Milan — During a press conference held today at Plast 2018, Japanese-German manufacturer of injection molding machines Sumitomo (SHI) Demag announced that it has selected Piovan as the preferred supplier of peripheral technology and auxiliary equipment. Both companies will continue to operate as independent suppliers, catering to different markets, with the Piovan Group supplying its downstream technology and Aquatech cooling systems to other injection molding machine manufacturers.
Andreas Schramm, chief operating officer for Sumitomo Demag Germany, said the companies are currently engaged in "bringing together common products and common service," with a goal of further integration and the development of standardized solutions. The collaboration, although initiated in Europe, will be gradually stepped up in order to provide "global coverage."
At Plast 2018, Piovan technology is being run on the exhibits at Sumitomo Demag's stand.
During its press event, the company also officially announced the opening of the company's new Italian subsidiary in Turin, which is headed by Roberto Sallemi, the former owner and managing director of Macam srl, a company that for many years sold Sumitomo Demag machines on the Italian market.
“It is a milestone,” said Paolo Zirondoli, international sales director. “Italy, is, after all, the third market in Europe, after Germany and Turkey, for injection molding machines.”
Gerd Liebig, CEO, then gave a quick overview of sales in Europe, which, he said, have been very good, climbing from 235 million euros ($273.6 million) in 2016 to an expected 300 million euros ($349 million) for 2018.
Growth was "far and away" the strongest in packaging. Thin-walled containers and caps & closures made using all-electric machines, are the areas of focus for the company. Sumitomo Demag, which has adopted an application approach, said that future areas of interest are medical and automation.
The company aims to become the leader in all-electric machines, a goal underlined by its exhibits at Plast, including the new second-generation IntElect S (Speed), a fast machine for speed applications.
According to Liebig, what sets his company's electric machines apart is the fact that Sumitomo develops and produces its own motors.
“We have 60,000 machines in the market, so we have the experience,” he added. “We are not only following this trend, we are creating it.”
He added that last week, Sumitomo Heavy Industries Ltd. acquired Venice-based Lafert Group, a European leader in the design and production of electric motors and drivers.
“This acquisition was made to strengthen our position in this area. Lafert's motors and drives will be implemented on the electric and hybrid presses of Sumitomo (SHI) Demag,” he explained.
Lafert will be the global competence center for the research and development of all motors under the Sumitomo Drive Technologies banner and will also be the point of reference for the market development in the future.