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Keywords of this article:  injection molding 
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The injection molding market was strong as major European suppliers reported positive results in 2016.
The injection molding market was strong as major European suppliers reported positive results in 2016.
Nearly half way through 2017, good news were "injected" into the plastics machinery industry, as major injection molding suppliers reported positive results last year, and the momentum was carried into 2017.

Engel sales rose 8.6% in 2016/17 fiscal year

Engel Austria closed the fiscal year 2016/17 at the end of March with record sales of €1.36 billion, up 8.6% compared with the previous year.The southern part expansion of Engel's Schwertberg, Austria headquarters has completed.

"The markets in Asia have played a big role in the success of the Engel Group," said Chief Sales Officer Dr. Christoph Steger. "Asia grew faster than average in the last fiscal year, primarily due to China. On top of this, we are benefiting from the strong momentum in Southeast Asia."

Since the global financial crisis in 2009/10, the company has averaged a growth rate of 21%. Europe constitutes the majority (55%) of Engel's business, followed by the Americas (24%) and Asia (20%).
Engel Chief Sales Officer Dr. Christoph Steger speaking at CHINAPLAS 2017 Media Day.

To address the increasing demand, Engel is investing in different parts of the world. The southern part expansion of its Schwertberg, Austria headquarters has completed, providing an additional 10,000sqm floor space for offices, workshops and child care. The expansion of the northern part begins in May, and once completed, will double its production capacity.

Engel's Shanghai base is also undergoing an expansion that is expected to complete by the end of July. There will be more spaces for offices (+450sqm), machining area (+1,600sqm) as well as apprentice workshop.

Arburg posted record €630 million turnover

For the third consecutive year, Arburg broke its turnover record with €630 million in 2016.Gerhard Böhm (left), Managing Director Sales, and Tong Zhao, Head of Arburg China, posed for picture at CHINAPLAS 2017.

Gerhard Böhm, Managing Director Sales, analyzed the trends in injection molding. He said all-electric machines and drives continue to gain in importance. As a result, shares of all-electric machines in Arburg's business has risen to 27%.

"Our new electric entry-level GOLDEN ELECTRIC machine series has also contributed to this. We launched this a year ago and it has been very well received by customers," he said.

There was also further increase in hybrid machines (16%) last year.Böhm said the Golden Electric series was well received by customers.

Turkey solutions were growing in the market as well, which contributed around 17% of Arburg's turnover. "The significance of automation and turnkey solutions is also reflected at the CHINAPLAS 2017: all of the ALLROUNDER exhibits are automated: this applies to the machines on our own stand and on those of our partners," Böhm said prior to the show.

Sumitomo (SHI) Demag breaks sales record for 4th consecutive year

In 2016, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery GmbH recorded its most successful business year in its corporate history. With a total of €234 million, the German injection molding machines manufacturer has topped its 2015 record sales of €231 million.Sumitomo (SHI) Demag CEO Gerd Liebig.

It was the fourth consecutive years Sumitomo (SHI) Demag recorded a sales increase. "Our customer base has become even more consolidated," CEO Gerd Liebig stated. "In 2016, incoming orders were 20% higher than our turnover, which means that 2017 will see a massive capacity expansion." He expects a 15% sales increase this year to €270 million.

In addition, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag noted that the number of repeated buyers of all-electric machines over the last four years has doubled – in accordance with identical in the company's sales to plastic packaging manufacturers.

The packaging segment remains the focus of its industry-based strategy. In the wake of the establishment of a new Business Development unit and intensified market care, the company won new accounts, particularly among manufacturers of screw caps, closures and thin-wall parts.

"Over the past two years, our share in the global market for screw caps and thin-wall parts has risen by about 20%," Liebig said.

KraussMaffei confident of Chinese market
KraussMaffei Group CEO Dr. Frank Stieler.
KraussMaffei Group, consisting of KraussMaffei, KraussMaffei Berstorff and Netstal brands, posted sales of €1.27 billion in 2016, an increase of 5% over the previous year. Incoming orders in the period grew 5.5% to €1.33 billion.

Group CEO Dr. Frank Stieler is confident of a bright future, and pointed to several global trends that will support the company's development: urbanization, sustainability, health, productivity & resource efficiency and premiumization.

After ChemChina's acquisition, Dr. Stieler said KraussMaffei is in the process of taking over the management responsibility of ChemChina's rubber machinery plants. He expects the product portfolio can be successfully blended together by 2018.
Cui Xiaojun, CEO of KraussMaffei Group China, announced an ambitious target: to achieve double digit growth in China.
Dr. Stieler also emphasized that the leadership of ChemChina provides a whole new spectrum of opportunity for KraussMaffei. "We are able to connect with a lot of customers that previously not reachable. For instance, we are now the second largest supplier for the construction industry."

Cui Xiaojun, CEO of KraussMaffei Group China, announced an ambitious target: to achieve a double digit growth in China. He believes the increasing requirements of the Chinese plastics industry will turn into valuable opportunities.

"To prepare for the future, we are adding 20% staff for technical support, sales & services and operations. As for the Haiyan manufacturing site in China, we will certainly increase our investment. Announcement will be made when the appropriate time comes," he said.
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