Ferromatik Milacron Maschinenbau GmbH took all-electric injection technology to the extreme at Fakuma, where all five of its show machines were all-electrics.
All-electric presses are common in Japan. In the United States, they now account for 40 percent of all injection presses sold, measured by unit sales. But all-electrics are still pretty rare in Europe, at around 5 percent. Ferromatik is pushing the Elektra Evolution line hard.
``Every fourth machine Ferromatik sells in Germany is now all-electric. Elsewhere in the world it's 20 percent and the numbers are only going up,'' said Karlheinz Bourdon, president of global plastics machinery for Ferromatik's U.S. parent, Milacron Inc.
Ferromatik Milacron will assemble about 150 Evolution presses this year in Malterdingen.
German molders understand the importance of precision molding, which is a strong point of all-electric presses, said Rudiger Weinhardt, Ferromatik's new director of sales and marketing.
``Fully electric, high-tech products with high precision are still staying in Germany, [whereas] simple products are moving'' to Eastern Europe and China, Weinhardt said at Ferromatik Milacron's Oct. 20 news conference at Fakuma in Friedrichshafen.
Bourdon said Ferromatik Milacron has seen double-digit growth in all-electric sales to Germany and Western Europe. The company is doing well in the flat German market, unlike most competitors, he said.
The key to winning broader sales, Bourdon said, is that the company is boosting injection speed on the Elektra Evolution, which helps win orders from customers such as molders of automotive electrical parts and vacuum cleaner components.
Weinhardt gave a roundup of some other recent press sales, although in most cases he declined to identify customers. Ferromatik Milacron sold several of its Monosandwich coinjection presses to French automotive molders. The company also has shipped machines to Gillette Co. for its new plant in Poland. He mentioned a good order for medical presses to France, and business in Russia.
Weinhardt joined Ferromatik Milacron in early October. He had been sales and technical managing director at Faudi Filter Systems GmbH, an industrial filter manufacturer in Stadtallendorf, Germany. Before that, he served in sales management positions at Heraeus Elektrochemie GmbH. He has a master's degree in engineering from TU Dortmund.
In other news, Milacron said its Mosaic global controller, presented as a prototype at K 2004, now is being offered commercially on the Elektra Evolution. Next year, the company plans to introduce Mosiac controllers on the K-Tec and Maxima brands.
In a question-and-answer session at the news conference, Bourdon said the Cincinnati-based machinery company wants to outsource more parts from China and India, to reduce costs. He said that is a general trend for plastics equipment, but companies have to make sure quality does not suffer.