IEC+, a mechanical engineering specialist well known for its design and manufacturing of dispersing, grinding and mixing equipment as well as complete engineering studies and turnkey solutions, has joined global technology leader IM Group.
The much-awaited announcement – filmed on location at IEC+’s headquarters in Travesetolo in Parma, Italy as well as at Inkmaker in Shanghai, China and at IEC Plant Engineering’s HQ in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – was premiered on Youtube recently, to mark the Group’s closing quarter of 2021. This significant chapter, in IM Group’s evolution, rounds off a series of events and activities for the group (previously Inkmaker Group), making it its most eventful year to date.
The decision to announce the joining of IEC+, six months after IM Group’s launch, was based on a two-pronged strategy. Christophe Rizzo, CEO of EMEA/Americas, IM Group explained, “The initial phase was to lay the foundations of IM Group by structuring our brands to focus on their individual specialties, yet for them to come together to offer total process-engineering solutions, under a single group, when required. The second phase was to evolve this to an advanced stage. Today, we are adding a significant boost to our portfolio with the addition of a company that will act as a central catalyst to unite and spearhead each of our other brands into advanced engineering solutions.”
IEC+ has been partnering with IM Group for several years. By offering dispersing, grinding and mixing equipment, IEC+ effectively becomes IM Group’s crowning stroke as it is set to elevate the group to a higher playing field.
Roberto Guerra, CEO Asia Pacific, IM Group said, “We are ready with our industry-4.0-equipped factories to offer our clients this next phase. Other than just expanding our premises, we have been busy, paving the way by strengthening our bond with Malaysian-based IEC Plant Engineering, a specialist in this industry since 1992. They have an extensive sales and service network throughout South-East Asia; especially in Malaysia, India and Vietnam. Additionally their CEO, PM Ravi, an existing shareholder of IEC+, has been fine-tuning an excellent inter-brand relationship with us – which is a bonus.”
Valentina Cigna, global director of HR and president of IM Group explained that now that IEC+ has joined IM Group, many resources will be shared throughout all the group’s brands, thus reducing waste, and that IM Group will be consolidating their forces to include IEC+ into their overall circular-economy plan. Plans are also being made to create additional jobs for the region of Parma, Italy. “We plan to increase IEC+’s workforce, by around 15-20% within the next 5 years, and invest in human capital initiatives such as advanced IoT training, to improve industry 4.0 experience and skills,” explained Cigna.
Lau Kar Seng, general manager of Inkmaker Shanghai and member of the board, explained that in China too, since IM Group’s launch in April, preparations were being finalized in two main areas. Firstly, by expanding to larger premises to align with IEC+’s specifications; to manufacture and customize large heavy-duty equipment for dispersing, grinding and mixing and secondly to form a joint-venture company with Zhuhai Longtec called Inkmaker Intelligent Systems in anticipation of offering IEC+’s service, expertise, and machinery. “Longtec, is a large cooperation, listed on the Shenzhen New Third Board, and will significantly boost our market reach throughout China,” explained Seng. “The addition of IEC+ is a bonus that many competitors will be unable to match in China, especially with IEC Plant Engineering (in Asia) as our partners.”
The entrance of IEC+ into the group presents a unique opportunity for the evolution of both, the group, as well as for IEC+. “IEC+ is an extraordinary company with technical know-how gained from over 20 years’ experience of its team. It can offer, ‘advanced engineering’ – by this we mean that the design, projection, and management services are extended to all the production processes, site management and software interface. This starts from preliminary engineering studies through to the complete project implementation and delivery – as such this will use the specializations from all our brands,” explained Gianluca Incerti, global commercial director, IM Group. “Each brand will continue to be differentiated through their expertise, and compete in their individual market sectors, and when required, they will come together on large projects for IM Group.”
IEC+ shareholder and long-term partner of Inkmaker, PM Ravi, CEO of IEC Plant Engineering said, “I am happy with this outcome. It is an ideal collaboration for all – IM Group, IEC+ and IEC Plant Engineering, too.” With over 30 years of experience in the region, IEC Plant Engineering’s stronghold of Southeast Asia boasts an extensive network of branches, factories and after-sales service facilities backed by a workforce of skilled engineers.