A move by German industrial conglomerate Mannesmann AG to merge two engineering divisions, Mannesmann Demag and Krauss-Maffei, will not impact the world's largest plastics equipment maker, Mannesmann Plastics Machinery AG, according to MPM Chairman Wolfgang Vogl.
On Nov. 20, Mannesmann AG announced it was merging the two and creating a new company based in Munich: Mannesmann Demag Krauss-Maffei AG. Vogl said Mannesmann Plastics Machinery will be a member of that new company. But he said the move will not change MPM — which itself was created at the beginning of 1998 to bundle six major machinery makers.
``There's no change whatsoever,'' Vogl said in a telephone interview Nov. 30. ``This [merger announcement] is referring to the other activities of Mannesmann Demag and the non-plastics activities of Krauss-Maffei.''
In 1989, Mannesmann AG started buying Krauss-Maffei, a diversified company that makes weapons, automation systems, rail cars and other products in addition to plastics machinery. Mannesmann steadily increased its stake until it owned 100 percent of Krauss-Maffei in 1996.
Krauss-Maffei merged several of its own, non-plastics businesses in recent years, under the direction of Cletus von Pichler. After that reorganization, von Pichler left the company. His last day at Krauss-Maffei was Nov. 30.
The Jan. 1, 1998, creation of Mannesmann Plastics Machinery pulled six businesses, employing more than 5,400 people, out of the Krauss-Maffei and Mannesmann Demag corporate structures: Krauss-Maffei Kunststofftechnik GmbH, Demag Ergotech GmbH, Van Dorn Demag Corp., Hermann Berstorff Maschinenbau GmbH, Netstal-Maschinen AG and Billion SA. MPM expects sales this year of $1.37 billion. Besides injection molding machines, which account for about 80 percent of total sales, MPM firms also make extruders and polyurethane processing equipment.