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Karen Laird

October 20, 2016

3 Min Read
Italian machine manufacturer Negri Bossi flexes new-found muscles at K 2016

For Negri Bossi, the Italian injection molding machine manufacture from Cologno Monzese, quite a lot has changed since the ownership of the company changed hands some two-and-a-half years ago. Since that time, Negri Bossi, which celebrates its 70th anniversary next year, has demonstrated a stunning annual growth rate of 24%, grown its market share and, said CEO Craig Ward: “In fact, grown, in percentage terms, more than any of our major competitors.”

The company has not only performed well in its traditional markets, but has also made significant gains in target markets as well, where good returns were seen on the investments made there. A good example is the United States, said Ward, where, remarkably, the company has doubled its turnover since the new owners took over. He added: “In 2015 we also established a subsidiary in Mexico to complement our US and Canadian operation and the synergy of this is already bearing fruit.”

The company has also built a manufacturing plant in India, that produces purely for the local market. Here, too, business is booming: the demand for these machines far outstrips the production capacity of the facility.

Customers are drawn to the brand, said Ward, because it offers one of the widest and most complete ranges of equipment on the market with machines from 50 to 7000 ton including hydraulic, electric and hybrid platforms as well as multi-component and special applications.

And: “We didn’t stop here,” he announced. “Today, at the show we are introducing a completely new electric machine “ele” which has not been seen before at any previous events.”

The new electric press, which is aimed at the packaging and medical markets, is initially available in sizes from 50 to 350 tons. The range will be extended over the course of next year. It has the new Tactum touch-screen “multi-touch” controller with features such as remote access, built-in camera swipe and scroll navigation. The machine is also equipped with the new “smart flex 2” locking unit with a different toggle geometry designed to be coupled safely with electric closing. The model on display is a 180-ton machine, running a 4 impression IML lid below 3 seconds using a Sytrama side entry robot and labelling system.

Visitors to the booth will also see Negri Bossi’s two new X concept clamping units, one with hydraulic actuation and one with electric actuation. “The X concept will form the basis of a new generation of machines going forward,” Ward said. “The idea is to launch a concept, not as an actual product. Hence future machines will incorporate aspects of the new concept.”

The new clamp units are designed to have the benefits of a toggle clamp while competing with two-platen presses in areas such as smaller footprint and cleanliness. Each offers the physical characteristics of a unit with a much bigger tonnage, but the footprint of one that is much smaller.

Hence, the 800 clamp unit on display has the physical characteristics of an 1100-ton unit, with the footprint of a 650-ton clamp unit. The 700 ton clamping unit is smaller than the current 500-ton unit, with physical characteristics comparable to an 800-ton machine.

The toggle geometry is designed in such a way as to reduce component force effect and so allow the better distribution of mass in the system, to give exceptional rigidity and yet extremely generous physical specs. The locking unit has been designed to be actuated both hydraulically and electrically, and is hence suitable for hydraulic, hybrid and electrical formats

Negri Bossi is currently also working on the development of a controller with an intuitive navigation by means of smart phone type gestures. “It works like a big touch pad,” said Ward.

Called Motus, the project features a patent pending virtual object for the movement of various axis based on orientation of the gesture, as well as swipe, zoom and other forms of gesture for both navigation and input.  

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