Messer World

Along with Messer Group and ASCO Carbon Dioxide, “Part of the Messer World” also includes the business areas of the sister companies Messer Cutting Systems, Castolin Eutectic, BIT and Spectron Gas Control Systems – as well as Messer Medical Home Care.

They all offer application-specific expertise and products which help optimise manufacturing processes, extend the life of production equipment and materials, or significantly enhance quality.

Organisational structure

ASCO Carbon Dioxide LTD

Technology innovation and establishment in the US market

In 2017, the Swiss company ASCO launched a new generation of dry ice blasting machines: The ASCO Nanojet is small and handy and was specially developed for the plastics industry. For the new dry ice blasting machine, the engineering team at ASCO has integrated a pellet grinder into the machine body which crushes the dry ice pellets into finest dry ice particles. With the ASCO Nanojet, much smaller pellets are blasted on the surface being cleaned. This ensures a precise, fast and consistent surface cleaning. In addition, the US subsidiary ASCO Inc., which was founded in 2016 and is headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, successfully established itself in the US market. Continuing to provide optimal on-site customer care and rapid availability of dry ice machines to US customers, ASCO Inc.‘s staff structure has been further strengthened. Also, ASCO was able to gain Kryo Africa as a qualified service partner for repair and maintenance work in Africa. Thanks to the expanded service network, a flexible and fast on-site customer support in the English-speaking African countries can be ensured.

Positive outlook

ASCO is going to continue with the ongoing optimisation of the product portfolio in the coming years. Especially in the field of CO2 recovery, the implementation of further large-scale projects is intended to demonstrate the market position.

Broad product portfolio

ASCO CARBON DIOXIDE LTD is a provider of customised and complete CO2 solutions. The product portfolio includes automatic dry ice production machinery, CO2 production plants and recovery systems, dry ice blasting equipment, CO2 storage tanks, CO2 cylinder filling plants, CO2 vaporisers and other CO2 accessories. Product development and service are built on two solid foundations: decades of practical experience in everything pertaining to CO2 and dry ice, and a highly qualified and dedicated workforce. This unique combination of extensive expertise and broad product portfolio provides our customers with complete and customised solutions from a single source. The entire Messer Group relies on ASCO as its competence centre for CO2 and dry ice.

Messer Eutectic Castolin Group

The Macroeconomic Environment and its Impact on Business Strategy

The global activities of the MEC Group are focused on many industry sectors. This gives the overall MEC business a wide customer base, spanning the globe and many industry segments.  Our various products, services and technologies can be applied across many different manufacturing areas. Important signals for our future business development come especially from cyclical and commodity-heavy industry segments.   For a large part of our business, a correlation can be seen between the sales performance of MEC business units and worldwide steel utilisation, as well as developments in the oil-, mining - and cement business.

In 2017,  global economic growth continued. The sustained upswing is being driven forward, in particular, by the industrial nations, while economic growth in developing countries continues to evolve differently. The positive global trend has now also arrived in the economies of the Euro-zone  and currently affects all member states. Compared to previous years, trade flows have significantly gained momentum. Thus, in 2017 they showed a return to growth over and above GDP. This is an indication that the upward phase is not being driven by private sector consumption alone but also by increased investments.

In the 2017 fiscal year, sales amounting to EUR 538.4 million are 3.1 % above the previous year figure. Despite the slight increase in overall sales, the Group’s earnings were affected by strategic reorientations, especially in the Castolin Eutectic and BIT divisions in the year under review and therefore did not keep up with the growth rate of revenues. At the end of the 2017 fiscal year, all Group business units had sizeable orders on hand that exceeded levels of the prior year.

Our investments are primarily geared towards use of sustained profitable growth potential. We invest in modernising our production and service facilities as well as our sales channels on a regular basis. The investments in long-term assets in the year under review concern all our divisions. With the investments made in the fiscal year 2017, we once again made an important contribution to the strategic direction of the Group. Thus, the Company is on solid ground and ready to face the challenges of the market.

Opportunities will arise for MEC and its diversified subsidiaries all over the world from the increased orientation towards high-yield industrial goods and services business. All factors that drive current and future global growth serve as the basis for the Group’s continued strategic development. In addition to optimising the efficiency of each of our business units, we also see opportunities in synergistic effects arising from the interaction between our companies, regions and business units. This applies to an efficient administration, cost-saving and automated transaction processing of administrative tasks and the related shared use of the Group’s local resources.

We consider digitalisation as an important macro trend which will continue to considerably change our business and the markets in the years to come. Our current strategies will make the group fit for these processes and enable us to successfully use the opportunities that will entail. Related risks are being taken into account. In order to meet all requirements of the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that is due to come into force in May we have started to implement appropriate measures across our divisions.

We continue to develop our company in an environment characterised by volatility in a way that will enable us to meet future challenges with competitively viable solutions.

Key figures 2017

Castolin Eutectic

Value Creation in Key Industries

Castolin Eutectic is a worldwide leader of application solutions in maintenance, repair and wear protection. More than 100 years of experience in welding, brazing and thermal spraying technologies stand for professional and innovative solutions.

The companies of the Castolin Eutectic business are globally active in all industrialized nations. This geographic diversification is accompanied by the diversification in various industries. The company develops, manufactures and distributes products and services around welding, soldering and thermal coating and thereby is well positioned to profit from booming markets. The development activities in the Castolin Eutectic field are geared towards the continuous enhancement of innovative solutions for specific applications in selected key industries and sectors.

The relatively young market segment „Services“ provides a number of possibilities. We offer our customers process applications in our own workshops with higher added value. Among other things with this service we want to strengthen customer loyalty.

Castolin Eutectic always operates production facilities   as close as possible to the respective customers. Manufacturing and service locations are to be found in Ireland, Poland, France, Italy, China, Singapore, the UK, UAE/Dubai, USA, Canada, Mexico and Russia. The company further operates service workshops at numerous sites for various industrial applications in the areas of welding, soldering and thermal coating. A total of 832 staff members are currently employed in our industrial production facilities and service workshops (770 in the previous year). Because of modernizing and expanding production facilities over the course of the previous fiscal years, the division has been able to maintain its competitive edge and to optimally respond to customer demands.

Our recent investment in expanding boiler coating activities has strengthened our market position and with the acquisition of Canada-based FMP we have been able to expand our know-how and product range to include organic sealants. Boiler coating activities are now a cornerstone of our growth strategy in the power, waste-to-energy and petrochemical industries.

Our high-performance global R & D departments have developed a great deal of new equipment, alloys and processes in recent decades, including Alloy®, a patented non-magnetic alloy boiler coating, the PTA torch and the TeroLink® application software.  

Castolin Eutectic  was able to increase its total sales by 3.2 % in the fiscal year 2017.,

Messer Cutting Systems

World of Excellence

Messer Cutting Systems has been developing and producing machines for cutting steel for over 100 years. Our machines are needed whenever thick material must be cut and we are seeing promising potential for a continued expansion of our business activities. There is a positive interplay between the globally produced volume of thick steel and the capacity utilisation of our customers. An increased output of steel and steel products will have a positive impact on our markets. There is also a clear connection between the replacement and spare parts business with the steel processing industry. Here, too, a higher steel production level makes a positive contribution to our markets.  

After years of stagnating investment activities by their customers,  Messer Cutting Systems  were able to book a satisfactory order intake in almost all relevant markets. While our business activities are still being hindered by economic sanctions, we succeeded in gaining new customers and markets, not least because of new products and services. We have started a strategic investment initiative with a goal to further increase harmonisation of the product portfolio and our internal business processes.

The Messer Cutting Systems business unit was able to increase sales over the previous year by 4.4 %. We are also pleased to report that the company has been able to extend their share of sales in all relevant markets compared to the year before.

Laser-cutting of steel is still quite new and, compared to the traditional oxyfuel or plasma cutting methods, will continue to gain importance in future as. The development of fibre laser cutting machines has, seen from the customer’s point of view, significantly decreased investment costs for laser-cut sheet metal. This technological development opens new market segments to us.

The ongoing automation in our customers’ plants makes it possible for our machines to be increasingly connected to automated material logistics systems. Automated and autonomous machines bring considerable efficiency gains to our customers in terms of cost saving potential.This trend allows us to widen our product range geared towards processes upstream and downstream from cutting. Electronically linking all these processes, often also labelled as “Industry 4.0” enables our customers to centrally control, monitor and optimise their production. This will lead to consequences for software and networking which in turn will continue to change our industry in the years to come. Ongoing digitalisation has created an increasing interconnection between previously separate value chains.   We are already embracing this development as an opportunity and   successfully implementing it in our Group. Innovations and enhancement of existing products are among the core drivers for success in safeguarding our market position.   

Our global position, our production locations on five continents and our established product lines are the pillars of our position as the market leader. Messer Cutting Systems has production plants in Germany (headquarters), USA, Brazil, India and China. All our production sites operate with state-of-the-art technology. Extending our product lines by adding a wide range of smaller machines will enable us to address new potential customers for our products. Messer Cutting Systems has production plants in Germany (headquarters), USA, Brazil, India and China. All our production sites operate with state-of-the-art technology.

Spectron Gas Control Systems

Innovative Manufacturer of Gas Control Systems

Spectron is a leading and innovative gas supply specialist for gas supply systems, offering customised solutions for a wide range of customer-specific requirements.   Spectron covers clients’ requirements from a simple valve for industrial gases up to fully automatic gas cabinets for semiconductor gases. The company also supplies alarm and control systems for gas applications, as well as gas purification systems to improve or secure the purity of the gases.

In addition to the headquarters based in Frankfurt, Germany, production and distribution centres are operated in Coventry, UK, and Shanghai, China. With its global network of sales and distribution partners, Spectron is always close to the customer.
The company’s sales and result performance is characterised by steady growth.

BIT Group

Build Innovation Together

BIT develops and manufactures in-vitro diagnostic medical devices for the medical sector. These technologies have made significant advances in recent years. The decoding of human DNA has resulted in the development of new areas of application and rapidly expanding treatment methods. BIT  profits from these trends as the company develops and produces the instruments needed to carry out modern analysis and diagnostic procedures.

BIT Analytical Instruments has production sites in Germany, USA and China. In order to strengthen its market position and safeguard profitable long-term growth, the company has been adopting the group work concept in their production facilities for a number of years. Cutting-edge manufacturing processes and a continuous improvement process coupled with our Kaizen culture have contributed to efficient structures and increased productivity. We have started to establish a global supply chain within the BIT group to allow for a smooth intra-group process flow. A key component in the improved work integration at our locations has been the new ERP-system which was introduced at all our locations in the year under review.

BIT Group was able to maintain its previous year’s sales level.

Messer Medical Home Care

Broad portfolio for the home care sector

Messer Medical Home Care Holding (MMHCH) offers products and services to prescribers and patients in selected European countries. These product and service offerings allow oxygen therapy at home, therapy for sleep apnea, monitoring for sudden death syndrome with small children, ventilation support and all training measures connected to these therapies.

Treating patients at home is key to health care systems across the world. It alleviates the strain on resources deployed in hospitals. Therefore home care is a solution for health care payers to manage cost and resources in a world whose population is ageing.

Focus on home care

Within the Messer World, MMHCH concentrates solely on the home care area. In the past, these activities were integrated separately in the Messer Group, which made it difficult to focus and align them clearly.
We will continue to develop and market innovative solutions for patients, doctors and health authorities.

We expect this to give us a sustainable and leading position in this emerging health sector. MMHCH currently has around 140 employees working day in day out dedicated to this mission.

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