IMA and Schelling Join Hands to Create Brilliant

IMA and Schelling have joined forces and formed a strategic partnership. FDM ASIA has taken this opportunity to interview the company’s representatives and professionals in wood industry to have deeper insights about the background of their alliance and future development plan.

FDM ASIA: What’s the opportunity of two companies - the Austrian cut-to-size specialist Schelling Anlagenbau GmbH and the German pioneer in high-performance edgebanding, drilling and CNC technology IMA Klessmann GmbH’s cooperation? Please give us the introduction of two companies’ background. 

Achim Rotthowe, Hans J.Ferchland: About 20 years ago, IMA and Schelling had traditional inventory complimentary to each other. Besides, in terms of the management, both of us focused on the furniture manufacturing rather than pushing customers to buy our products, so it was the beginning of our communication, and it also laid solid foundation for our cooperation in the future. However, with the business expansion, we need to cooperate with Italy and China, and there are more and more companies. Thus, we won’t pay attention to only one type of solution on machine or system. Meanwhile, IMA was a subsidiary of a German private company for 10 years. In fact, that private company had an interest in Schelling. In 2015, Schelling’s parent company bought IMA luckily, and then we began to work and hold the activities together in each department.

The two companies’ cooperation is good for our development in the future and it makes our communication easier. Later, we will not only focus on furniture industry but also broaden our business to other fields. Therefore, we will keep concerning about our products’ quality and experience in order to catch the customers from all over the world.


FDM ASIA: Please tell us more about the organization structure of IMA Schelling Group’s team in China.

Eric Zhu: In 2009, IMA and Schelling already had independent company in China. In September of 2015, IMA China and IMA Schelling Group integrated together through the newly founded IMA Schelling Group. Since the market in China will be the most important part in the world, they paid attention to China with forging the new team and merging two companies which used to operate in China independently. Today, as IMA Schelling Group’s general manager, I am responsible for company’s business running in China including Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. Achim Rotthowe and Hans J.Ferchland are still working for the task before. Later, human resource, finance and sales will integrate further, so we will have a lot of work to do. Although the companies in Singapore operate independently now, we will continue to cooperate and support one another.


FDM ASIA: Please introduce your key products from two leading machinery brands-IMA and Schelling respectively.

Eric Zhu: IMA is the specialist in edgebanding, drilling and processing, and it is also one of the most professional panel manufacturers in the world. We hope to see the standard furniture and they will be ranked according to different efficiency. And then custom-designed furniture will spring up in China. IMA can provide completed flexible product line named Batch Size One. For example, 50*1 and 1*50 both equal 50. But the concepts are different. 50*1 means standard furniture, using one pattern to manufacture 50 products. But 1*50 (Batch Size One) has 50 kinds of pattern, using each kind of pattern to make products. Thus, it requires high flexibility called Batch Size One. And besides, IMA’s technology includes the most advanced laser edge banding machine since it is in the leading position in the world. And it also has high efficiency in drilling. IMA established a factory in Poland before which brought booming business and many orders in Europe. IMA also provides professional design for single-side and double-side edge banding to meet the customers’ need in China at the same time.

Schelling is the specialist in cut-to-size which requires higher efficiency on cutting in wood industry including wood-based panel. And it also works in furniture industry with different types of electronic panel saws, single-side edge banding and customer-designed furniture. And then aluminium alloy cutting technology is also provided by Schelling which is mainly used in the military and aviation industry. In addition, Schelling has PCB (Printed Circuit Board) cutting technology and so on. In conclusion, Schelling has abundant experience in cutting with high precision.

Although IMA’s and Schelling’s brands have been still retained respectively, their strong and new partnership will strengthen two companies’ cooperation in all business fields. IMA Schelling Group can provide a completed and automated solution project for many furniture manufacturers.


FDM ASIA: Who are the targeted customers for IMA Schelling Group? Could you share with us some cooperation cases about your gold customers?

Eric Zhu: Our company mainly provides all kinds of superb process equipments, completed manufacturing solution and professional customization service for customized wardrobe and cupboard, furniture (including standard furniture or office furniture) and composite doors’ design. Our customers can be found in all the big furniture industry. QuanU has been our biggest client in China so far, and they have brought Schelling’s products spending more than 200 million RMB. Another good strategic partner for us is Redapple, and he is our loyal customer since we have cooperated with each other for many years. Schmidt is a subsidiary corporation from Sophia and its cutting is the most excellent one in Asia. It has been in a test run so far. We believe we will serve more and more influential customers in the future.


FDM ASIA: What is IMA Schelling Group’s sustainable strategy in Chinese market?

Eric Zhu: At first we should promise precise service: Using limited resource to serve every customer, improving efficiency, ensuring service effectiveness and establishing good reputation. Meanwhile we will enlarge technicians’ team to improve service efficiency and capability so that we can ensure the reliability of equipment operation.

Next, in terms of our productions, we will design and produce the equipments which meet Chinese national condition and customers’ need. We hold the firm belief” no waste, no vacancy” to improve the equipment’s cost performance ratio entirely.

Finally, we will keep technique and innovation’s leading position, like German quality serving their customers to improve efficiency and create greatest value for our clients.


FDM ASIA: How will IMA Schelling Group lead and help furniture industry in China to realize a new round of renovation so that customers in Chinese furniture industry will walk toward industry 4.0 progress? What’s your opinion on that?

Eric Zhu: Completed system solution and automatic control in processing progress will be the key fields in future industry manufacturing, and it is also the main idea of industry 4.0. IMA and Schelling have cultivated enough experience these years. Thus, the two companies will join hands with complimentary advantages to integrate their production facilities and keep inventing the newest and the most groundbreaking manufacturing techniques.


As for renovation, I think it may cause array in China, and the solution so far might go overboard since the concept of industry 4.0 origins from foreign countries. However, due to companies’ integration, solving the problems can be more convenient not like before that different leaders have different opinion. What’ more, IMA and Schelling had solid foundation on traditional manufacturing so what we should concern about is focusing more on our customers and improving the software. And in China the strategy will also be different. In Europe we are ready to put our design focus on understanding customers and the diversity of machine so that we can adapt to the development changing and stable increasing economy in China. For the long-term development, we will also care about our staff, and make sure who is going to do which job such as who is the project engineer or who is doing the project support. In China, with the increasing demand and the maturing business, more and more solution will be found. Although the challenges can be great, the opportunities and prospect will be expansive.

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