Sumitomo (SHI) Demag consolidates its product portfolio
The competitive advantages of all-electric machines, such as greater precision and dynamics with greatly reduced energy consumption, are a few reasons why this technology is increasingly driving events on the market. This development has prompted growth at Sumitomo (SHI) Demag over the last few years, leading to increased investment in the efficient, high-precision IntElect machine technology.
The price difference between hydraulic and all-electric injection moulding machines is reducing every year. This fact underlines the clear trend towards all-electric machines, especially in the lower clamp force range. Gerd Liebig, CEO of Sumitomo (SHI) Demag, explains the reasons as follows: “All-electric machines like the IntElect have become so technically mature, that after considering all the criteria, more and more customers are finding it attractive. In addition to the technological advantages such as dynamics, precision, repeatability, process stability, and energy efficiency, the price-performance ratio and the associated quicker ROI is decisive.” The management says that the growth rate of the IntElect series is outstripping all forecasts. For example, almost half of all machines sold in the past 12 months have been from the all-electric IntElect series.
The product portfolio is therefore being changed to reflect market trends. “In Germany, we are replacing production of small fully hydraulic machines with our superior electric drive technology. From Fakuma 2018 on, our investment in the clamp force range up to 1,200kN will shift entirely to the IntElect series,” Liebig says. At the same time, the focus is shifting to hybrid drive technology for packaging machines and servo-hydraulic toggle technology for medium and large machines. For fast applications, the El-Exis SP series with its clamp force range of 1,500-7,500kN rounds off the portfolio. For universal applications, the modular Systec Servo remains available for the clamp force range of 1,600-15,000kN.
Liebig is certain of one thing: “The IntElect precision machine is our lead product of the future. In the clamp force range of 500-4,500kN, we offer an exceptionally wide range of applications. Our experience of delivering 65,000 all-electric machines, and the in-house development of electric drive components, has given us a clear head start in the technology.”
An extensive investment programme has been launched at the two German locations. At Wiehe, a global competence centre for electric injection moulding machines, cutting-edge conveyor belt production lines have raised output by 30%. Schwaig will almost double its capacity for platen processing by the end of the year thanks to its new processing centres.
Toggle technology remains the measure of all things
Sumitomo (SHI) Demag will continue its decades-long commitment to refining toggle technology in all machine series, according to the injection moulding machine experts in Schwaig, it is an important component of production efficiency. “In the areas of mould protection, reliability, precision, and energy efficiency, there is no better locking system than the toggle system – for all-electric, hydraulic, and hybrid fast cycling machine series,” says Hideki Kuroiwa, CTO of Sumitomo (SHI) Demag. “It allows us to achieve maximum productivity for our customers.”
The Wiehe plant’s focus on the all-electric IntElect series is expected to optimise the entire production flow and increase annual manufacturing capacity to 1,000 all-electric machines. At the same time, delivery times will be greatly reduced. The management says that, after the plant in Chiba (Japan) is taken into account, future annual output of all-electric injection moulding machines will increase significantly with drives developed and manufactured in-house.
“We will continue to focus our efforts on mastering machinery and producing lasting value and quality for our machines. This consolidation of our product portfolio is a reaction to market requirements and will make us an even more reliable, stable partner for our customers,” says Liebig.
Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery GmbH
Sumitomo (SHI) Demag has had a strong influence on the development of the plastics industry from its very beginnings. As specialists in injection moulding machines for plastics processes, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag, together with its Japanese parent company, Sumitomo Heavy Industries, is one of the world’s leading companies in the industry. The global development and production network of Sumitomo Heavy Industries and Sumitomo (SHI) Demag consists of four facilities in Japan, Germany and China with more than 3,000 employees. The product portfolio includes all-electric, hydraulic and hybrid-driven injection moulding machines with clamping forces of between 180 and 15.000 kN. With over 145,000 installed machines, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag is present in important markets worldwide and is one of the largest manufacturers of injection moulding machines.
The parent company plant in Chiba, Japan, manufactures machines with small and medium clamping forces. Approximately 95 % of all delivered machines have an all-electric drive concept. The German Sumitomo (SHI) Demag’s locations in Schwaig and Wiehe use hybrid drive concepts to manufacture the Systec Servo series, as well as the high-performance and high-speed El-Exis SP and Systec SP machines. The IntElect series with all-electric drive technology is also manufactured in Germany for the international market.
Sumitomo (SHI) Demag has had a production facility in Ningbo, China, since 1998. The Systec C series with clamping forces of 500 to 10,000 kN has been manufactured for Asian markets in a new factory (13,000 m2 floor space) of this subsidiary, Demag Plastics Machinery (Ningbo) Co., Ltd., since mid-2015. In addition to injection moulding machines, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag provides standard and customised systems for parts handling automation, process engineering and solutions for special applications, and customised services, as well as machine financing options.
With its seamless sales and service network of subsidiaries and agencies, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag supports all major industrial markets.