The palletising and depalletising equipment supplier set up in 1989 boasts the fastest packaging lines of its kind in the world and the company has garnered just about every young business award that Spain as to offer.

The firm produces machinery ranging from palletisers and depalletisers to case and tray formers, conveyors, stretch wrappers, pallet stackers and a design and planning service for packaging lines. It has a strong international presence, with machinery installed on four continents providing for companies such as Crown Cork & Seal, Mivisa, Megasa, Iber-Embal (Massily group) and Lefkosidourgia Kavalas. Inemur imports many of its robotic components from the Japanese manufacturer Okura, which it then customises.

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 Evolved business models

 Inemur (Ingeniera Electromecánica Murciana) is a good example of how Murcian business models have evolved from the traditional local agrofood producers into specialist niche markets that have a worldwide client base. Murcia’s machinery manufacturing sector comprises more than 500 businesses employing 4500 workers and is closely linked to the agriculture, livestock and foodstuffs industries.

Manufacturers of machinery for the agrofood industry have experience of working with packaging and canning vegetables, fruit juices, paprika, cereals and animal feed. Other machinery manufacturers supply traditional sectors in Murcia, such as construction and public works, tanning, and the chemical and lumber industries.

There are also companies in the sector that manufacture metallic structures, metal working machinery, forklifts, electricity-generating machinery, and packing and labelling equipment. The predominantly export-orientated sector has a turnover of more than €430m, of which more than €150m originates from the EU, north Africa and South America.

Inside the Inemur factory, Mr Navarro has the enthusiasm of a child in a toy shop. “This machinery is especially designed for the automation of high-density production processes that traditionally have required a large workforce. This has been an important technological advancement for Murcia as well as an important cost-cutter,” he says enthusiastically. He demonstrates how, by using sophisticated web cams, “all our machinery can be controlled at a distance, no matter where it is installed in the world. The equipment can also undergo tele-maintenance and updating using wireless networking.”

Mr Navarro has directed the company towards the development and innovation of palletising machinery using magnetic plates. Inemur patented the fruits of these projects early on and they undergo constant improvements to speed up processes and cut down on waste. The sector is undergoing a process of technological renewal and new research and development centres are being set up to push innovation into new areas, such as precision tool machinery and accessories for the aeronautical and energy industries.

 State-of-the-art facilities

 The establishment of the region’s Metal Technological Centre, with state-of-the-art facilities, allows companies to access advanced design, automation, robotised welding, prototype construction and testing services, plus specific training and documentation. Research is also being conducted at the Polytechnic University of Cartagena and Murcia’s scientific and technological parks.

Murcia is a world leader in the thermal treatment of food and fluids, which has the potential to be applied in the food, environmental protection and chemical-pharmaceutical industries.

The region’s machinery manufacturing sector is made up of small companies, which are flexible and rapid enough to respond to the specialisation necessary to adapt to the specific needs of big industrial clients.