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        IMA

Sumitomo Demag consolidates product range; to focus on all-electrics

all-electric-IntElect

Japanese/German machine maker Sumitomo (SHI) Demag says it has consolidated its machinery portfolio to focus only on all-electric machines, probably taking a cue from its Japanese parent company Sumitomo that claims a strong position in all-electrics. At Sumitomo’s headquarters in Chiba, Japan, the company manufactures machines with clamping forces in the small to medium range and nearly 95% of all delivered machines are equipped with an all-electric drive concept.

Another reason given for this move is that the company says almost half of all machines sold over the past one year have been from the all-electric IntElect series. The product portfolio is therefore being changed to reflect market trends. In Germany, it is replacing production of small fully hydraulic machines with its electric drive technology.

Thus, it has launched what it says is an extensive investment programme at the two German locations. At Wiehe, a global competence centre for electric injection moulding machines and conveyor belt production lines have raised output by 30%, while at its Schwaig location, it will almost double its capacity for platen processing by the end of the year thanks to its new processing centres.

Gerd Liebig, CEO of the company says, “From Fakuma 2018 on, our investment in the clamp force range up to 1,200 kN will shift entirely to the IntElect series.” At the same time, the focus is shifting to hybrid drive technology for packaging machines and servo-hydraulic toggle technology for medium and large machines. For fast applications, the El-Exis SP series with its clamp force range of 1,500-7,500 kN rounds off the portfolio. For universal applications, the modular Systec Servo remains available for the clamp force range of 1,600-15,000 kN.

It adds that the competitive advantage, such as greater precision and dynamics with greatly reduced energy consumption, are a few reasons why this technology is increasingly driving events on the market. This development has prompted growth at Sumitomo Demag over the last few years, leading to increased investment in the IntElect machine technology.

The price difference between hydraulic and all-electric injection moulding machines is reducing every year. This fact underlines the clear trend towards all-electric machines, especially in the lower clamp force range, it adds further.

Liebig also explains, “All-electric machines like the IntElect have become so technically mature, that after considering all the criteria, more and more customers are finding it attractive. In addition to the technological advantages such as dynamics, precision, repeatability, process stability, and energy efficiency, the price-performance ratio and the associated quicker ROI is decisive.” The management says that the growth rate of the IntElect series is outstripping all forecasts.

“Our experience of delivering 65,000 all-electric machines, and the in-house development of electric drive components, has given us a clear head start in the technology.”

Sumitomo Demag will also continue its decades-long commitment to refining toggle technology in all machine series, according to the injection moulding machine experts in Schwaig, it is an important component of production efficiency.

“In the areas of mould protection, reliability, precision, and energy efficiency, there is no better locking system than the toggle system – for all-electric, hydraulic, and hybrid fast cycling machine series,” says Hideki Kuroiwa, CTO of Sumitomo (SHI) Demag. “It allows us to achieve maximum productivity for our customers.”

The Wiehe plant’s focus on the all-electric IntElect series is expected to optimise the entire production flow and increase annual manufacturing capacity to 1,000 all-electric machines. At the same time, delivery times will be reduced. The management says that, after the plant in Chiba (Japan) is taken into account, future annual output of all-electric injection moulding machines will increase significantly with drives developed and manufactured in-house.

(IMA)


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