Smart Molding International 4-2022

7 newsfeed Gerd Liebig, CEO of Sumitomo (SHI) Demag, concludes that K 2022 was overall a positive exhibition. Although the number of visitors to the world’s leading trade fair dropped by 21 percent compared to 2019, there was an increase in the volume of visitors to the German-Japanese mechanical engineering firm’s booth. Additionally, the CEO claims that the quality of visitors was significantly higher. Liebig explains: “We attribute this increase in quality to our team registering a 20 percent rise in the number of purchase decisions. K 2022 was a big step towards normality. Because visits were scheduled well in advance, it enabled our team to plan and dedicate much more time to supporting the top purchasing decision- makers, all of whom came.” The CEO cites rapidly escalating energy prices for the sig - nificant interest shown towards all-electric injection mould - ing machines, along with the comprehensive display of Sumitomo (SHI) Demag exhibits, as being the rationale for these pleasing developments. “The introduction of the new all-electric high-speed injection moulding machine PAC-E was a big attraction, playing to our strengths. Additionally, visitors showed great interest in our in-house automation SAM robotic series, plus smart solutions myConnect and myAssist,” states Liebig. We recorded a high proportion of decision-making con- tacts, while the ratio of the purported ‘running audience’ visiting at the weekend and overall appeared relatively low. "The volume of visitors from Asia - especially China and Russia – meant that it was much more manageable," says the CEO. “Customers are increasingly seeking long term stable partners for the future and are interested in attractive in- dustry solutions,” he sums up. Referencing the future status of trade fair events, fears that visitor numbers could further decline, coupled with weak project prospects, was refuted by Liebig. If anything, those that visited were serious de- cision-makers. Another benefit of this more manageable footfall was the noticeable improvements in transportation logistics, he notes. Sharing his observations of the user industries, Liebig drew another distinction. “Even though economic uncer- tainties currently dominate, projects in electronics are cur- rently very strong. Also running at a good level are the pack- aging, medical technology and consumer goods sectors. In contrast, the automotive sector remains rather weak.” Despite the dramatic mood and enormous uncertainty, Liebig would not be drawn into the threatening scenario forecast before K 2022 regarding the poor propensity to invest. “Although the mood was somewhat cautious, there are new projects still out there,” he affirms The effect on trade fair events feared by the resurgent corona pandemic were also absent. “The number of infec- tions was manageable - for our stand staff it was around four percent,” Liebig reports. With daily testing, the com- pany had the situation under full control. Another special highlight at K 2022 was handing over the company’s 80,000th fully-electric IntElect injection mould - ing machine to Tyco Electronics. A partnership previously characterised by ups and downs, all consistently resolved and viewed as the best learning experience, the now very satisfied customer accepted its new machine in the amiable atmosphere of the show, says the CEO. Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Sumitomo (SHI) Demag CEO gives K 2022 positive approval Picture: Meusburger Sumitomo (SHI) Demag hands over 80,000th all-electric machine to customer at K 2022 Group photo Sumitomo (SHI) Demag at K 2022 (all photos: Sumitomo (SHI) Demag)