Schwaig, Germany — Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery GmbH, the Japanese/German injection press manufacturer, reported its 2015 sales increased by 11 percent over the previous year — hitting a record at 234 million euros ($265 million).
Company officials said Sumitomo Demag generated the strong growth in part because of strategic moves initiated in April, including a focus on core competencies, reorganizing its two German production sites in Schwaig and Wiehe, boosting those factories' customer ordering and sales operations, and expanding production in China.
“In 2015 we took a new — and successful — approach to our sales and customer-service strategy,” said Gerd Liebig, chief sales officer. “In the future, we will strive to consolidate and sustain this success. A strong sales and customer service department is the cornerstone for our company's consistent customer and market orientation and the driving force for a successful future.”
Sumitomo Demag expanded its subsidiaries in Hungary and Austria, as well as in Israel, Saudi Arabia and Iran.
The company has changed the old department name “after sales” to “customer service” as it beefs up its international customer support efforts.
CEO Tetsuya Okamura said the company has recently made an investment in the double-digit range. Next up: The expansion of industry-oriented sales efforts and creation of additional sales outlets, he said.
Sumitomo Demag announced the 2015 sales results on March 15. Okamura said the year-end numbers “vastly exceeded our expectations.”
He added: “We have intensified our efforts to consolidate and expand our production portfolio in 2016. This year will be dominated by the K trade fair, where our company will present an abundance of innovative products with a strong focus on our target segments.”
The equipment maker's managing board expects growth in segments such as packaging, automotive and medical.
Okamura said in the current “times of economic challenges,” Sumitomo Demag is focusing on flexible production. That includes a move last year to realign the two German plants.
Wiehe now makes control cabinets and electrical components for its small-tonnage injection presses, including all-electric machines. Schwaig, which builds medium-sized and large injection molding machines, had been making control cabinets for both locations. Schwaig also is a competence center for making plasticizing units and die-cast parts, the company announced in mid-2015.
The company also opened a new plant in Ningbo, China, last year.