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WITTMANN BATTENFELD highlights machines with adaptive algorithms
Source:Source: CPRJ Editorial Team    Editor:NL    Date:18.Nov.2019

At K 2019, the main theme of WITTMANN BATTENFELD’s presentation was to showcase intelligent machines with adaptive algorithms, which adjust themselves to the ambient conditions. This was demonstrated with an all-electric EcoPower 55/350 equipped with the software packages HiQ-Flow, HiQ-Melt and HiQ-Metering.

On the EcoPower 55/350, polycarbonate clothes pegs were manufactured with a 4-cavity mold. In a live demonstration, HiQ-Flow compensated the effect of material viscosity fluctuations, thus ensuring stable quality and eliminating scrap.

Pieces of sprue and bad parts deliberately produced for demonstration purposes were re-granulated in the new G-Max 9 granulator, and then directly returned to the machine hopper via the vacuum conveying device connected with the granulator.

WITTMANN BATTENFELD also demonstrated live the production of a cosmetics packaging made of the bio-based compound Zeroplast free, which consists of no more than 3 ingredients, on the multi-component machine model EcoPower 240/1100H/130L COMBIMOULD.

The bio-based natural material is not only recyclable, bio-compatible, free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and chemical additives, but is also said to fulfill all the wishes and requirements of industrial customers.

According to Terry Liu, General Manager, WITTMANN BATTENFELD (Shanghai) Co., Ltd., the machine has been specially configured to accommodate the material, which is classified as paper instead of plastics.

Terry Liu, General Manager, WITTMANN BATTENFELD (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.“The material is biodegradable within six months. The price is not so much different from other plastic materials commonly used. It could even be cheaper,” he said. “We believe circular economy is a direction for future development. If we can produce environmentally friendly products at a low cost, it will be beneficial for everyone.”

Terry Liu mentioned that the feedback from visitors to the exhibits was positive despite the uncertain and less than optimistic outlook of the market next year. Quite a number of projects had been confirmed onsite every show day, involving injection molding machines and auxiliary equipment.

These customers were mostly from Europe and the US, who had probably started considering the projects prior to coming to the show.

There were also Chinese visitors exploring possibilities of machinery upgrade as their decade-old automated equipment does not completely support Industry 4.0 features.

“Machinery upgrade and automation are the main focus for Chinese customers. A lot of our long-term customers in China are in need of technology upgrade. Discussions have been started with them about this,” explained Terry Liu.

During a press conference, CEO of Wittmann Group, Michael Wittmann, said that business of WITTMANN BATTENFELD is facing a slowdown after a continuous rise for the past 10 years. The sales turnover forecast for 2019 is €377 million, representing a drop of 11.2% when compared to €425 million recorded in 2018.

He commented that business in 2020 would be hard to predict, but he is not optimistic because the company is entering 2020 with a much lower backlog than 2019.

Michael Wittmann pinpointed that Germany was hardest hit by the downturn due to its heavy dependence on the automotive markets. There is an industry-wide decline in higher-value capital goods, especially in the automotive sector. A lot of Tier 1 suppliers have stopped all kinds of investment.

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