FRAMOS is celebrating 40 years of doing business! It was at that time that Bernd Franz set up FRAMOS Electronic Vertriebs GmbH. Today, his son, Dr. Andreas Franz, is guiding the company for last 10 years, together with his global executive team.
This experience has provided FRAMOS with a good foundation for continued growth, built up from its recent successes, to become one of the most globally relevant players in the imaging market.
A Direct Path from Distributor to Vision Enabler
The FRAMOS success story started initially with a focus on supplying sensors. Even at the start, the company was setup to be more than just a component wholesaler. Through close partnerships with technology leaders like Sony, it was recognized as an expert in machine vision. During the 1990s, FRAMOS expanded its business activities across Europe – which now included its own products to support camera developers and users. After the turn of the millennium, FRAMOS continued its European expansion that incorporated newly formed foreign companies with strong partnerships and continual additions to its product portfolio.
When Dr. Andreas Franz took over management of this company with 15 employees in 2008, he was already an experienced business and strategy consultant. He realized that FRAMOS offered a good platform for technological and strategic development. With global expansion in his sites, he opened the first offices outside of Europe in 2014, servicing the Americas through offices in both Canada and the US. From that moment on, he put his parents’ company on a new footing – transforming it from wholesaler into a global technology partner for optical sensors and system solutions.
Enabling Machines to See and Think
Today, FRAMOS enables robots and machines to see and, in some cases, to think, with the aid of Artificial Intelligence (AI). It views itself as a vision enabler and, with its own product platforms – most notably the FRAMOS embedded vision system, have has become an increasingly important role in these accomplishments. FRAMOS North America has proven to be a main pillar in the company group and demonstrates very well what can be achieved by pairing German engineering with American sales DNA. Currently, the global umbrella of companies generates worldwide sales of EUR 60 million, with its 150 employees.
Tightly Integrated Management Team Promotes Personal Responsibility
Only around a third of the workforce are based at its Munich headquarters with the majority interspersed around the globe. With 17 different nationalities, represented among the workforce, the ten-strong management team directs the individual business and country units, manages customer requirements and projects, and maps strategic adjustments within the organization.
FRAMOS encourages a culture of personal responsibility for meeting company objectives. Dr. Andreas Franz has a pragmatic perspective: “I engage with people I believe in and give them the greatest possible freedom to make decisions.” Thanks to this attitude, the family spirit, and the foresight to implement smart digitalization years ago, FRAMOS has emerged largely unscathed from the disastrous effects of the pandemic.
Looking back on 2020, Dr. Andreas Franz observes: “As a globally active company, the lockdown was not much of an impact. Ultimately though, as companies look for more digitalization and automation as they move to Industry 4.0, we will see tremendous benefits because Imaging is such a fundamental piece for this movement.”
All Set for The Future
In this anniversary year, FRAMOS employees have a lot to look forward in the next 40 years, armed with the confidence that any new surprises or obstacles can be easily overcome with the knowledge gained over the years.
Dr. Andreas Franz is calm about the future: “With smart deep-learning algorithms, connectivity via the cloud, and new approaches in the cooperation between humans, machines, and systems, will combine more image processing with the intelligent use of data to make smarter devices. There is still great potential, and we are pleased to be using and expanding our expertise to broaden the services we provide to our customers.”