Barry Hill says Wittmann Battenfeld UK experienced its “best sales year to date” in 2014
Wittmann Battenfeld UK has announced that its sales in 2014 are estimated to be the “biggest and best yet” for the company dating from the purchase of Battenfeld by the Wittmann group in 2008.
The Wellingborough-based subsidiary, says that its sales growth came from across the board in injection moulding, most notably the trade-moulding sector.
“All the figures are not completely in, but we currently estimate that our year on year growth was at least 15 percent for the calendar year 2014,” explained Barry Hill, Wittman Battenfeld UK Managing Director, who added that when the final numbers are available, the total overall growth is more likely to be some 18 percent in total.
Hill explained that UK demand is already “up and running” for the company’s new SmartPower machines, which were launched at the Fakuma tradeshow in October 2014 and which are shipping around the world as of the beginning of January this year. The company’s MicroPower, EcoPower and MacroPower moulding machines are also popular in equal measure with UK customers, says Hill, with “design, low-energy, low noise and small footprint” among the chief selling points.
In terms of ancillary equipment and peripherals for the injection moulding production cell, Hill says sales “more than kept pace” with the orders for injection moulding machines. For example, annual UK sales of Wittmann three-axis robots for the plastics industries topped £2million for the first time. “We count this total to be at least three times the sales volume of our nearest competitor,” said Hill. “This confirms our market share to be some 65 percent of the total - and growing.”
According to Hill, the months of November and December last year were “off the scale” in terms of UK orders and enquiries received. January 2015 activity has continued in the same vein. “There seems to be a major thirst out there for expansion, investment and for production know-how,” Hill added. “And we don’t see any sign of it dying down yet.”
Testament to this, Hill says he has received enquiries from UK moulders wanting to secure a place at the Wittmann Battenfeld group’s ‘Competence Days’, which are being held at its Vienna facility in April, where the capabilities and technicalities of its range are discussed with potential buyers.
Wittmann’s new large machining centre will be on view in Vienna. It is currently being constructed and is thought to be one of the largest of its kind in Europe when complete. It will be brought on line in March 2015 and will be capable of the production of clamping platens up to the size of the MacroPower 1600XL. “Those thinking of large moulding capability should get in touch with me soonest,” said Hill “in order to book a place and check out all the moulding technology on view.”