Automation is a megatrend in the industry. With the acquisition of the specialist BBS Automation, the Dürr Group has joined the global leaders in the sector.

In the production of electric vehicle drive motors, hairpin tech-nology plays a central role. Curved copper profiles that resemble a hairpin are crucial components of the motor. They generate the magnetic field of the electric drive. Their entire production process is automated. As part of this process, the copper profiles are cut to length and prepared for further processing. In the subsequent shaping stage, they take on their characteristic appearance. Finally, the hairpins are inserted into the stator and electrically connected using laser welding. The result is a high-performance motor that is characterized by maximum energy density and minimal vibrations.

The production of these motors must also keep pace with the increasing demand for electric vehicles. As an automation expert, BBS Automation offers customized systems for this purpose. These enable the efficient production of electric motors in large quantities in order to meet the increasing demands of the market.

The fully automated systems from BBS Automation can be used to assemble a wide variety of products.

Machines for building drives for electric vehicles are just one example of the product range offered by the Munich-based company, which employs 1,600 people at 16 locations worldwide. Suppliers from many other industries are equipped with automated production technology by BBS Automation — they manufacture medical products, electronics, or systems for power generation and storage, among other things. 

In September 2023, BBS Automation and its company Kahle Automation, which specializes in production technology for medical devices, became part of the Dürr Group. “The acquisition has expanded our expertise in production automation,” says Falk Bäurle, CFO of the newly formed business unit for automation technology. In addition to BBS Automation and Kahle, this also includes teamtechnik and Hekuma, two specialists that have been part of the Dürr Group for three years.


With these four subsidiaries, the Group is moving to the forefront of the global automation industry and tapping into a rapidly growing business segment. “This opens up promising prospects for growth in sales and earnings, as we all benefit equally from better customer access and efficient engineering and production capacities,” says Josef Wildgruber, CEO of BBS Automation and head of the new business unit. In this way it becomes possible to map increasingly complex processes, for example using artificial intelligence and large amounts of data.

Automated production can solve many of the challenges the industry is facing worldwide. These include the shortage of skilled labor, which is now also being felt in Asia and Latin America and can be addressed with autonomous technology. Automated production also ensures the consistently high product quality that customers demand, even with large production volumes. 

The world’s growing population is also driving the trend toward automation. At the same time, as prosperity increases in key regions and purchasing power rises, so does the demand for everyday necessities. These include a wide range of products — from hearing aids to insulin pens. The result: The industry is ramping up production in order to manufacture higher quantities. To do so, it relies on automated machines and systems.  

"The acquisition expands our expertise in production automation."

Falk Bäurle, 
CFO of the Production Automation Systems business unit

All systems green? A test stand for electric drives is set up at teamtechnik.


The Group’s four new automation subsidiaries complement each other with their different focuses. BBS Automation specializes in assembly technology. More than half of its sales are generated with systems for the automotive industry, which are used to manufacture electrical components, batteries, brake components, and lighting components, among other things. Kahle supplies machines for manufacturing products with a needle, such as syringes. 

In contrast to BBS Automation, Hekuma serves a niche market. The company specializes in systems that take out parts from injection molding machines. These include pipette tips or caps, which are produced by the millions. Grippers take the freshly molded parts out of their molds at lightning speed. Faster than parts would fall out under the force of gravity. “In some cases, the daily production volume can be doubled in this way,” says Bäurle. 

Finally, teamtechnik in Freiberg am Neckar is an expert in assembly and functional test systems — for automotive transmissions and electric car drives, for example. The company also plays a leading role in medical technology. Its product range includes systems for manufacturing injection systems, infusion sets, and disposable contact lenses. They are designed so that a test step is carried out after each operation. Sensors or image processing systems check the result of the preceding process to ensure that only functional products come out of the system at the end.


The Group has created the Production Automation Systems business unit, to which the four acquired companies will contribute their expertise. “Our customers benefit from this because the market is very fragmented,” explains Bäurle. If, for example, a new automotive manufacturer in North America or China is planning a production facility that includes the entire electric power train, he can now get everything from a single source: from assembly to functional and quality testing at the end of production. And he doesn’t have to worry that the technologies aren’t compatible.

Take-out technology from Hekuma: Plastic components are taken out of the injection mold in a matter of seconds.

100 mio. 
pieces per year

Blood is typically tested for medical analysis in the laboratory. The number of plastic tubes needed to collect and prepare blood samples is enormous. Hekuma’s high-performance automation technology processes and vacuums the blood tubes at top speed.

battery cells per hour

are processed by teamtechnik’s assembly and test systems. These are used to create battery modules that are installed in home storage systems, power tools, or electric vehicles, for example. 

The parent company is also contributing its know-how to the new competence center, as Dürr has been planning and implementing major projects for decades. This experience pays off. After all, even small errors in the complex setup of automated production can cost a lot of money. A group with know-how that is available worldwide offers its customers the certainty that their orders will be successfully implemented. 

Under the Dürr Group umbrella, the subsidiaries also enjoy advantages in purchasing. “In order to automate processes, similar parts are often installed, regardless of what the system is used for,” explains Bäurle. Almost all automation solutions require pneumatic cylinders, control electronics, or measurement technology such as cameras or sensors. Requirements for these components can now be bundled to achieve more favorable purchase prices. 


Since BBS Automation and teamtechnik generate a large part of their sales in the automotive industry, there are further advantages. Dürr has maintained good relationships with the major manufacturers for decades. Contacts up to board level can open doors for smaller partners. 

The entire Group is broadening its base with automation technologies and opening up new business areas in addition to the automotive industry. Medical technology, for example, is a promising growth market for the Group that is less dependent on the economy than the automotive industry. “The last thing people usually cut back on is their health,” says Bäurle. 

The medical technology business is also driven by the growing number of people suffering from chronic diseases such as diabetes. Nearly half a billion people worldwide are affected. Many of them have to inject themselves regularly with insulin. Injection pens or automatic pumps that are worn on the body enable patients to go about their daily lives without major restrictions. Bäurle explains that, due to the growing demand, ever larger quantities have to be produced. “teamtechnik has been building the fully automated production systems for this for years.”