German plant builder SMS Group is on a high, according to the chairman of the management board, Burkhard Dahmen. He says that the company is fully on track, thanks to its Task Force 2021 transformation programme.

The company’s order book for 2018 will be slightly higher than the previous year, Dahmen said during a presentation in Dusseldorf, adding that the steel industry continues to be characterised by high overcapacities.

According to Dahmen, the share of major new construction projects have declined while service and modernisation orders are becoming increasingly important for the company.

“This is why we are systematically pressing ahead with our realignment, to maintain our leading market position in the rapidly changing market,” he said. “While the boom years were marked by major new construction projects, modernisation projects are now the main focus of our business. Customers need higher cost efficiency and an improved energy balance. SMS not only provides them with the hardware, but also with the automation, advice and on-site support they need.”

Dahmen said that SMS Group was pursuing four central offensives: digitalisation; new business models; service; and what it calls “new horizon”, where the company transfers its expertise and know-how from metallurgy to related industries.

SMS uses its access to the market to establish new products in different fields, one being the world of high purity alumina (HPA), a core element in the manufacture of smartphones and tablets. The company is currently building a plant that will produce HPA cost effectively using a new process.

The company is also active in the field of 3D printing and LME-grade metals recycling through UrbanGold plant technology.