The Battenfeld Injection Molding GmbH injection press factory in Kottingbrunn, Austria, is getting a face-lift expansion to produce the larger-tonnage presses that used to be assembled at Battenfeld's now-shuttered plant in Meinerzhagen, Germany.
Parent company SMS AG closed the Meinerzhagen site last year, ending production of bigger sizes of injection presses there. SMS moved production to Kottingbrunn, which had made smaller Battenfelds.
The production expansion includes metalworking equipment and increased crane capacity to handle larger press components, according to Gregor Goebel, global sales director. The expansion does not include new construction, he said in an Aug. 8 phone interview from Kottingbrunn.
Battenfeld has installed five metalworking centers in Kottingbrunn that include computer numerically controlled machines for milling and drilling the larger components. Goebel said the company moved some of the equipment from Meinerzhagen, and purchased some new metalworking machinery.
The expansion into larger machines should double the production dollar volume of the plant. Sales in 2006 should reach 120 million euros (US$155 million). Battenfeld officials expect sales to increase 8 percent in 2007.
Battenfeld employs 460 in Kottingbrunn, with another 200 spread around the world in sales and service positions.
One reason for the optimism is the success of the new sizes of Battenfeld's HM, a hydraulic two-platen press now available in clamping forces of 352-550 tons.
``We've had great success with these and this is a growing market,'' Goebel said.
Battenfeld debuted a 440-ton HM at NPE 2006.
In Meinerzhagen, Battenfeld was able to build injection presses with clamping forces over 2,000 tons. So far in Kottingbrunn, the top size is 715 tons. Goebel said officials plan to get Battenfeld back into its full range of machines as quickly as possible.