After just two years on the job, Wilhelm SchrÃ¶der is gone as managing director of SMS Plastics Technology, which makes Battenfeld injection presses, American Maplan and Cincinnati-brand extruders, and Battenfeld Gloucester film equipment.
Dusseldorf, Germany-based parent company SMS GmbH issued a one-sentence announcement Feb. 2 that said SchrÃ¶der left Jan. 31. Reached by telephone Feb. 2 in Germany, SchrÃ¶der declined to comment.
SMS is owned by Chairman Heinrich Weiss and his family. Besides plastics processing equipment, other SMS businesses include steel mill equipment, rolling mill equipment and technology to make metal tubing.
The short announcement gave no clues about why SchrÃ¶der and SMS are parting ways. But in the past, SchrÃ¶der and Weiss have made clear comments that the plastics business was performing poorly. Industry observers in Germany think the injection molding business is a problem area - an opinion that seemed to be confirmed in November when SMS announced it would close the Battenfeld factory in Meinerzhagen, Germany, where Battenfeld first began making injection presses more than 50 years ago. That move eliminated 470 jobs.
Work was transferred to Battenfeld's other assembly factory, in Kottingbrunn, Austria.
Weiss made the Meinerzhagen-closing announcement. Interviewed later, SchrÃ¶der said 2006 would be a ``complex'' period of transition.
In recent years, Battenfeld also started to source major components for its EM all-electric injection press from a competitor in Germany, Ferromatik Milacron Maschinenbau GmbH.
SchrÃ¶der joined Dusseldorf-based SMS Plastics Technology as managing director in January 2004. He also served on the management board of the overall SMS group.
Before he resurfaced at SMS, SchrÃ¶der had left the top position at another German plastics machinery maker, Krauss-Maffei Kunststofftechnik GmbH, in 2002.