Normally, going from a year of double-digit growth—19.5% in 2015—to a projected 5.7% in 2016, would send palpitations through the boardroom, but Wittmann Battenfeld General Manager Michael Wittmann was cool, calm and collected at a press conference at K 2016 yesterday. “Yes, 2015 was an exceptional year,” he said, “but that kind of growth is not sustainable. We are right where we want to be.”
|The Unilog B8 control panel.|
Growth, he added, is well distributed across the globe, with the hot points for the supplier of injection molding, robotics and auxiliary equipment headquartered in Kottingbrunn, Austria, being Italy, Poland, the United States and Mexico. Growth in the latter country said Wittman, “has been unbelievable.”
President and CEO Georg Tinschert gave an update on the company's continuing ambitious expansion project during the press conference. Wittmann Battenfeld will add 1300-square meters of floorspace to its production area, he noted, which will enable a total combined production of 4800 robots per year. Demand for automation systems has been extremely robust, added Wittmann, especially for larger robots. The company is also expanding its material handling facilities, with completion of a new building slated for this month. Further expansion of 2600 square meters is scheduled for autumn 2017.
At the K, the company is highlighting a number of new technologies, including
- Next-generation Unilog B8 controllers that combine powerful software and ease of use;
- fast-cycling all-electric EcoPower Xpress 400 injection molding system, with first deliveries planned for Q3 2017; and
- CMS Condition Monitoring System that applies sensing technology to predictive diagnostics with the goal of optimizing machine availability and efficiency.
You can see this and much more at stand A04 in hall 10 and D22 in hall 16.