Wittmann says 2014 has been an "automation year", with strong sales in robots contributing to its growth
15 percent sales growth for Wittmann thanks to an “automation year”
Wittmann Battenfeld said its forecast for overall sales in 2014 at some €295 million was “pleasing”, however, the company was hoping to break the €300 million barrier.
Speaking at Fakuma, Michael Wittmann said that with a 15 percent increase based on figures from September 2014 against the previous year there was “no complaints” and that predictions for 2015 sales stood at €320 million.
“This year has most definitely been an automation year,” said Mr. Wittmann at the show. “Strong sales of our automation systems, including temperature controllers, as well as our EcoPower, MacroPower and vertical machines have been especially pleasing. In the coming year we expect that our new SmartPower and MacroPower lines will drive sales.”
Mr Wittmann said that he was “very pleased” with the sales performance in the UK market, stating that markets that had previously been fairly weak were performing “very strongly”.
The company is currently expanding its production capacity in Europe, by building a new hall for a machining centre for platens for its large machine ranges, as well as a completely new facility in Austria specifically for its materials handling equipment and robotics systems.
“We are building the new plant in Austria to enable new production capacity for our robots, as we have seen a strong demand for automation,” explained Company Director, Georg Tinschert.
During the trade fair the company launched a new machine in its ‘SmartPower’ series, on display for the first time at Fakuma.
The ‘SmartPower’ is equipped with servo hydraulics as standard and is the youngest member of the company’s PowerSeries. “It combines the advantages of hydraulic machines with those of all-electric machines: energy efficiency, precision, user-friendliness, compact design, high speed and cleanness,” explained Mr Wittmann.
During the exhibition the company also introduced its latest innovations in process control technology, as well as an App for monitoring production from a smartphone.
Mr Wittmann said one of the company’s aims for 2015 was to increase its market share in Asia, where he said there was “huge potential” for the company, however, the fact that the company does not have a dedicated plant for the manufacture of injection moulding machines in the region was one of the major factors preventing them gaining further market share.
“The Asian market is a strong, as well as a huge market, but at the moment we are a small player there,” explained Mr Wittmann. “Customers in China want us to produce machines in China and so this is something we will have to introduce there in order to increase our presence.”
Mr Wittmann added that the construction of such a plant in China would not come before the company’s current expansion of production facilities in Hungary is complete.