The LKE Group, a manufacturer of sophisticated transport systems in aluminium, steel and stainless steel based in Marl, Germany, is setting up a UK division in order to service specific market sectors.
At a launch event held in the Houses of Parliament, attended by Chair of the Transport Select Committee Louise Ellman MP and other invited dignitaries, LKE's MD Björn Riechers (pictured with Ms Ellman) said: "We already have a lot of our product in the UK - it's now time to set up a company here."
Riechers was until June 2014 previously MD (Motive Power) and a member of the executive board of directors at battery manufacturer Hoppecke.
Established in 1994 to service the national postal company Deutsche Post with parcel and letter handling equipment, LKE quickly grew to cover other sectors such as intralogistics, aviation, industrial solutions and hygiene handling. It has a turnover of around €35/40m, a figure Riechers says he would "like to double within the next five years".
With a subsidiary already set up in Poland in 2009, LKE is now looking to establish a sales and marketing company in the UK in 2015, "possibly with future plans to carry out assembly," according to Riechers. Beyond that, LKE has an ambition to move into the US market.
LKE's plans to invest in the UK market will see the company focus on three of its five business divisions:
- Intralogistics - tugger train systems for lean production and state-of-the-art material supply
- Aviation - future-oriented handling products, e.g. aluminium containers and trolleys in a full range of components logistics and assembly
- Industrial solutions - comprehensive container and cage programme for large-scale laundries and the efficient transport of laundry
With a wide range of products - 1,500 - and a focus on quality ("Our products live too long!" jokes Riechers), LKE is looking to support its UK customers with a full proposition of sales, consultancy, development and prototyping, as well as service back-up. No location for the new venture has yet been chosen. "We are still researching this," Riechers told SHD Logistics. "We will look at where the demand for our products is before settling on a location."