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Gerhard Böhm, Managing Director Sales at Arburg.
Gerhard Böhm, Managing Director Sales at Arburg.
Photo: 12

Leaders of two prominent exhibitors at CHINAPLAS 2018 have been talking with the show’s organizer Stanley Chu, Chairman of Adsale Group, about the companies’ recipe for continuous growth in China, their leadership style and vision for the market.

Mr Chu is also Honorary Life President of Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Industry Association (HKECIA), and Chair of UFI Asia/ Pacific Chapter.


Gerhard Böhm, Managing Director Sales at Arburg, has more than 15 years’ experience in international sales and marketing, as well as in-depth knowledge of the market segments and sales channels in mechanical engineering.

Chu: What would you say is the core competitiveness of Arburg? What have to be done to perform continuously as a leader in the future?

Böhm: We regard ourselves not only as a supplier of high-quality and innovative machines, but much more as an expert technology partner from whom our customers can obtain everything from a single source. In addition to the performance capabilities of our high-tech Allrounders, these customers value our comprehensive service and consulting competency. We provide comprehensive support on injection moulding and application technology to our customers and jointly develop individual solution concepts in which the technology and performance are right - to achieve optimal quality at minimal unit costs.

With regard to Industry 4.0 and digital transformation, we are pioneers in the industry with more than 30 years of experience in IT-networked production. Furthermore, we supply robotic systems as well as customer and industry-specific turnkey solutions. Accordingly, direct and expert customer support plays an important role for us.

The Arburg team in China is growing continuously, every third employee works in service and after-sales. At the Chinese subsidiary, training courses are also offered in the local language. With our brand promise "Wir sind da.", we formulate our high standards with regard to quality, reliability and personal proximity to our customers and partners, across all plastics processing industries and technologies.

Chu: Arburg offers a range of technologies, from injection moulding, additive manufacturing, to automated systems and turnkey solutions. Which of them can expect a faster growth in China? What are the possible trends that might affect Arburg’s development in China?

Böhm: We believe that the trend towards high-quality products and machines will continue in China. We are also witnessing an increased demand for automated processes, including the integration of upstream and downstream operations. We see great potential in the turnkey sector, in which we are very strong. Here, Arburg China works closely with our experts in the German Turnkey department to design and implement customised production solutions for our Chinese customers. For these tasks, we will be further expanding our sales and service structures in China. In conjunction with our application consulting, which is already very extensive, our outlook for the future is positive.

Chu: The Chinese government has announced some new initiatives, such as “Made in China 2025” and the Belt & Road Initiative, what’s your opinion on such developments in terms of business opportunities in the coming years?

Böhm: Jointly with our customers, the automation experts at Arburg China are continuously expanding their activities towards Industry 4.0 and "Made in China 2025". The preconditions are automation and IT infrastructure. With our know-how and extensive "Industrie 4.0 - powered by Arburg" offerings, we are extremely well positioned in this regard. The Arburg host computer system (ALS) is a central component for digital networking, which captures, archives and seamlessly tracks the process data as well as networking the flexibly automated process chains and transmits the collected data to a web server. Further offerings include Arburg Remote Service and numerous assistance systems for starting, setting-up, optimising, producing and monitoring our Allrounders.

Chu: Arburg has invested in a new training centre in Lossburg. What is the idea behind such a project?

Böhm: Our first-class service offerings also include a broad range of training courses relating to machines, application technology and service. Tens of thousands of experts from around the world have received training from us in recent decades. Demand is rising steadily. From the spring of 2020, we intend to offer our existing and prospective customers a functionally and aesthetically high-class and modern environment, similar to our Customer Center. For this purpose, we have invested a double-digit million euro figure in our new training centre - and consequently in the future of our customers. The facilities at the new building will include space for about 15 Allrounders for practical training as well as twelve rooms for theoretical instruction. We also offer comprehensive training courses which meet a uniformly high standard at our locations worldwide. Of course, Arburg China also provides courses in the local language.

Chu: Arburg celebrated 25 years in China last year (2017). How do you build and sustain brand image in this market?

Böhm: As a premium supplier, we have from the outset focussed on the high-end segment in China, which has been growing for years. Accordingly, our strategy has borne fruit, so that today, we are represented at three locations in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Shenzhen and are growing continuously. Communication in the local language reflects the great significance that the Chinese market has for us. Examples here include the Chinese name for Arburg and the corresponding logo, the Chinese-language website, the Chinese edition of our customer magazine "today" and our own WeChat channel with more than 12,000 followers.

Chu: Can you share with us your management style and vision? What kind of corporate culture you are looking to build up?

Böhm: We are a family-run company as well as a globally positioned technological leader that produces machines "Made in Germany" at our central plant in Lossburg and is present with its own organisation in 25 countries at 33 locations. We rely on short decision-making channels and flat hierarchies, highly qualified and committed employees, as well as growth through our own efforts. Arburg stands for quality, reliability and personal proximity, and is characterised by a special "we" feeling. Beyond our undisputed technological achievements, our brand promise "Wir sind da." formulates our aspiration to work untiringly for the benefit of our customers, employees and partners at all times - as in a well-functioning family. You can rely on Arburg. In China and in all our other subsidiaries, we live this principle very actively.

Strong presence of Arburg in expanded stand 

Arburg presents itself as a leading machine manufacturer and competent technology partner with an expanded stand area of 600sqm at CHINAPLAS 2018.

The “hot” areas include the Industry 4.0 and additive manufacturing, as well as innovative lightweight construction for the automotive industry, LSR processing for the 3Cs sector, etc.

An Allrounder 370 E Golden Electric machine produces Y connectors for intravenous drip therapy.As a central component of Industry 4.0, the Arburg host computer system (ALS) enables complete traceability of orders, batches and individual parts. Machines and peripheral components can thus be networked in a simple, standardized way by means of interfaces based on the OPC UA application protocol.

All exhibits on the Arburg stand are automated and connected to ALS. Visitors are able to see how ALS can be used to record and archive the relevant process data online.

The continuing trend in China is towards high-quality products. Lightweight parts are of interest to many industries, in particular the automotive sector. Arburg therefore presents the ProFoam physical foaming technology in China for the first time. The exhibit is a hybrid Allrounder 570 H with a size 800 injection unit that produces an interesting component for passenger car engine compartments. Processing involves fibre-reinforced materials (PA66, 30 GF).

An Allrounder 370 E Golden Electric is being used at the fair to demonstrate that entry-level electric series is also suitable for the precise production of medical technology parts.

Meanwhile, Arburg demonstrates its competence with a machine designed for LSR (liquid silicone rubber) processing from the Golden Edition entry-level series.

An Allrounder 420 C Golden Edition produces flexible LSR cases for the iPhone 8. The mould is provided by Prover, while the LSR dosing unit comes from 2 KM. A Multilift Select linear robotic system performs the handling tasks.

In addition, a Freeformer and a variety of functional components are being used at the show to demonstrate that Arburg Plastic Freeforming (APF) is not only suitable for prototyping but also for the industrial additive manufacturing of functional components in particular.

Booth: 2L61

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