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20th anniversary of Demag Plastics Machinery

20th anniversary of Demag Plastics Machinery

News 17.04.2018

Sales and service activities for Demag injection moulding machines had already been in place in the Chinese market for thirty years when, ten years later, the first local production site at Ningbo in eastern China came onstream as part of a joint venture. Today, Demag Plastics Machinery (Ningbo) Co., Ltd. is a 100% subsidiary of Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Schwaig with an annual capacity of 1,500 machines, 200 employees and most recent sales at a total of more than RMB 310 Mio. (about EUR 40 million).

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“In retrospect, it was a very good decision to move into China at such an early time”, says Gerd Liebig, CEO of Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Gruppe in Schwaig/Germany. “When the Chinese market started to boom during the 1980s, tried and tested machine concepts made in Germany were very sought after, especially by multinational car manufacturers and their suppliers – and this gave us a head start in the local market. That said, however, the competition poses a significant challenge. With a 50% share in the global market, China is not only the biggest buyer of injection moulding machines, but also their largest producer. In light of this constellation, we are very proud to have retained our position as the most important Chinese injection moulding manufacturer of European origin in China”.

Annual production capacity of 1,500 machines
At the beginning, the production area at Demag Ningbo measured 3,500 m2. In 2015, with construction work on the new building completed, it had already grown to 26,705 m?. The site can accommodate a production capacity of 1,500 hydraulic machines, which would represent a market share of 35% to 40%. At present, the annual capacity amounts to 500 Systec C hydraulic injection moulding machines with hybrid drives and clamping forces between 500 and 10,000 kN. The machine concept development is based on global Systec platforms in Germany. This is where control units and other safety-related parts are being shipped from. Stephan Greif, CEO of Demag Ningbo emphasizes the fact that, by now, almost 70 % of machine parts are manufactured on-site China. A network of seventeen sales and service outlets caters to almost all of China. About 3,000 machines delivered from Germany and about 9,000 installed machines from domestic production are serviced at customer sites on the Chinese mainland and in other Asian markets such as Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand.

All-electric machines, hybrid high-speed machines and multi-component machines from Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Group enhance the Chinese Systec C machine family. Naturally, machines are still delivered to large OEMs from the automotive and electronics industry, with medical engineering, packaging and domestic appliances as major growth markets. Stephan Greif: “In the wake of growing urbanisation, the domestic demand for high-quality plastic products from the Chinese consumer goods segment has become one of the most important growth generators for the industry. We are currently experiencing a growing demand for high-performance injection moulding machines, as only these can meet the market’s ever-growing requirements for premium quality. The transition from low-level to high-level machinery has also boosted the demand for our automation solutions, which is due to the customers’ interest in compensating for the higher costs”.

Chinese-German cultural blend is a recipe for success
Things have changed dramatically since the early days of the Chinese boom. Now, it is not just German engineering that delivers the required expertise. At the university in Ningbo, a central injection moulding technology hub in China, the Chinese and Germans cooperate in a solid partnership that benefits both parties. Students and graduates are provided with practical insights, while Demag Plastics Group in Ningbo form close links with talented young experts. Greif sees a large part of this success in the Chinese market in the fact that almost all employees are recruited from the local region. “We are firmly rooted in this area. And the fact that our company experiences almost no fluctuation shows that there is a high level of appreciation. Demag Plastics Group in Ningbo is a model for Chinese-German teamwork. The recipe for success involves a perfect blend of both cultures. This is where the typical German love of precision, straightforwardness, discipline and creativity meets typical Chinese attributes such as dynamism, ambition, diligence and versatility”.

Chinaplas 2018: focus on automation
At Chinaplas 2018 in Shanghai, which has become established as the largest flagship fair for polymer engineering in the world, Demag Plastics Group will celebrate its 20th anniversary with many valued local customers to thank them for their business and trust and the outstanding experience of working with them. A host of product highlights, all in equipped with innovative automation solutions, will be presented at the Sumitomo (SHI) Demag stand. A high-speed, hybrid El-Exis SP 200/560 will be producing bottle caps. In addition to this, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag will show an all-automatic cap testing system that was developed in cooperation with ONLYTEC Testsystem. A Systec 100/420-310C will be used to demonstrate automated production of LSR lenses for the automotive industry in combination with a SEMPRO robot. Last, but not least a Systec 280/630-600C SP will be in-mould labeling PLA plates, assisted by a Ningbo Well-lih robot. The Ningbo Well-lih and GH Automation partner stands will also show Systec C machines in a live demonstration. The exhibits have been selected with care. In addition to multi-component technology, Greif considers automation solutions as the next major growth product for his company: “Together with our partners, we are ready for Made in China 2025”.

About Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery GmbH
Sumitomo (SHI) Demag has shaped the development of the plastics industry from its very beginning. As a specialist for injection moulding machines for plastics processing, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag and its Japanese parent company are leading the industry.

The global development and production network of Sumitomo Heavy Industries and Sumitomo (SHI) Demag is comprised of four facilities in Japan, Germany and China with more than 3,000 employees. The product portfolio includes all-electric, hydraulic and hybrid injection moulding machines with clamping forces of between 180 and 20.000 kN. With more than 115,000 installed machines, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag is present in important global markets.

At Sumitomo’s headquarters in Chiba, Japan, the company manufactures machines with clamping forces in the small to medium range. Nearly 95 % of all delivered machines are equipped with an all-electric drive concept. More than 5,000 machines sold per year make Sumitomo Heavy Industries and its plastics machinery division one of the largest manufacturers of injection moulding machines in the world.

Demag’s German facilities in Schwaig and Wiehe produce the Systec Servo range with hybrid drive as well as the El-Exis SP and Systec SP range of high-speed, high-performance machines. The all-electric IntElect range for international customers is also being produced in Germany.

As early as 1998, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag set up its first production site in Ningbo/China. In 2015, the Chinese subsidiary Demag Plastics Machinery (Ningbo) Co., Ltd. installed a new facility with a 13,000 m2 floor space. It is earmarked for the production of the Systec C range with clamping forces of between 500 and 10,000 kN for the Asian market.

In addition to injection moulding machines, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag offers customised and standardised systems for the part handling automation, technical and process solutions for special applications, tailored services and service concepts as well as a range of financial options to support investment in injection moulding machines. With its comprehensive sales and service network of subsidiaries and agencies, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag is present in all major markets.


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