Wittmann Battenfeld GmbH is re-entering the large-machine market and introducing its next generation of all-electrics.
The company unveiled a series of robots, equipment and manufacturing cells at NPE2009 to take advantage of its year-old acquisition of Battenfeld's press-making operations.
Kottingbrunn, Austria-based Wittmann presented several firsts at the show, including a new software controller, a dual-arm telescopic robot for the stack mold market, and manufacturing cells that team Battenfeld molding machines directly with Wittmann robots and equipment to make production systems for areas like in-mold labeling.
Company officials said June 23 at NPE, held June 22-26 in Chicago, that they plan to re-enter the large-machine market by March 2010 with presses up to 1,600 tons. The company's initial exhibition of the machines will occur at the 2010 K show in Germany.
Wittmann later this year will unveil all-electrics with clamping forces of 55-300 tons. The new version of the EM all-electric will be made without components from competitor Ferromatik Milacron Maschinenbau GmbH of Malterdingen, Germany, severing a relationship the companies had shared since 2004.
General Manager Michael Wittmann said the firm plans to expand its Hungarian plant, open a new technical center and parts facility in Meinerzhagen, Germany, and set up offices in Romania and the Czech Republic.
The overall market for injection machines has shrunk from 90,000 worldwide in 2007 to an expected 45,000 this year, while the worldwide robot market dropped from just under 14,000 in 2007 to just over 10,000 in 2008, company officials said in a presentation.
Copyright 2009 Crain Communications Inc. All Rights Reserved.