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Punching above its weight


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For a product whose only purpose is to make holes, punches come in virtually infinite variations. Gerdins maintains stocks of more than 2,500 different types of perforation tubes as part of its standard range.

“We have over 50 years of experience in manufacturing leather perforation tubes and can offer our customers great flexibility regarding quantities and tube design,” says Head of Marketing Jens Johansson. Gerdins’ leather perforation tubes are made from top-quality steel and are produced on state-of-the-art CNC machinery.

“The company already invested in CNC production technology in the 1980s thus firing the starting pistol on rapid growth that saw it transform from a small niche player into a global leader,” adds Site Manager Helena Berglund.

While it was attaining global leadership in the market for punches, Gerdins also retained its family ethos. For customers this means an emphasis on building long-term, mutually beneficial relationships.

“We prefer direct contacts with clients,” says Ms. Berglund. “With such a wide product range, it is important that we advise customers on the right solution for their needs. We tend not to compete on price but on the quality of our products and our service. This has held us in good stead in the past and we intend to continue to conduct our business in this way.”

The family ethos also extends to its employees. “We have a lot of people who have worked with us for a long time,” says Mr. Johansson. “We like to think we are a place where people feel at home and that their contribution is valued.”

Gerdins supplies its die boards to a mostly Scandinavian client base while it exports its punches worldwide. “Asia is a huge potential market for us, particularly in the leather-working and graphic design sectors which form our core business,” says Mr. Johansson. “We also continue to serve many clients in the shoe industry, which has historically been a key market for our products.”

While the punches themselves are a relatively straightforward product, Gerdins is looking at smart technology in its die board sector. “We are looking increasingly at the possibilities offered by smart connectivity in order to increase work flow efficiency and reduce costs for our customers,” explains Mr. Johansson. “Our industrial dies and punches are becoming more and more advanced so that we make fewer of them in total but the ones we do make are much improved.”

Cutting dies are made to measure to match the shape that needs to be cut. “We only use plywood, cut lines and rubber of the highest quality, because we know that the choice of the right material is essential for a good product.”

While 2019 has so far had several ups and downs, Gerdins remains optimistic about its future prospects. “Overall, it has been a positive year for us with some big projects currently underway,” says Mr. Johansson. “One such project is for the main machine builder in the die board industry which is due for completion by the end of the year.”

The company’s long-term goal is to continue to grow sustainably in the future. “We are stepping up our activities in die board manufacture with the aim of consolidating and expanding our position,” Mr. Johansson adds. “In the punches market, we are looking for additional distributors to help us cover the European market and Germany in particular.” For a company with fewer than 50 employees, it is certainly punching far above its weight in the world market.

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