Engel's plant in Shanghai
Engel has provisionally estimated a record turnover of 1.23 billion euros (including Wintec) for the 2015/16 financial year, it revealed at Chinaplas.
Speaking to press, the company said that business activity in Asia was a “strong contributor” to the global success of the corporate group, contributing to almost a quarter of its worldwide turnover.
“Our total turnover has increased from 1.07bn euros in the 2014/15 financial year to 1.23bn now in 2015/16 - I think that’s quite a substantial increase. It is certainly an achievement we are very proud of and one to which the worldwide locations of Engel have contributed to,” explained Gero Wilhemoth, President of Engel Machinery in Shanghai.
30 years and counting
It is exactly 30 years since Engel opened its first subsidiary in Asia – and the company revealed further plans for expansion in the region.
"With its very large markets and often very dynamic development, Asia is a major pillar in Engel’s worldwide success, thus also contributing to the growth of our Austrian locations," explained Dr. Christoph Steger, Chief Sales Officer at Engel.
"Our early efforts in Asia secured access to the major electronics companies that have grown internationally from their base in Asia. Back then and still today, these companies place great value in having partners and suppliers that are located close to their headquarters and production facilities."
The company is expanding its production capacity in Shanghai, with a facility for a heavy duty machining centre for platen manufacturing, as well as more office space and training facilities expected to be completed by autumn/winter 2016.
“Although we do not have a great deal of space left here in Shanghai, we are now making full use of the space we have,” Wilhemoth continued. “This is the only way for us to meet rising demand.”
Growth driven by quality and Industry 4.0
Engel says the demand it is seeing in Asia comes as a result of the rising quality expectatitons of plastics processing businesses in Asia, with China leading the field.
Rising wage costs and a strong currency are fuelling this trend. As a consequence, says Engel, there is a demand for more accurate, fast and efficient machines with a growing emphasis on systems solutions, including automation technology.
In the wake of this automation and process integration, Industry 4.0 is a trend driving innovation and growth in China. “Although everyome is talking about Industry 4.0 in China, we have noticed requirements vary greatly from one company to another,” Wilhemoth explained.
“We see ourselves as a partner helping our customers to make the most of opportunities presented to by the fourth industrial revolution in light of their specific needs. Already, a lot of businesses are working with inject 4.0 solutions from Engel.”
Inject 4.0 is Engel’s umbrella term for smart factory solutions that are already available. In the ‘factory of the future’, this includes production processes that continue to improve themselves, which in turn enhance productivity, availability, quality and flexibility and comprise machines, production and services.
“Where smart production is concerned, processing firms in China are well on the way to making smart factories a reality.” Wilhemoth added.
Investment in Austria
Expansion in Engel’s Austrian plant in Austria are also underway, with the company adding an additional 10,000 square metres of additional usable space by the last quarter of 2016.
This will include an expansion of its technology centre, apprenticeship and training facilities and office spaces.