FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, GERMANY (Nov. 21, 3 p.m. ET) — Wittmann Battenfeld GmbH will generate about 250 million euros ($338 million) in 2011 sales, an increase of 22 percent thanks to a rebounding economy and new products from the maker of injection molding machines, robots and auxiliary equipment, according to General Manager Michael Wittmann.
Wittmann released the results during an Oct. 18 news conference at Fakuma 2011.
Plastics machinery enjoyed pent-up demand for the past 15 months, which followed the recession of 2008 and 2009.
But Wittmann thinks sales will slow down—a welcome development if that evens out the up-and-down cycle that makes planning difficult for machinery manufacturers.
“This year was absolutely exceptional. Will it continue? No, for sure not. That's unrealistic. We believe it will go back to at least a normal year,” Wittmann said at the news conference.
Wittmann Battenfeld did not rest during the recession. Michael Wittmann said the company developed the EcoPower, MicroPower and MacroPower machines during the downturn, he said.
At the trade show in Friedrichshafen, Wittmann Battenfeld showed new sizes of the EcoPower (with clamping force of 300 metric tons) and the MacroPower (650 tonnes).
Wittmann is optimistic that the Kottingbrunn, Austria-based company will continue to increase its market share for injection presses.
President and CEO Georg Tinschert outlined Wittmann Battenfeld's five injection presses and numerous items of auxiliary equipment at the Fakuma booth.
In robot news, company introduced SoftTorque on-the-fly part removal. After reaching the approximate removal position, the robot's axis control switches from position control to torque control. Instead of relying on the part being pushed “approximately” through the ejectors into the end-of-arm tooling, the kick-stroke of the robot allows it to be actively pushed back, and it automatically compensates forces in the opposite direction.