December 3, 2012

Fagor Arrasate: “Made in Euskadi” award

Fagor Arrasate received the “Made in Euskadi” award at the 21st La Noche de la Empresa Vasca, organised by the Basque Business and Society Foundation

Fagor Arrasate event: Fagor Arrasate: “Made in Euskadi” award

At a spectacular event held in the Main Events Hall of the Guggenheim Museum, Fagor Arrasate was presented with the "Made in Euskadi" award at the 21st La Noche de la Empresa Vasca (Basque Business Evening), organised by the Basque Business and Society Foundation. This award recognises the work of companies that excel in establishing Basque industry around the world. The event was attended by the Basque Government’s Minister for Economy and Finance, Carlos Aguirre, and a large number of representatives from the financial and institutional worlds. This accolade rewards Fagor Arrasate’s long, determined and successful history of internationalisation over the past 60 years, a strategy which has made it a worldwide reference point in the forming machine tool sector. The company’s Managing Director, Jose Mari Balzategui, collected the award from last year’s winner, Mr Barrenetxea, of Gestamp. The jury particularly valued the quality of work carried out with a global business vision from the very start, and the company’s multinational form of management, which is adapted to each different market.

In their acceptance speech, the award winners expressed their thanks and reminisced about the most important milestones in Fagor Arrasate’s history, events that have made it one of the most important companies around the world in this sector and a herald of strong international work by Basque industry. They affectionately remembered their first exports to Mexico and France in the 1960s, their hard work at fairs when starting out, and their clear strategy of contracting a cosmopolitan, dynamic and multilingual workforce that spent long periods of time abroad, which was rather unusual in those days. Then, they described how they opened local offices in the 70s and 80s with installations that were industry reference points at the time, such as a complete tube factory in Libya, or the first robot-controlled press lines supplied to the largest car manufacturers. The company achieved definitive global positioning in the 1990s when it reached China, an expansion operation which concluded a few years ago when a complete factory was opened near Kunshan where 150 of the approximately 800 Fagor Arrasate employees currently work.

This continuous work has led to excellent results; Fagor installations are present in 70 countries, international sales represent 90% of total sales, workers are employed in almost twenty countries and the company has achieved a turnover of 230 million euros. It counts the most important car manufacturers on the planet among its regular clients (Volkswagen, Ford, General Motors, Daimler, BMW, Renault, PSA, Tata, Mitsubishi, etc.), and also the best stamping companies in the world (Gestamp, Magna, Benteler, Polynorm, etc.), the biggest iron and steel firms (ArcelorMittal, ThyssenKrupp, Baosteel, Salzgitter, Tata Steel, Jindal, Acerinox, Ruuki, Jindal, Bushan, Tisco, Wisco, etc.) and the leading manufacturers of household appliances (Bosh-Siemens, Fagor, Electrolux, Whirlpool, General Electric, etc.). Fagor Arrasate is a now a completely international company, communicating worldwide through its website, considered a reference point in the sector, and its presence on social networks, yearly events and symposiums in a variety of locations, attendance at fairs with top level stands, articles in the main international magazines, periodic presentations in the Group’s factories, and its own global network that coordinates and connects the company’s employees around the world, etc.

The award winners also put particular emphasis on the fact that Fagor Arrasate’s international vision has always been closely accompanied by ambitious technological development aims. They explained that the company dedicates significant resources to R&D in collaboration with the KONIKER technology centre, and international universities and research centres. This has meant that, during the past decade, Fagor Arrasate has been able to develop revolutionary innovations such as the advanced servopress, the WAVELINE robotic, synchronised press line, the STRETCH-LEVELLER, roto-oscillating bar shears, next generation tension levelling lines or the intelligent hydraulic cushion.

The journey is not finished yet. Fagor Arrasate continues to make exciting plans as part of its internationalisation strategy. Finally, an emotional tribute was paid to the four Fagor managers who passed away ten years ago in an aeroplane accident as they worked to boost the presence of Fagor Arrasate around the world.