GF is a worldwide business player operating in an environment of global competition. All three divisions of GF are among the market and technology leaders in their segments and main markets. The following key events have shaped the strategy period from 2016 to 2020:
The GF Strategy 2016–2020 focuses on three key pillars:
- Expanding into growth markets and adjusting the portfolio in Europe
- Relocating the divisional portfolios to business areas with higher margins
- Increasing sales and innovation strength
From 2016 to 2020, GF invests around CHF 1 billion in long-term capital goods (CAPEX) and CHF 570 million in research and development.
During the same period, around 11’500 employees are trained in various initiatives, including design thinking, value selling, and Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits”.
GF Machining Solutions acquires US-based Microlution Inc., a specialist in micromachining using laser technology. The acquisition enables GF Machining Solutions to expand its technology portfolio to cover the aerospace and medical industries.
Acquisition of Shuchang Co. Ltd and Lingyun Jingran Gas Valve Co. Ltd in China, two companies specializing in connectors and valves, by the GF Joint venture Chinaust. The two acquisitions facilitate the further expansion in this key market for GF.
GF acquires Urecon Ltd. (Canada), a specialist in pre-insulated piping systems for freeze protection and chilled water, thus expanding its footprint in North America.
GF Automotive announces it will acquire Precicast Industrial Holding SA, the Swiss precision casting specialist, to increase its presence in the industrial sector, in particular in the promising aerospace business. GF Automotive becomes GF Casting Solutions.
GF Machining Solutions and US-based 3D Systems, a leader in additive manufacturing, announce their strategic cooperation for jointly developed, integrated manufacturing solutions based on 3D printing.
GF Casting Solutions receives orders for a large number of lightweight components for electric vehicles in China. The new orders placed by Chinese and European automobile manufacturers total approximately CHF 370 million.
As part of its strategic transformation, GF Casting Solutions is placing an increased focus on light metal casting and reducing its presence in iron casting in Europe. The iron casting plants located in Singen and Mettmann (Germany) are divested to members of the management of GF Casting Solutions.
GF Piping Systems enters into a cooperation with the Brazilian water management company Sabesp, which supports the company’s water loss improvement program. The program includes the replacement of more than 760 kilometers of piping networks in the coming years, with expected water savings of 7’400 liters per second in the São Paulo region.
Due to a large number of new orders, GF Casting Solutions’ new light metal joint venture in the USA, GF Linamar, expands its existing facility. The joint venture was founded in 2015.
GF’s 15th Sustainability Report is published. More than every second GF product or solution supplied to customers provides a social or environmental benefit. All three divisions exceed their energy efficiency targets and the accident rate decreases.
At EMO, the leading international machine tool fair, GF Machining Solutions launches new digitalized and tailor-made solutions that will pave the way for further growth. The new product Spark Track prevents wire breaks, and innovative digital services enable customers to stay constantly connected to their machine park and receive instant remote support from GF.
As part of its strategic transformation, GF Casting Solutions divests its iron foundry in Herzogenburg (Austria) to former GF executives.
GF Piping Systems announces a joint venture with Corys Investments LLC, located in Dubai (United Arab Emirates), and Egypt Gas in Cairo (Egypt). The joint venture, in which GF will take the industrial lead, will invest in in a new production site for plastic pipes in Egypt in order to participate in the high-growth Egyptian gas and water distribution market.
GF largely completes the relocation of around 300 jobs from its site in Werdohl (Germany) to Romania and Austria, thus safeguarding its competitiveness in Europe.
GF Piping Systems signs a partnership agreement with Oxford Flow Ltd., Oxford (UK), and acquires a stake in the company. Its innovative pressure-regulating valve enables utility companies to reduce water loss, a major problem around the globe.
GF and SwissShrimp AG sign a multi-year partnership agreement. The startup from Rheinfelden is a pioneer in local and sustainable shrimp breeding in Switzerland. GF will support SwissShrimp with its expertise and technical know-how with regard to water treatment.
The Wall Street Journal examines over 5’500 publicly traded companies with regard to their sustainability. GF ranks among the top-10 of a list of the 100 most sustainably managed companies in the world.
GF receives accolades from the London-based CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) for its globally implemented measures to reduce energy consumption, as well as for its transparent disclosure of greenhouse gas emissions.