Speaking at his company’s K 2010 press conference, Peter Neumann, CEO of the of the Austrian-based Engel Group, made it clear that this global supplier of injection molding machinery and automation systems did not let the 2009 economic crisis go to waste. As a result, the group is enjoying a 60% growth in sales this year over 2009.
As Neumann pointed out, 2009 was a very difficult year. The Engel Group’s sales were down 40% compared to its record results in 2008. Yet despite that, this privately owned business continued its planned investments. Early this month Engel opened its new sales and service center in Queretaro, Mexico, a market where Engel has been active for nearly 15 years.
Engel’s busy stand at K reflects its business in 2010: 60% growth over 2009.
Despite the deteriorating economy of 2009, Engel decided to go ahead with a planned major expansion of its Shanghai production facility for large molding machines. Largely a response to the projected continuing growth of the automotive business in the Shanghai area, the 9000m2 expansion nearly doubles the size of the existing structure, and will be in operation by March 2011.
Investment in the form of development continued across the company’s product line, and it was obvious in the company’s stands, one of which was all robotics. Engel has rounded out its relatively new viper robot series, and the new models were introduced at the K. Engel says that today it makes one of every four robots bought by European molders.
The company has also been enlarging its share of a variety of market sectors. Having broadened its duo pico machine series, Engel says its share of the European market for machines of 400 tonnes of clamp force and higher has nearly doubled from 20% to almost 40%. Its share of the shrinking U.S. market has doubled from 10% in 2005 to almost 20% today. Its biggest improvement has been in the Asian market; Engel’s market share there grew from 1% in 2005 to almost 10% in the first six months of 2010.
Neumann cautioned that he did not expect the current rate of recovery to continue, because much of what has been recorded already this year is the result of pent-up demand. But to judge from the impressive show of new technology in the two Engel stands, the company is not slowing down at all.
As for K 2010 itself, Engel, according to its head of marketing Gerd Liebig, had its best K ever. Speaking to PlasticsToday a week following the show’s closing, Liebig said that both the quantity and quality of visitors to its stand were at record levels. He added that the company was impressed by the high number of visitors from countries outside Europe, and mentioned Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and even South America as being well represented. —[email protected]