Banner Batteries ended 2017 on a double high; in addition to 2017 marking the 80th anniversary of its foundation in 1937, the company has witnessed the 80 millionth battery roll off its Austrian production line.
And whilst Banner’s current owners, descendents of the company’s founder, Artur Bawart, are understandably delighted to mark such important milestones, they remain committed to developing the business through an ambitious and ongoing investment programme.
Over the last six years Banner Batteries has invested over €50 million in developing its main manufacturing plant, located in Leonding, having allocated an additional €15 million to an ongoing, capacity enlargement project.
This high level of investment has not only been used to further increase the capacity available for the manufacture of environment-friendly start-stop batteries, but also the start-up of a fully automated high-bay warehouse with around 10,000 additional pallet spaces.
As Andreas Bawart, Banner’s commercial chief executive officer states: “Further investments are in the pipeline in order to ensure that we achieve our future target of 20 per cent sales revenue growth, which will also see a double-digit increase in the size of the workforce.”
For its last financial year, the Banner Batteries Group saw the sale of starter batteries reach a record of 4.5 million.
Something that Andreas attributes to the success of “the long-term cooperation and partnerships Banner enjoys with its customers and suppliers.”
Andreas added: “Start-stop batteries from Banner make a decisive contribution to the environmental compatibility of motor vehicles.
“In the 2016/17 financial year alone, they provided fuel savings of around 66 million litres and a reduction in CO2 emissions of some 164,000 t.”
Banner is working systematically on the next lead-acid battery generation for e-vehicles offering low fuel consumption which still have the requirement for a reliable energy source.
With sales of full-hybrid or purely electric drive systems predicted to remain extremely modest, Banner will continue to focus on the start-stop segment in which it is regarded as one of Europe’s leading suppliers.
Andreas continued: “At present, we have several development projects in progress, which are targeted on an additional improvement in start-stop battery efficiency.
“The aim is to enhance power intake and output via perfected cell design, active mass additives and targeted design measures.”
Banner will also continue to develop its well-established recycling loop, which today enjoys the highest recovery ratio of all the recyclable goods on the market and which means that lead-acid batteries from Banner represent an exemplary resource-protective and sustainable product.
Banner started to recycle used batteries 50 years ago and the materials obtained are treated and reintroduced to the production chain in the form of new products.