WITTMANN set for further growth
| Subj: Press-releses
In 2016, the WITTMANN Group realized 377 million EUR in sales and thus fully achieved the goal it had set itself for last year. According to Michael Wittmann, Managing Director and CEO of WITTMANN Kunststoffgeräte GmbH, this 5% increase over 2015 is more than satisfactory after the record 19% growth figure of 2015. “An expansion in the order of almost 20% is, of course, an exception and not possible every year. We are proud that we could add yet another 5% in 2016 to that impressive rate“, says Wittmann. The group’s workforce has also increased again and currently stands at 2,165 employees worldwide. With an exceptionally high order intake in the second half of 2016 and at the beginning of 2017, the order books are already full well into the autumn of this year.
As a consequence of the group’s continuing growth, significant investments were made last year in corporate machinery and infrastructure too. For example, several new machining centers were installed in Kottingbrunn in addition to the completion of the new technical lab, and the mechanical production and sheet metal plants, warehouse facilities and product development testing area were remodeled as well. For this year, an extension of the production facility by some 2,200 m² is planned.
A very clear sign of the extremely lively demand for WITTMANN automation systems and robots is the expansion of the production area for robots still under way in Vienna. This will increase the total capacity at WITTMANN’s four robot production plants to 4,800 units per year, which are all urgently needed. Furthermore, investments in additional ultra-modern machining centers have been made over the last 12 months, which will lead to a capacity increase in the coming months. Once this construction work has been completed, an extension of the new Wolkersdorf production plant will be started, which was only opened in October 2015, and where bulk material technology products for material drying, loading and dosing are made. With the planned addition of 2,600 m², the total production floor space for this segment will be increased to 9,300 m².
The company’s global sales activities were also further strengthened in 2016. In response to the positive development of Slovakian business, a new subsidiary was established in Trenčin/Slovakia in September. Moreover, the WITTMANN Group decided to take over its agency in Korea and make it a part of its own sales and service network, following the positive development of the Korean market. The integration was completed in November of last year.
After the introduction of numerous new products at the K 2016, the main challenge for 2017 is the consolidation of all these novelties. In the injection molding machine segment, for example, the servo-hydraulic SmartPower series and the MicroPower series designed for the production of micro parts were extended by the addition of multi-component technology models. The new UNILOG B8 machine control system running under Windows® 10 IoT and equipped with a swivel-mounted 21.5” full HD multi-touch screen is now available for all machines from the PowerSeries. Furthermore, WITTMANN BATTENFELD is now offering the MacroPower series with a maximum clamping force size of 2,000 t. In addition, the high-speed model EcoPower Xpress launched at the K with 400 t clamping force will be supplemented by a 500 t version this year.
In the robot segment, the new, favorably priced PRIMUS 16 robot series, the large W863 pro model with 70 kg load capacity and the new R9 robot control system have been rolled out. The R9 control system includes a virtual model of the relevant robot, which enables simulation of the robotic process at any time for testing and production verification processes. A new wizard for easy generation of teach programs has also been integrated, which introduces users to the process and parameter setting options with the help of the virtual robot. In the area of peripherals, the new G-Max series of granulators with a hybrid cutting rotor was presented, along with the TEMPRO plus D250 oil temperature controller and the net5 control system, which is suitable for models ranging from stand-alone material loaders to medium-sized central systems.
All new products from WITTMANN can be connected to the B8 machine control system via “WITTMANN 4.0” software and router technology. In this way, a uniform communication system via OPC UA, a plug & produce functionality for extremely easy automatic generation of production cells, and central operation via the B8 control system’s monitor screen have been realized.
Michael Wittmann comments: “2017 has got off to an excellent start for us, and we will be very likely to exceed 400 million EUR in sales this year. We are looking forward to an exciting year with a great variety of challenges and tasks.”
The WITTMANN Group
The WITTMANN Group is a worldwide leader in the manufacturing of injection molding machines, robots and peripheral equipment for the plastics industry. Headquartered in Vienna/Austria, the WITTMANN Group consists of two main divisions, WITTMANN BATTENFELD and WITTMANN, which operate 8 production facilities in 5 countries, including more than 33 direct subsidiary offices located in all major plastics markets around the world.
WITTMANN BATTENFELD focuses on independent market growth in the manufacturing of state-of-the art injection molding machines and process technology, providing a modern and comprehensive range of machinery in a modular design that meets the actual and future requirements of the plastic injection molding market.
WITTMANN’s product range includes robots and automation systems, material handling systems, dryers, gravimetric and volumetric blenders, granulators, mold temperature controllers and chillers. With this comprehensive range of peripheral equipment, WITTMANN can provide plastics processors with solutions that cover all production requirements, ranging from autonomous work cells to integrated plant-wide systems.
The syndication of the WITTMANN Group has led to connectivity between all product lines, providing the advantage plastics processors have been looking for in terms of a seamless integration of injection molding machines, automation and auxiliary equipment – all occurring at a progressive rate.
Source: WITTMANN Group