Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery North America Inc. is almost done relocating from a 50-year-old plant in Strongsville, Ohio, to a 30,750-square-foot facility in Cleveland that will be a dedicated center for the company's $10 million replacement parts inventory and machine rebuilding service.
Suwanee, Ga.-based Sumitomo Demag debuted its all-electric injection molding machines to the U.S. market at NPE1994 and it is seeing growth in demand for rebuilding and updating a "sizeable population" of its older machines, according to John F. Martich III, vice president and chief operating officer of the company's U.S. operations.
"Since March, our No. 1 priority has been supporting existing and new customers with the machines, parts and service required during these challenging times," Martich said in a news release. "Teamwork and a 'whatever-it-takes attitude,' plus our large inventory of stocked machines and parts were all necessary components for helping our customers gear up quickly to meet essential requirements on exceedingly short timelines.
"We were proud to be able to support so many important, COVID-19 related projects across medical, packaging and closures, consumer and other market segments," he said.
The Schwaig, Germany-based subsidiary of Japan's Sumitomo Heavy Industries Ltd. will offer control upgrades and barrel assemblies and rebuilding of injection units, manifolds, electrical cabinetry, linkage and ball screws at the new Cleveland center.
The company also invested in new equipment to improve the efficiency of picking, packing and shipping parts orders at the facility, which is strategically located adjacent to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.
Many Strongsville employees performing essential operations have already moved to the new site and they will be joined by those still working remotely.
"We are fortunate to have our fleet modification team here with their extensive expertise spanning both our current and legacy models," David Jersak, general manager of the Ohio operations, said in the release. which was issued as an update on the company's 2020 operations and investments in infrastructure.
Last year was a period of extensive U.S. expansion for Sumitomo Demag, including a new 74,500-square-foot facility in Suwanee, Ga., which is about triple the size of the one it replaced in Norcross, Ga.; a new 15,300-square-foot technology center outside Chicago in Buffalo Grove, Ill.; and a training and demonstration center in Anaheim, Calif.
Sumitomo Demag had planned a grand opening for the Illinois site in March with four machine demonstrations, but it was canceled because of the pandemic. Three of the machines ended up going to customers to support essential projects.
The company has been busy with pandemic-related support activities as it keeps to a plan to improve U.S. operations, according to Martich.
"2020 has focused on investments in infrastructure, logistics and efficiencies," he said. "Our Georgia facility, in addition to being the company's headquarters, has now been improved with the necessary equipment and structural improvements to serve as the center for our large inventory of U.S.-stocked machines. From a logistics standpoint, the facility is just four hours away from the Port of Savannah, which is now the third largest U.S. container port."
Last month, Sumitomo Demag Plastics Machinery GmbH reported ending the first half of 2020 in good financial health. Company officials said the value of incoming orders was up almost 25 percent compared to the prior year because of increased demand in the packaging and medical technology markets.
The parent company of Sumitomo Demag, Sumitomo Heavy Industries, is based in Chiba, Japan.