KraussMaffei is also defining its digital footprint with the launch of a two-pillar strategy it's calling "Compass," which includes the recently established digital service solutions unit.
"We define our own path forward," Stieler said. "'Compass' means the strength we have in our company [that] we want to leverage."
The new business unit, which will have its own digital hub for up to 50 employees in Munich's Neuaubing district in February 2019, is led by Nadine Despineux, previously vice president of sales for injection molding machines.
Despineux, now president of digital service solutions, provided an update on the machinery leasing program, first announced at Fakuma 2017. The broad leasing plan is now available for all KraussMaffei and Netstal injection molding machines in the group, she said. The company launched the program in Germany at the beginning of 2018.
Earlier this year, KraussMaffei announced it was investing in secondhand machinery startup Gindumac GmbH — a move Despineux called a "key to affordable leasing fees."
Gindumac operates a global internet platform for used machinery and connects all quotations and interested parties with one another globally. This can lead to better leasing rates for customers, the company said.
"We have gained our first customers for this [leasing] model, launched in Germany last year," she said.
Due to high demand and positive feedback, Despineux said, as of the news conference, KraussMaffei is expanding the program to France, Italy and Austria.
In combination with the "rent it" business model, KraussMaffei is also launching Speed-to-Market, a stock machine program starting with standard versions of its CX, GX and PX injection molding machines with clamping forces up to 650 metric tons as well as standard LRX linear robots.
"We want to introduce machines we have in our warehouses that we can deliver quickly to our customers," said Hans Ulrich Golz, president of KraussMaffei's injection molding segment.
With the new program, the standard machines can be delivered to customers in six to eight weeks, he said.
"If the model the customer wants is not in stock, our production is designed to build on in a short period of time," Golz explained.
In addition, the machinery maker is expanding its e-service platform — a service for customers that offers them 24/7 access to detailed information and documentation of machines, including a ticketing system and 3D spare parts finder — to all products in the KraussMaffei Group.
The platform debuted as a test version at K 2016 and was rolled out on KraussMaffei's Netstal products first.
"We believe we have the potential of combining our mechanical competence with our digital competence," Stieler said. "We are realizing that the development of the digital world is moving much faster than the mechanical world."