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Arburg looks to packaging and Far East for growth

By: By James Snodgrass
EUROPEAN PLASTICS NEWS

March 14, 2013

LOSSBURG, GERMANY — Arburg GmbH + Co. KG, the Lossburg-based injection molding machine manufacturer, expects to post consolidated 2012 sales of 488 million euros ($633 million) — an increase of around 4 percent from 2011.

Speaking at a news conference on March 13, held during Arburg's Technology Days, managing partner Michael Hehl said anticipated future growth will be in Asia and South America, with most growth coming from the Far East.

Asked if the economic crisis in southern Europe would affect Arburg's business, Helmut Heinson managing director of sales, contended: "Well of course, but not to the extent you might expect. In Spain we are keeping sales on previous years. France is fine, the U.K. is fine."

Boll identified the United States as Arburg's biggest foreign market. But he also considered the Far East as having the best potential for growth despite Arburg's machinery being relatively expensive compared with locally-sourced machinery.

In the company's Technology Center, Arburg showed more than 40 Allrounder exhibits to an estimated 5.000 guests from all over the world. Highlights of the showcase included an Allrounder 470 C Golden Edition molding cups from a 100 percent bio-derived PET. Technical director Herbert Kraibühler, said that with the bio PET, "we are getting closer to traditional materials, except with a lower melt temperature."

Also on a bio-materials theme, an Allrounder 370S was making boxes using PLA with a timber fiber content of nearly 60 percent. Kraibühler invited visitors to sniff the boxes — which smelled distinctively wood-like — but noted that there was further development to come as the boxes were too brittle for practical use.

Packaging has been identified as a growth market for the company, which is keen to emphasize that it does not just make small machines. To demonstrate this, it showed off an Allrounder 570 H producing IML food containers in 4.5 seconds, with a material throughput of over 22 kilograms per hour. To prove that the hybrid machine was precise in its movements, Kraibühler pointed to the floor and said: "Look! No labels have dropped on the floor!"

Arburg also used itsTechnology Days to host their sixth annual Energy Efficiency Award. The 2013 prize was given to AMK, the Kirchheim, Germany-based maker of drive and control technology. Joining previous winners including Tyco and Lego, AMK was given the prize for its use of energy-optimized Allrounders in its own injection molding plant, which is used to make components for its drive technology which, in turn, is used in Arburg's electric-powered machines.