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Injection molding: Engel raising large press capacity; already placed 15 duo pico presses

Even as its Austrian competitor Wittmann Battenfeld announced its intent to re-enter the large machine market, officials at Engel (Schwertberg) say they will increase capacity for their range of large-tonnage injection molding machines. Engel officials spoke last week during the Fakuma trade show.

Peter Neumann, Engel CEO, said by spring 2009 a circa 10% capacity increase should be completed at the firm’s large machine plant in Sankt Valentin, Austria, with the company already planning its next symposium there on May 28-29,2009. Neumann said the firm sees continued solid demand in the large press market, noting that Battenfeld’s exit from the large press market in 2006 left it essentially open in Europe to Engel and its competitor KraussMaffei.

Engel this year introduced its duo pico machine range of twin-platen presses, a compact (500-, 600- or 700-tonne clamp force) variant of the established duo series of larger machines. With its dry cycle time just 2.6 seconds, Engel claims the pico is the fastest dual platen machine on the market. Engel provided data to journalists that it said came from a customer who has been running one of the first duo pico machines, and had compared data from it with a comparably sized machine from an unidentified competitor. In the comparison, the duo pico had 20% less energy use and a 32% lower dry cycle time. Neumann said that since July, when sales of the duo pico started, Engel already has sold 15 of the machines.

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