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Focus 2024 | An outlook for the year from Ronald Kretschmer, Chief Sales Officer at ek robotics

2024 started with many domestic and foreign policy uncertainties. In this interview, our CSO Ronald Kretschmer shares his thoughts on the trends and challenges of the new year.


What do you think will be the biggest challenge in 2024?

Past and current domestic and foreign policy events represent a major challenge for the economy and are causing uncertainty in our target industries. These uncertainties are accompanied by rising energy costs as well as bottlenecks and ongoing supply difficulties along the entire value chain. Another increasing challenge is the ongoing shortage of skilled workers and the associated rise in wage costs.


How is ek robotics preparing for this challenge?

Automation and robotics are trend industries that are continuing on a stable growth trajectory. We are confident that the general trend towards automation will continue to accelerate despite the challenging situation. We are responding to this growth by implementing a new production line at our new Hamburg production site for our AGV & AMR transport platform X MOVE. In addition, we are significantly expanding our global service network and service offering and are meeting this market demand with a qualified and high-performance service portfolio with fast response times.


What are you excited about this year?


Move to our new headquarters in Hamburg

At the end of 2023, we moved into our new headquarters in the immediate vicinity of the city center on Hamburg's Elbe island of Veddel. With around 7,000 m² of office space and a 3,000 m² assembly, testing and development hall, our innovation and production site offers space for at least 400 transport robotics experts. We are looking forward to growing with the global AGV market and constantly developing our diverse portfolio of solutions and products in a larger space.


LogiMAT trade fair in Stuttgart with new attractive stand

At this year's LogiMAT on March 19 - 21, our visitors can look forward to even more AGV & AMR show cases at the largest stand (B05) in Hall 6. On the 200 m² exhibition area, our experienced team of experts will be presenting the award-winning VARIO MOVE transport robots and the 2-in-1 X MOVE transport platform for AGV and AMR systems in action. Interested parties can also find out about application examples of customized driverless transport systems with tailor-made transport robots for every industry. Our transport robotics experts will be available for competent consultations on customized intralogistics solutions and for Q&As on our solution expertise. There will also be an opportunity to find out more about our AGV analysis tool SARA and the augmented reality app Mobile Robot Experience. 



What trends do you expect in 2024?

This year, we are further expanding the product portfolio of our Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMR) based on the X MOVE series (with the 150, 600, 1200 and 2000 models). AMRs are ready for use more quickly than AGVs (Automated Guided Vehicles) and move freely in space with their SLAM navigation and do not follow a precisely predefined route. This eliminates a large part of the time-consuming and labor-intensive setup required for AGVs. With this expanded range of products and solutions, we are creating a trend that enables our customers to implement their transport applications more flexibly and quickly. 

We are also looking forward to a positive growth trend in our industry. Automated guided vehicles with AGV & AMR are significant drivers of efficiency in intralogistics processes and an important key technology in modern intralogistics.

Mr. Ronald Kretschmer, Chief Sales Officer (CSO), ek robotics GmbH

Ronald Kretschmer has been with the company since the early 1990s, has an impressive knowledge of the market and presents well-founded assessments and outlooks for 2024 in the interview.