Wittmann Battenfeld to launch big expansion in Torrington, Conn.

By Bill Bregar
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: May 21, 2013 4:38 pm ET
Updated: May 21, 2013 4:41 pm ET

Image By: Wittmann Battenfeld David Preusse, president of Wittmann Battenfeld Inc.

Related to this story

Topics Machinery
Companies & Associations Wittmann Battenfeld GmbH

TORRINGTON, CONN. — Wittmann Battenfeld GmbH is investing $2.4 million on a 20,200-square-foot expansion in Torrington — as the Austrian machinery maker needs more space to house larger-tonnage injection molding machines and put together turnkey systems of presses, robots and auxiliaries at its main U.S. operation.

Wittmann Group General Manager Michael Wittmann visited Torrington on May 17 to meet with the builder and sign off on the project. It includes high-bay plant addition of 18,900 square feet, with a 34-foot ceilings and larger, 30-ton cranes. The ceiling is 25 feet high in the current main plant area, where technicians assemble Wittmann robots and prepare the company's auxiliary equipment for shipment.

The U.S. headquarters, Wittmann Battenfeld Inc., also wants to hire more people. Part of the expansion is additional office space, bigger customer training areas and a larger lunch room.

"All areas of our business have seen dramatic growth. We've never stopped hiring," said David Preusse, president of Wittmann Battenfeld Inc. Currently 125 people work in Torrington.

Wittmann Battenfeld has expanded its headquarters factory in Kottingbrunn, Austria, with a 17,200-square-foot addition to make injection presses as large as 1,600 metric tons, up from the previous high of 1,100 tonnes.

The Torrington addition will not house injection molding machines that big. But it will easily handle presses up to 850 metric tons, Preusse said. Larger presses will be shipped to U.S. customers directly from Austria.

"It's just uncommon for the industry to stock such a large machine," Preusse said in an interview in Torrington.

The goal is to have enough space to house as many as 45 injection molding machines in Torrington and another 15 machines in the Midwest tech center in Elgin, Ill., Preusse said.

More space and a higher ceiling will help improve efficient handling of presses in-stock, since the crane can lift a smaller machine and carry it over the other equipment to the loading area.

But the big advantage, according to company officials, is the improved ability to showcase the full-service aspect of Wittmann Battenfeld in the United States. In 2008, robot and auxiliary equipment maker Wittmann Kunststoffgeräte GmbH bought the Battenfeld injection molding business. Wittmann Battenfeld promotes its ability to deliver complete work cells.

Now Torrington will be big enough to assemble complete packages of the larger machines, auxiliary equipment, and robots with end-of-arm tooling.

"We're integrating the whole turnkey work cell. We have a huge installed customer base, at Fortune 100 companies on up," Preusse said. "Companies like the idea of single-sourcing the whole work cell. So we can imagine in the future one of these molding machines being set up with the robot and the downstream automation as a turnkey cell that they could debug. Run it off, and then we drop it at the customer's plant."

Wittmann said Torrington can do that now, but only for smaller-tonnage machines. The company's auxiliary equipment includes material handling systems, dryers, blenders, granulators and mold temperature controllers.

Customers can do mold trials in Torrington. Wittmann Battenfeld also have more room to switch out screws, based on customer requests.

Preusse said the company is looking to add employees, as it expands its offerings of injection press sizes and sells more turnkey systems. "We're hiring project management people to put the whole project together," he said. "We're hiring an additional process engineer and trainer, so we can do more of the mold trials and classes." The machinery firm also is beefing up its sales staff and adding another accounting person.

The Austria-based Wittmann Battenfeld will hold a June 13 open house at its new robot factory in Feucht, Germany, near Nuremberg. The company also has opened a factory in Kunshan, China, and officials plan to expand the operation and begin making all-electric machines for 2014.

Wittmann Battenfeld also is adding onto its facility in Taichung, Taiwan, and is adding a showroom at its Mexico headquarters in Querétaro.


Comments

Wittmann Battenfeld to launch big expansion in Torrington, Conn.

By Bill Bregar
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: May 21, 2013 4:38 pm ET
Updated: May 21, 2013 4:41 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

West Coast ports dispute impacts machinery imports

February 27, 2015 5:00 pm ET

Asian machinery companies got caught in the West Coast ports labor dispute — causing some headaches to get equipment ready for NPE 2015.    More

Image

Wittmann, Illig among machinery firms boosting investments in India

February 27, 2015 1:34 pm ET

GANDHINAGAR, INDIA — Expected growth in the Indian plastics market is leading several global machinery firms to make investments there,...    More

Image

NFM Welding Engineers opens direct office in China

February 26, 2015 2:05 pm ET

MASSILLON, OHIO — Extrusion equipment manufacturer NFM Welding Engineers Inc. has opened a sales office in Dalian, China.    More

Image

Amut buys Dolci and Bielloni

February 25, 2015 3:41 pm ET

Amut SpA, the Novara, Italy-based maker of extruders, thermoforming machines and plastics recycling equipment, has acquired the Italian company that...    More

Image

Extrusion equipment makers adapting to market demands

February 25, 2015 2:11 pm ET

Extrusion equipment suppliers strive to meet new needs of the marketplace. While they continue upgrading speed, output and quality, they're also offer...    More

Market Reports

Flexible Packaging Trends in North America

North America represents about 30 percent of the global consumption of flexible packaging. Annual growth in this region is forecast at 4 percent during the next 5 years.

For more insight on growth opportunities, drivers of growth and the outlook for 2015, download this report.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 billion plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events