By: Roger Renstrom
February 25, 2014
ANAHEIM, CALIF. — Wittmann Battenfeld Inc. has achieved major growth in the U.S. market, and is moving during 2014 to establish a technical center in southern California, probably in Orange County.
Within the U.S., Wittmann Battenfeld has its headquarters in Torrington, Conn., a Midwest technical center in Elgin, Ill., and an office in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., also in Orange County.
"We think 2014 will sustain the growth of 2013," Sonny Morneault, national sales manager, said in a Feb. 11 interview at UBM Canon's Plastec West trade show in Anaheim.
"We are coming off a record year. We saw a slowdown in January versus a blockbuster January 2013," but Wittmann Battenfeld is positive about the future, he said.
For the five years from 2009-2013, Wittmann Battenfeld recorded dollar sales growth of 265 percent in the U.S., including gains in the automotive and medical markets, he said. The firm hired 22 persons in the U.S. last year.
At Plastec West, a turnkey cell including an all-electric EcoPower 55/130 machine molded souvenir polyethylene flying discs incorporating an outline of the state of California and the Wittmann Battenfeld slogan "world of innovation." Newport Plastics LLC of Santa Ana, Calif., made the mold.
The EcoPower press ran with a W818-3D servo robot with integrated controls, a Drymax Aton F70 dryer with a desiccant wheel, three self-contained Feedmax S3 loaders, a MAS1-W4748 granulator with staggered rotor, a Gravimax B14 blender with real-time live-scale technology and a Tempro Plus D temperature control unit.
Morneault said the EcoPower machine was "redesigned and replatformed" and is making "tremendous inroads" in the market.
A manufacturer of eye care products at facilities in Virginia and Texas, for example, purchased "multiple EcoPower machines," Morneault said.
Illinois Tool Works Inc. bought seven fully integrated Insider conveyors that operate with EcoPower presses.
A battery maker added multiple EcoPower and hydraulic MacroPower presses.
"Our goal is to create opportunities for (molding) machine and robot," Morneault said.
Wittmann Battenfeld is the U.S. operation of Wittmann Battenfeld GmbH of Kottingbrunn, Austria.
In 2008, robot and auxiliary equipment maker Wittmann Kunststoffgeräte GmbH bought Battenfeld Kunststoffmaschinen GmbH, a maker of injection molding machines.