From Gas to Components
Gas was our stepping stone to welding torches. Many manufacturers produced high-calibre welding tools, but due to a lack of materials technology expertise, their torches were of mediocre or poor quality. We began to study the welding torch and found a neglected market. This saw us embark on a new path as a component manufacturer, which was to form the basis for Phoenix Mecano's success. In 1976, our company found another opportunity to excel: enclosures for electronic devices. This market was also just emerging as a result of the expansion of microelectronics.
Sensitive electronic devices require enclosures that provide a particularly high level of protection, which had hitherto been the exception. Our die-cast and plastic enclosures set new standards and naturally also attracted imitators. We won our first competitive struggle in 1976, when we succeeded in taking over our fiercest rival. Our next, decisive steps were to extend our range of models, systematically develop a whole generation of modular enclosures and, above all, rationalise our manufacturing process.
Phoenix Mecano AG
The acquisition of electromechanical parts manufacturer Hartmann consolidated our position as a component manufacturer for industrial electronics. Since the name Phoenix Maschinentechnik (Phoenix Machine Technology) was now too limited, we decided to rename the company Phoenix Mecano AG in 1986.
Familiar to its customers and competitors but unknown in the financial sector, Phoenix Mecano took the bold step of going public on the pre-market of the Zurich Stock Exchange on 14 September 1988. Three months later, we went public on the main Zurich Stock Exchange. Our IPO caused quite a stir. No restrictions on transferability, no registered shares, no restriction of voting rights – all this was new in Switzerland.
Success as an Outsourcing Partner
Phoenix Mecano continued down this path in the ensuing period. The focus on by-products not considered strategically important by developers, engineers and mechanical engineers proved a recipe for success for Phoenix Mecano, and one with plenty of scope for expansion. When increasingly complex components and 'subsystems' began to be outsourced in the 1990s, Phoenix Mecano was able to secure a larger share of value added as a supplier. At the same time, it expanded its activities beyond its traditional markets of mechanical engineering and industrial electronics into related areas of application.
From Component Manufacturer to System Supplier
Today, customers are increasingly focusing on their core business. They value Phoenix Mecano as a partner who can provide expert advice as well as serving as an all-in-one supplier of components and subsystems. In recent years, through strategic takeovers and the development of internal competencies and capacities, the Phoenix Mecano Group has expanded its range to include related components. This means that products can be combined into subsystems, thereby reducing the interchangeability of individual components.