Munich-based injection molding, extrusion and processing equipment builder KraussMaffei Group is coming off one of its best order intake years ever in 2021.
And in North America, the subsidiary Krauss-Maffei Corp. (KMC) in Florence, Ky., is poised for another great year in 2022, according to Nolan Strall, who took over as president on Jan. 1.
COVID-19 has resulted in increased demand from the medical, logistics and packaging markets on the injection molding side of the business, Strall said in a phone interview.
Meanwhile, the extrusion side has seen "enormous growth" in the profile segment and for recycling applications.
In addition to selling more new equipment, Strall said the KMC service and aftermarket business continues at a brisk pace, too, for a variety of reasons.
Strall is now responsible for all activity in North America, including sales. He succeeds Charlie Rogers after previously serving as KMC's vice president of operations and digital service solutions.
"We're certainly in a growth mode," Strall said. "Overall, business at KMC is up about 50 percent since 2020. We've seen a nice increase in demand for many of the technologies we supply and markets we serve, across both our OEM and service business, which has helped offset the sharp decline in automotive in 2020 and 2021.
"Part of the strength of our company is the diversity of our product portfolio and the fact that our technology has a wide range of applications across many markets," he said.
The rise in requests for service shows an industry in flux. Strall said customers are reacting to an increased need for technical support and skilled maintenance but are having difficulty finding and retaining technical talent.
"The pandemic has had a lot of different business impacts on our customers," Strall said. "In some cases, companies are consolidating facilities and moving assets. For us, that means relocation, recommissioning, preventative service and retrofit work.
"We also see companies outsourcing maintenance to cut costs or to offset the inability to find skilled trades in this ultracompetitive job market, which means they are counting on the OEM for support. There's a lot of acquisition activity, too, and with new management often comes new machines and long-needed retrofit investment. All of these scenarios have come into play for us in one form or another in the past year."
KMC has "an abundance" of service work right now, so being in a position to support customers when they need help is critical, Strall said. The company is looking to fill open positions in service, sales and operations.
"Growing and supporting our team at KMC is job one right now," Strall added.