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Krauss-Maffei opens plant, record orders book for visitors

May 12, 2006

3 Min Read
Krauss-Maffei opens plant, record orders book for visitors

Krauss-Maffei (K-M), the Munich, Germany-based manufacturer of injection molding, single- and twin-screw extrusion equipment, and reaction injection molding (RIM) equipment, welcomed thousands of processor guests to its Summer Forum (May 10-11), with guests able to roam the vast manufacturing site and see some 15 injection molding machines in operation, as well as multiple extrusion and RIM lines.

In a press conference on the 10th, Josef Märtl, chairman of the manufacturer''s board of management, announced that the company''s first half orders for fiscal year (FY) ''05/''06 (Oct.1-Sept. 30), had reached €305.6 million, an 8.9% increase over the same period in FY 2004/2005 and topping €300 million for the first time ever. On profits, he said little quantitative but did express that while there was room for improvement, K-M''s profits compared well with that of its competitors. Sales dropped to €266.5 million from first-half FY ''04/''05 sales of €276.6 million.

With Germany hosting soccer''s World Cup starting next month, Märtl, like most Germans, is in an even more heightened soccer frame of mind than is normal in the country, and he peppered his comments with sports metaphors. "We had a good first half," he said, adding, "We''ll still be in good shape at the end of the 90-minutes."

To Märtl''s obvious pleasure, he announced that all three machine divisions contributed to the orders'' growth. Orders for extrusion equipment hit €59.3 million, a 50.5% increase; orders for injection molding machinery reached €197.9 million, up €2.4 million; and RIM equipment orders were up 6.1% to €48.5 million. Mid-to-large sized presses accounted for a significant percentage of the molding machine sales, he said, while sheet extrusion line sales in the U.S., plus demand growth in Turkey and eastern Europe, helped propel orders for extruders.

K-M''s sales of automation equipment from its Krauss-Maffei automation subsidiary (formerly Neureder AG) have increased steadily, noted Märtl, so that some 60-70% of the mid-to-large sized injection molding machinery is sold with full automation packets, almost all made by K-M. About 30% of smaller machines are ordered with automation, a jump from just 10% only a few year''s ago, he said.

Technical highlights of the open house included:

Injection molding: The firm ran one of its 3200-tonne IMC inline compounders/injection molding units, processing wood flour-reinforced polypropylene pallets, 7-kg each, in a single-cavity mold at about 60-sec cycles. Erwin Burkle, a 33-yr K-M veteran who runs the firm''s new technology management, said the company has placed some 30 IMC lines since their introduction at K'' 1998. A recent sale was to an Iranian processor who will mold natural-fiber-reinforced pallets.Extrusion: The firm highlighted its QuickSwitch technology for pipe extrusion that allows for on-the-fly changes in pipe diameter. The firm recently introduced QuickSwitch twin-crew lines for PVC processing. The polyolefin extrusion lines are already established.RIM: The company has expanded its offerings to include molds, punching tools, and everything PUR processors require except the material. "We''ve complete the process chain," announced Frank Peters, PUR systems sales manager. Shown for the first time was the firm''s Trim Star, which he said is the world''s first all-electric trimming/punching unit for PUR parts. Electric drives are faster and quieter than hydraulic ones, he said. Also novel is the firm''s work with French firm RocTool, incorporating the latter''s inductive heating molds into a RIM long-fiber injection line. "We''re the first to use inductive heating to process PUR," said Peters. Advantages include a 50% or greater reduction in cycle times, he said.-Matt Defosee; [email protected]

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