Mikron Machining Solutions

In the Machining Solutions business segment, the Mikron Machining and Mikron Tool divisions gen­erated higher sales than in the previous year.

The exceptionally high order intake in the previous year, when the Mikron Machining division was able to acquire numerous long-term orders, led to a significant increase in annual sales in 2023. New orders for lead-free applications in the electronics and consumer industries, as well as other non-automotive applications, contributed to the diversification of the Machining division. After fur­ther growth in the first half of 2023, service volumes were down slightly in the second half of the year. The new Mikron Machining management team headed by Matteo Castiglioni was able to position the division in a market niche that allows for constant profitability. Expertise in applications other than the combustion engine and in new markets forms the backbone of this successful transition.

In the Mikron Tool division, demand for its high-performance cutting tools remained at a high level. The division increased sales outside the automotive industry in particular by ramping up sales with new products for applications in the pharmaceutical and medical technology industries, and once again achieved good profitability. In parallel, its work with distributors is developing positively and allowing broad market access. Following the retirement of Markus Schnyder, the successful long-term head of Mikron Tool, the new management team under Elio Lupica is now working to further expand Mikron Tool’s strong market position with strategic vision and a great desire for innovation.

Key figures for Mikron Machining Solutions
At CHF 139.1 million, net sales in the Mikron Machining Solutions business segment in 2023 exceeded those of the 2022 financial year (CHF 125.7 million) by 10.7%. At CHF 136.1 million, the Mikron Machining Solutions order intake did not reach the record figure of 2022 (CHF 169.0 million, -19.5%). However, the resulting order backlog at the end of the year still amounted to a considerable CHF 99.1 million (end of 2022: CHF 101.8 million). Mikron Machining Solutions posted EBIT of CHF 11.8 million (2022: CHF 9.3 million) and an EBIT margin of 8.5%.

69% of Mikron Machining Solutions’ net sales came from Europe (2022: 65% including Switzerland), 13% from North America (2022: 14%) and 17% from Asia (2022: 20%). The business segment achieved 20% of its nets sales in the consumer goods industry (2022: 18%), 15% in the automotive industry (2022: 24%), 13% in the writing industry (2022: 11%), and 10% in the industrial and building industries (2022: 9%).

Innovations and continuous improvements
In 2023, Mikron Machining continued with the further development of its Mikron MultiX rotary transfer machine platform. To specifically supplement its product portfolio for applications not yet covered, Mikron acquired DM2 – a small innovative manufacturer of rotary transfer CNC machines in Italy. This acquisition supports Mikron Machining’s long-term strategy of offering more options in the rotary transfer machine sector.

Mikron Tool further advanced its product development strategy and launched additional products for stainless steels and heat-resistant alloys, especially for the pharmaceutical and medical technology industries. With its CrazyMill Cool Micro, the engineers at Mikron Tool have succeeded in transferring complex high-performance cutting-edge geometries to micro milling cutters, and in developing the world’s smallest milling cutter. This requires a high level of expertise, not just in development work. From a production point of view, it is also a major challenge to implement such complex geometries in milling cutters with diameters smaller than 1.0 mm (.039”) in the correction range of 0.1 μm (3.94 μin). This demands highly meticulous grinding skills from the grinding machine operator.