables greater flexibility in the procurement and logistics of band saw blades – now also for band saw blade rolls. The system has already been successfully implemented for various customers, such as our international customer Uddeholm AB. Since the introduction of the system, the company has benefited from the automated supply of materials and a massive increase in the efficiency of ordering processes.

WIstockIT® App

Uddeholm AB

With the new WIKUS Remote Service WIKUS has expanded its technical support to provide immediate assistance with sawing challenges. From now on, the sawing experts from WIKUS can get a look into the customer’s direct production environment using audiovisual telephony. A look at the machine or sawing tool directly results in a problem analysis. A solution can then be implemented quickly and uninterrupted production ensured.

In order to ensure smooth operation of the sawing tools and the highest quality at all times, production procedures are continuously adapted to the latest technical standards. In 2023, WIKUS optimized the coating process for the KREOS® precision circular saw blade. The technical properties of the saw blade have remained the same; only the appearance is new.

Other band saw blades with dimensions starting at 13 mm in band thickness were also converted to WIKUS inline production. MARATHON® M42, PRIMAR® M42,PROFLEX® M42, SKALAR® M42 and SELEKTA® GS M42 now feature Superfinishing with increased manufacturing quality and fatigue strength as well as improved product quality.

Precision circular saw blade KREOS®

Band saw blades

It’s not just WIKUS’ products that are outstanding: The company itself ranks among the leaders in the nationwide ranking for modern working models and sustainable workplaces. This has been confirmed, for example, by the  “Germany’s 2023/24 Companies of the Future” award from the news magazine STERN and the HR marketing experts at Territory Embrace. WIKUS achieved an overall rating of 4 out of 5 stars.

WIKUS was also able to win over the EcoVadis rating agency for the second time for its sustainable and ethical business and procurement activities in line with ESG criteria. The platform rated WIKUS better than 56 percent of the approximately 100,000 companies that took part worldwide and recertified the Sägenfabrik with the bronze medal. With this, WIKUS is building on its first successful certification in 2021.

Sustainable and forward-looking action by companies were also the key themes at EMO 2023 in Hanover. At the leading trade fair for metalworking, WIKUS presented its innovative sawing solutions, sustainable product highlights for purchasing and procurement, as well as environmentally friendly measures that are being implemented at the company headquarters in Spangenberg.

International customers from the USA, Canada, Mexico, Northern Europe, and Taiwan, among others, were able to witness these measures for themselves during their visit to WIKUS:
The guests were given a thorough insight into the production halls, modern inline production, and the company grounds. Exclusive guided tours made it possible to share technological know-how with customers, while intensive discussions cemented existing partnerships and created new ones.

In 2024, WIKUS will continue to focus on its proximity to customers and the optimization of their sawing processes – internationally as well. For example, WIKUS is opening up new markets by expanding and establishing new international locations as part of its long-term success. This ensures that the Sägenfabrik has a presence in important sales countries and can react flexibly to country-specific customer requirements.

Since March 2023, WIKUS has expanded its management team in Germany to include Karsten Gutke in the “Production and Maintenance” division. The new management structure is intended to ensure the successful development of the group to meet diverse market requirements. In Austria, WIKUS AUSTRIA has established itself as part of the Sägenfabrik’s decentralized, international sales strategy: the subsidiary celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2023. WIKUS continued its successful internationalization with the launch of WIKUS Italia in summer 2023 and the founding of WIKUS SIERRAS CINTAS in Mexico.

WIKUS Austria GmbH, Kapfenberg, Österreich

WIKUS Austria is celebrating its tenth anniversary

“The cornerstone of our company is the people who work there and contribute their expertise and passion every day. They are the ones who make WIKUS’ success possible. This makes it all the more tragic when we have to say goodbye to our colleagues. Georgi Jossifov, Managing Director of WIKUS Saw Technology, Corp., passed away in October 2023 at the age of just 46. Under his visionary leadership, our subsidiary in the USA has achieved impressive success. He has made a significant contribution to the expansion and development of the entire WIKUS Group in North and South America. We deeply regret this loss,” says Michael Möller, Managing Director of the Corporate Group and Sales division at WIKUS.

A look back at 2023: What moved WIKUS in the past 12 months

Figure 1: WIstockIT® reduces costs along the entire purchase-to-order process and supports customers on their path to becoming an automated, digitalized production company.

Figure 2: The KREOS® precision circular saw blade was in action digitally at EMO 2023 and attracted a lot of attention as a hologram.

Figure 3: Karsten Gutke (left) is the third non-family managing director to lead the group in Germany alongside Jörg Utech, Dr. techn. Jörg H. Kullmann, and Michael Möller (from left to right).

Outlook for 2024:
A focus on the customer with closely interlinked partnerships

The eventful year of 2023 has once again demonstrated that WIKUS is on the right track with its goal of being more than just a tool manufacturer. As a holistic partner and solution provider for optimized sawing processes, WIKUS will continue to place the customer at the center of all its activities in 2024. Driven by the further development of products in the past year, 2024 will be all about innovation and the utmost quality.

“We would like to thank all our customers and partners for the excellent cooperation over the past year. Together, we have successfully implemented many projects and look forward to achieving further milestones with you. In the future, we will continue to develop innovative solutions to your challenges, further strengthen our partnerships, and pursue the expansion of our international sales,” says Michael Möller.

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Diana Thiel, Marketing Officer

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