TMEIC has invested half a million euros in moving its headquarters to Valencia's most modern office building
TMEIC Port Technologies was born in April 2022 as a result of the acquisition of the ports and terminals division of Valencian firm Órbita Ingeniería. This transaction saw the arrival of the Japanese company Toshiba Mitsubishi-Electric Industrial Systems Corporation (TMEIC) in Spain.
What is the previous history of Órbita's ports and terminals division?
Órbita set up its ports division in 2013, starting the business from scratch. At that time, Órbita had no lines of business outside Spain, and the management decided that it was time to internationalise, given the difficulties then facing the business in Spain. Port automation was still a small business for Órbita in Spain. We only had a couple of projects in the port of Valencia, but we saw straight away that the business model had the potential to be replicated all over the world, and that there were at the same time few firms with the capability to offer these services and this technology. Órbita committed strongly to building a young and highly dynamic team, and we learned a lot from making mistakes as we had no experience in international projects and businesses, but we succeeded in creating an attractive corporate image, some very powerful services, state-of-the-art technology and working methods in the industry, and in the end all that effort started to pay off. In just a few years, Órbita became a leading player in the port automation industry, with major clients who most importantly brought us repeat business, which in turn gave us the strength we needed to take on bigger challenges and projects. Órbita Ports & Terminals (the trading name of the Órbita division) started to be a profitable business with highly significant growth that attracted the attention of several companies, TMEIC among them.
What was it that attracted TMEIC to the Valencian company?
TMEIC is a global company with very strong growth prospects. The company is very powerful in terms of R&D, and growth is organic in its multiple lines of business, but they saw that what Órbita was offering them was the opportunity to accelerate the growth of some of these lines with the acquisition of a consolidated business and a rapid return on investment. Furthermore, Órbita and TMEIC's businesses complement each other: there is a strong synergy, since both companies work on terminal automation projects, but in different fields. There is no duplication, since there is almost no overlap in the technologies used by the two companies, and this made the acquisition of Órbita all the more attractive for TMEIC.
How has the workforce evolved over the past year and a half?
At the time of the deal in April 2022, there were 47 employees, and today, 23 September, there are 64. This reflects the growth of the business and the momentum that TMEIC is bringing to the company.
How was the deal received by the market? What is your customer profile?
Órbita and TMEIC did a good job in communicating with Órbita's customers, explaining the situation, the benefits of the acquisition for their projects and, above all, the added strategic support that an important supplier would provide for them. This is an important point, because terminal automation projects usually involve a medium to high investment, and customers value the stability and strength of the suppliers. The response from the market was good, and we tried to ensure at all times that, beyond the branding of the new company (the change from Órbita to TMEIC), the process was transparent for customers. It was not a hundred percent perfect, but one year on we can say that we have managed to successfully become TMEIC Port Technologies thanks to the involvement of all the staff. Ultimately it is the people who make the difference, and our team is spectacular at all levels.
You have just moved from Alcácer to Valencia and now have a new headquarters. What sort of investment was needed to set it up?
Up until July of this year we were still in the premises that Órbita has in Alcácer, but we are now installed in our new headquarters at Avenida Cortes Valencianas 15, where we occupy the sixth floor. TMEIC's investment in the new headquarters is in excess of half a million euros, and the new offices are expected to be very important, not only for us at TMEIC Port Technologies but for every division at the company, given that TMEIC does not have another office of this kind in Europe. It is our aim to make the new headquarters a magnet for talent, both in terms of image and its location in the most modern office building in Valencia, in the city's most rapidly developing business area.
Now that you have made the move, are you planning to increase your workforce?
Growth is not due to the change of location but rather the company's good business prospects. Our workforce has already grown from 47 to 64 employees in eighteen months, and we aim to keep on growing to keep pace with the record turnover we saw in 2022.
How important is Spain for the company's strategy?
Spain is a key country, and Valencia is the perfect location for the company as this subsidiary brings great added value to TMEIC, not only in the material handling division, but in all divisions at the company.
What other projects do you have planned for the medium and long term?
Our current focus is on developing our automation products, in particular by further enhancing our image analysis technology and developing the new solutions that our customers are demanding. We are always at the cutting edge of technological development, given that we are creating solutions that do not exist on the market. From a more strategic point of view, we are analysing the cross-cutting synergies that might emerge in engineering and operations in other divisions at TMEIC. The aim here is to offer the market comprehensive joint solutions, so that our customers can benefit from comprehensive automation systems on a single TMEIC platform.
Photos: TMEIC Port Technologies