From Antwerp to the rest of the world

In seventy years, Dematic has grown into a company that is active in Europe, North-America, Asia and Oceania. The constant theme throughout our history has been creative solutions and the development of our core skills.

Electricity works

Electricité Générale pour la Marine et l’Industrie (Egemin) was founded in 1947 at Sint-Pietersvliet in Antwerp. The company specialised in naval electricity repair work and was founded by Theo Pomierski, entrepreneur, philosopher and artist.

Material handling

At the World Fair in 1958 in Brussels, Egemin agreed a contract with the German company STILL for the delivery of forklift trucks. In the years that followed, activities expanded to include cargo handling. Egemin became Dematic and adopted the core activity in the firm name.

As well as naval installations, Dematic also worked on electrical installations for industry. The activities for material handling were expanded with in-floor chain conveyors, roller conveyors and carbody transport systems for the automotive industry.

Automation of petrol stations, processes and intralogistics

At the end of the ‘60s, Luc Pomierski, son of Theo, added a new activity under the name Applied Electronics. Dematic started automating petrol stations. In ten years’ time the Applied Electronics department grew into being the market leader in its sector. It was a hey-day for the company that then had three main activities: Industrial Electricity, Handling Systems and Applied Electronics. When the investments in petrol stations fell, Applied Electronics, including some valuable patents, was sold.

At the end of the 80s, Dematic shifted from family ownership to industrial shareholdership. Sidmar, now Arcelor-Mittal, and Saab opened up extra opportunities for Dematic. This marked a period of strong autonomous growth. Knowledge company Dematic profiled itself as a supplier of automation solutions for material handling and the process industry.

Worldwide expansion

At the end of 1999, the shareholder status of Sidmar and Saab was transferred to the investment groups Ackermans & van Haaren, KBC Private Equity and Mercator. With the takeover of Schlafhorst Automation in Michigan, Dematic made the leap over the Atlantic. In 2010 Dematic established new offices in Shanghai and Hong Kong to serve the Chinese and Asian Pacifc markets.

Focus on core business

Dematic aims for further growth in material handling automation and life cycle services with premium products and solutions such as the renowned automated guided vehicles (E’gv®) and automated warehouse and distribution solutions (E'wds).

In 2015 the handling automation activities of Egemin were acquired by the multinational KION Group, one of the world market leaders in intralogistics. The current corporate management team consists of Jan Vercammen (CEO), Marc Guns (COO), Francis De Backer (Vice President Sales & Marketing), Eric Henrard (Vice President Operations) and Eric Maes (Vice President Finance & Administration).

Acquisition of US systems integrator Retrotech

In 2016, Dematic acquired US systems integrator Retrotech to strengthen its expertise in the fast-growing market for automated warehouse systems in North America. Retrotech of warehouse and distribution solutions. Retrotech provides its customers with a wide range of solutions for integrating and modernising complex intralogistics systems. Retrotech specializes in systems design, customized warehouse control software and stacker crane modernization and retrofits to ensure that warehouse systems remain in good working order.

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