The global manufacturing sector suffered from a slowed economy in 2015, but a slight adjustment would be good for the long-term development of the industry, according to the Wittmann Group, an Austrian injection molding machine and automation equipment supplier.
Expectedly companies would struggle in such hard times, but Jonathan Ching, Managing Director of Wittmann Battenfeld (Shanghai) Co. Ltd, views the situations from another angle.
“The market will not stay red hot forever. If a company is fully occupied for too long, it would be difficult for it to make long-term judgment, and some important aspects, like R&D for the future, could be overlooked,” he said.
Automation turns the tide
Labor shortage and rising wages have made life difficult for the Chinese manufacturing sector. Wittmann Battenfeld sees it as an opportunity, offering injection molding and automation solutions for those who are determined to turn the tide.
While the market trend is favorable for Wittmann, Ching said the company still needs to work hard and supply high-quality machines for plastic processors to achieve automated production.
“For example, our SmartPower servo hydraulic injection molding machine is intelligent and energy-saving, but that is only a starting point,” he explained. “The precision, efficiency, machine size and other equipment connections have to be fine-tuned to suit individual needs.”
To be more cost-effective, the company made the decision to manufacture locally in China.
At present, Wittmann has a factory in Kunshan, which is responsible for the production of automation equipment, in addition to more than 10 operational offices around China. Three to four new offices will be added this year to better serve the customers, according to Ching.
Optimism in automotive
Knowing the market well is important for a company to stay on top in fierce competition. Therefore, detecting the trends and identifying the user-markets so as to provide customized solutions for customers are a winning formula of Wittmann.
This year, the company specially targets new energy vehicles in the automotive industry. “The auto sector is upgrading, from being labor intensive to technology intensive, while moving out to Southeast Asian countries is also a trend. However, domestic demand in China is still strong, and I’m optimistic about it.”
Wittmann Group’s injection molding machines, auxiliary equipment and automation solutions are widely used in such industries as medical, packaging, electronics, automotive and home appliances.
The list of products include the new W838T robots, W808 and W818 robots for small machines, as well as W818TS with telescopic stroke; DRYMAX Aton 2 F30 segmented wheel dryer is a standout in drying equipment; mold temperature controller offerings include TEMPRO basic C90, TEMPRO basic C120 and TEMPRO C140.
In addition, Wittmann also supplies MAS series granulators and screenless granulator such as Minor 2 and Junior 2 Compact; feeders like FEEDMAX B and FEEDMAX S3; as well as DOSIMAX dosing system and GRAVIMAX B34 polymer blender.