With injection molding machine sales slowing in Europe, "it's not easy times," but progress is being made in advancing press performance and automation as well as opening new markets, according to Wim Brinkman, head of new business development for Netherlands-based Stork Plastics Machinery BV.
"We still managed to sell our machines so we're not complaining, but like everyone here we would have liked better economic prospects," Brinkman said. "The war and inflation aren't helping."
Customers have pulled back on investing.
"Normally people invest when they have confidence in the near future," Brinkman said. "At this moment most people are reluctant to invest or they are thinking twice or even three times about it."
Brinkman spoke with Plastics News at Fakuma 2023, where he said Stork officials are focused on "doing our best to improve our machines everyday" while seeking out new places to sell them.
He pointed to the latest Stork development on display at the trade show, a redesigned movable platen on an S-series injection molding machine.
"We redesigned it for better guidance of the forces into the platen for better stability and stiffness so the life expectancy of the mold is longer and the quality of the products is higher," Brinkman said.
Stork also introduced a closed-loop lubrication system for food and medical applications.