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Sales—and clamp force—on the rise at Wittmann Battenfeld

Kottingbrunn, Austria—Celebrating a return to profitability and the arrival of about 500 attendees to its two-day Competence Days event this week, officials at injection molding machine and auxiliaries manufacturer Wittmann Battenfeld had plenty to talk about during a Wednesday evening press conference. The company has re-entered the large machine market, expanded and improved its micromolding offerings, and increased the range of clamp forces offered for its electric machines.

Werner Wittmann, founder of eponymous auxiliary and robotics manufacturer Wittmann (Vienna), which in early 2008 acquired injection molding machine OEM Battenfeld (Kottingbrunn; about 30 minutes south of Vienna), said that in 2010 he expects both the auxiliary and molding machine businesses to be profitable, which was not the case last year. Orders in the first quarter of 2010 are up 90% compared to the same period in 2009, added Georg Tinschert, in charge of Wittmann Battenfeld. "Right now we've about a 6.1% of the European molding machinery market," he said, "and we want to be at 10% [market share] in three years." That goal, said Wittmann, is "definitely very realistic."

On the molding machine side, Wittmann Battenfeld is once again marketing large-tonnage machines, with an 800-tonne model running during the Competence Days event and the range to be expanded to up to 1600 tonnes. The large machines will be marketed as the MacroPower range. "Large machines are in our genes," joked Tinschert about the company's return to the large-tonnage manufacturing fold. Battenfeld stopped the manufacture of large-tonnage machines shortly before being acquired by Wittmann. 

The EcoPower all-electric machine range, introduced last fall by the company at Fakuma, currently includes 180- and 110-tonne models, and a 55-tonne offering will be added by June, with a 240-tonne model to be on the company's stand at this autumn's K show. The company completely revamped its MicroPower micromolding machines, said Tinschert, with these available from 5 to 15 tonnes of clamp force. Matt Defosse

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