Wittmann Battenfeld GmbH formed in April when robot and auxiliary equipment maker Wittmann KunststoffgerÃ¤te GmbH bought the Battenfeld injection press business plans to build a new 86,000-square-foot building in Meinerzhagen, Germany, where the original company used to assemble large-tonnage injection presses.
Wittmann Battenfeld is based in Kottingbrunn, Austria, where it builds injection presses with up to 1,000 metric tons of clamping force.
The company recently purchased land from the city of Meinerzhagen for a new German sales and service subsidiary. The building, expected to open next June, will house a demonstration laboratory, training facilities and a warehouse.
The company currently runs a smaller spare parts depot in Meinerzhagen.
The larger facility is part of a strategy to make the injection press business profitable over the long range, said Werner Wittmann, president and founder of Wittmann KunststoffgerÃ¤te, based in Vienna, Austria.
SMS GmbH, Battenfeld's longtime owner, closed the Meinerzhagen injection molding factory in 2005. The following year SMS sold the business to German private equity firm Adcuram Industriekapital AG.
Werner Wittmann has said the company has medium-term plans to re-enter the large-machine sector, with machines with clamping forces of up to 1,600 tonnes.
In technology developments, Wittmann Battenfeld is developing a compact two-platen clamping unit, which will be launched at the K show in Germany in 2010. A new all-electric injection press also is planned, with the first models to become commercialized in 2009.
Also, the firm is completely revamping its Microsystem 50 line of micromolding machines. At Fakuma, held Oct. 14-18 in Friedrichshafen, officials reached a cooperative agreement in micromolding with the Germany's Chemnitz University of Technology.
This year, executives expect the total company, covering injection molding machines and auxiliary equipment, will generate sales of about 250 million euros ($313 million). About 110 million euros ($138 million) will come from the Wittmann Battenfeld injection press business.
The group employs a total of 1,580.