October 2, 2023
Sumitomo (SHI) Demag to Showcase Liquid Injection Molding Technology at Silicone Expo Tradeshow
[Detroit] — Sumitomo (SHI) Demag, a pioneering force in the world of injection molding machinery, is thrilled to announce its participation in the esteemed Silicone Expo Tradeshow. The event promises to be a game-changer as Sumitomo (SHI) Demag unveils its revolutionary liquid injection SE-EV-A machine, incorporating cutting-edge features designed to redefine precision and performance in injection molding.
The SE-EV-A machine stands as a testament to Sumitomo (SHI) Demag’s unwavering commitment to pushing the boundaries of what is possible in injection molding. This state-of-the-art machine comes equipped with a suite of innovative features that promise to transform the manufacturing landscape. The inclusion of OPC UA connectivity facilitates seamless integration with other manufacturing systems, streamlining operations and enhancing overall efficiency. Moreover, the machine boasts built-in dosing unit control and mold temperature control, offering unparalleled command over the injection molding process.
A standout feature of the SE-EV-A machine is its custom vacuum sequencing control, a ground breaking addition that ensures precise filling while preventing leaks. The pneumatic and water-cooled nozzle takes precision to new heights, allowing for meticulous viscosity control during the injection process.
What sets this machine apart is Sumitomo (SHI) Demag’s pioneering SK-II technology, featuring a locking screw tip design that eradicates backflow during screw pullback. This innovation significantly enhances shot density control, automatically adjusting pre-set pressure and forward screw speed to compensate for changes in material properties. The result is a remarkable achievement in injection fill precision and peak pressure stability, delivering unmatched repeatability from shot to shot.
Sumitomo (SHI) Demag’s commitment to excellence extends beyond its own innovations. The company has partnered with industry leaders to create a complete and exceptional manufacturing experience at the Silicone Expo Tradeshow:
- Nexus will be providing their x20 Servomix dosing unit for precise mixing.
- M.R. Mold & Engineering, an educational leader in the realm of liquid silicone rubber (LSR), will be providing the molding tool for this part.
- Shin-Etsu Silicones of America will be showcasing their KEG 2003H-50 A/B quick-curing material.
- Yushin America will be contributing FRA: High-End Take-out Robots designed for high-speed movement, featuring “Active Vibration Control.”
- Burger and Brown Engineering has supplied us with their SmartFlow aluminum water manifolds to enhance cooling efficiency.
- Krikolor’s Kri-Paste pigments will be used to add vibrant colors to the molded products.
- Frigel will be keeping the exhibit with their Turbogel High-performance temperature control units
Sumitomo (SHI) Demag’s participation in the Silicone Expo Tradeshow embodies the company’s dedication to driving innovation in the injection molding industry. Attendees are invited to experience the future of injection molding technology firsthand by visiting Sumitomo (SHI) Demag’s booth (533). The company’s experts will be on-site to provide comprehensive insights into the groundbreaking features of the SE-EV-A machine and answer any questions.
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Sumitomo (SHI) Demag’s worldwide group of companies is dedicated to helping plastics processors compete more effectively in the global market. The company manufactures a wide range of high-precision injection molding machines for diverse applications. Its all-electric platform (SE, SR and CL series) spans from 8 to 935 U.S. tons, including micro to mid-sized, high-speed, packaging, LIM (LSR), high-duty, vertical, insert and high-speed multi-shot machine series. Ultra-high-speed hybrid machines (El-Exis SP and Systec SP series) are offered in models from 165 to 1124 U.S. tons for packaging and other thin-wall applications. Configurable, high-performance hydraulic and toggle machines (Systec Series), including multi-component models, are also provided for applications up to 1686
U.S. tons. Equally important, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag has an extensive worldwide
network, ensuring customers of sales, parts, training, service and processing support when and where it is needed.
[Suwanee, GA – April 3, 2023] Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery North America, Inc. has appointed Naoto Ikeda as President of the company. Ikeda, previously Vice President of Sales for the past two years, had formerly served as Director of Corporate Strategy, Director of Business Development of All-Electric Machines at Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery GmbH in Germany, and Manager of Global Sales at Sumitomo Heavy Industries, Ltd. (SHI) in Japan. With sales and planning experience on three continents, Ikeda brings an international perspective with him to the role of President. Ikeda has steered Sumitomo (SHI) Demag to the highest sales volume of All-Electric Machines the company has ever seen in the US and Europe.
In addition to this change, John F. Martich III, Executive Vice President, will be co-managing Sumitomo (SHI) Demag alongside Ikeda. Martich’s 35-year tenure includes positions such as Director of Quality, Director of Service, VP of Aftersales, VP of Operations and COO. This change will allow Martich to focus his energies on the customer-oriented business of the company.
Between Ikeda and Martich, there are more than 60 years of knowledge and experience. This new executive management structure will allow Sumitomo (SHI) Demag North America to respond to the fast-changing market more quickly and it will afford the company the bandwidth to grow its sales, aftersales and technology offerings.
Solar-powered Ningbo factory expansion is underway, boosting production capacity for Asian markets and catering to rising demand for higher tonnage molding machines up to 1,500-ton clamp force.
Ningbo – January 2023. Sumitomo (SHI) Demag China has hosted a groundbreaking ceremony in the presence of local political figures at its Ningbo site, welcoming the start of construction for its new 4,000 square meter production hall. Attended by the mayor and city councilors from the Beilun district, CEO Pietro Scattarreggia marked the occasion by announcing that the bigger facility sets the path for future growth, creating 50 new jobs and doubling production capacity.
Granted permission to commence construction towards the end of 2022, Scattarreggia reports that the new facility is set to open in autumn 2023 to coincide with the Group’s 25th production anniversary in China. Putting into context the enormous market potential, the CEO affirmed that the Asian market in general, particularly automotive and electromobility in China, is booming. “Having experienced the strongest performance in the company’s history in 2021 and subsequent economic slowdown last year as a result of coronavirus policy restrictions, the future outlook remains very positive,” Scattarreggia confirms.
The expansion of the Ningbo production hall not only gives the team more space to manufacture more machines but also expands production to include the larger tonnage Systec Servo machines. “Until now, our production has been limited to machines with clamp forces up to 1,000 tons. Given the demand for larger precision components, being able to extend our product portfolio up to 1,500 tons means we can drastically reduce delivery times for customers in China and Asia,” reports Scattarreggia. He cites this above all else as the strategic rationale for the expansion.
With its hybrid drive concept, the Systec Servo series, characterized by its absolute precision, excellent stability and durability, offers manufacturers of automotive, white goods and consumer components a powerful and energy-efficient system. With full process integration for flexible and versatile production of larger components.
The Systec series is ideally suited to these processing requirements, reports Scattarreggia. To support the manufacturing of these larger and heavier machines, the Ningbo production hall is installing stronger cranes.
Additionally, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag China remains committed to reducing its production carbon footprint. An installation of a new solar system measuring 7,000 square meters last September means that the facility can operate virtually independently of the local energy supply, claims the CEO.
In recent years, many production sites in China have felt the impact of power rationing. With a solar source, the Ningbo facility will no longer be affected by future rations. “This is of great significance for production stability,” ends Scattarreggia.
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 molding 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 3,100 employees. The product portfolio includes all-electric, hydraulic and hybrid injection molding machines with clamping forces of between 500 and 15.000 kN. With more than 159,000 installed machines, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag is present in important global markets and ranks among the largest manufacturers of injection molding machines in the world.
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. Sumitomo (SHI) Demag’s German facilities in Schwaig and Wiehe produce the Systec Servo range with a 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 molding machines, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag offers customized and standardized systems for 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 molding machines.
With its comprehensive sales and service network of subsidiaries and agencies, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag is present in all major markets.
Sumitomo (SHI) Demag debuting Super High Response (SHR) model showing multi-cavity precision molding at MD&M 2023
Sumitomo Demag (SHI) Plastics North America is showcasing its SE130EV-A-SHR, part of the highly successful SE-EV-A All-Electric product line, at MD&M West 2023 to show its fidelity in repeatable manufacturing with increased acceleration/deceleration injection unit capabilities for thin wall and high precision applications.
With fast fill times, it is important to have a molding machine that can adjust the rate of fill quickly, based on the normal variation of viscosity in a lot of resin. Having this ability to adjust the rate of fill will help keep your validated process in control and minimize potential rejects, scraps or even worse, recalls due to process drift.
[MD&M Booth 3920, Anaheim, CA – February 7, 2023] Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery North America, Inc. will be bringing the first SHR product for its North American debut at any trade show. The excitement around this product lies in the increased acceleration/deceleration capabilities of the injection unit and the increased filling speed from the ultra-high pressure screw unit which offers a
30% increase in maximum injection pressure compared to the standard specification. With a maximum injection speed of 1000mm (about 3.28 ft)/s, it may be the fastest injection for a machine in this size range.
To demonstrate the machine, we are molding electrically conductive pipette tips for capacitive liquid level sensing. The carbon-black enhanced electrically conductive resin was formulated by Premix to enable the measuring of electrical signals at the pipette’s tip. Everything is dried with a Matsui desiccant dryer, then using a Maguire Gravimetric feeder to dose the material, it is injected into a mold from Männer (part of BARNES) to manufacture pipette tips across 64 cavities. The pipette tips are 48mm long, weigh .255 grams, and have a cycle time of 6.0 seconds.
Two temperature control units from HB-Therm are being used to regulate each mold half at the optimum temperature. Cooling duties are handled by a Frigel air-cooled chiller to increase production by reducing the time for the part to cool. This mold requires a hot runner for maximum performance. Gammaflux has provided their hot runner manifold and hot runner temperature controller. The hot runner system allows for faster cycling and more sustainable manufacturing due to no plastic waste.
SE-EV-A Features Provided as Standard.
The high-performance specifications and overlapping functions of clamp and injection required for injection-compression molding are provided as standard with the SE-EV-A. This includes:
- High injection speeds (100% shot weight injected in 0.1 sec)
- High-precision clamp motion control in conjunction with injection
- Multi-toggle clamp force control that offers two modes:
– A high-cycle mode in which filling begins during clamping for improved cycle time
– A gas-release mode in which filling begins during low-pressure clamping for improved part quality
Sumitomo (SHI) Demag’s worldwide group of companies is dedicated to helping plastics processors compete more effectively in the global market. The company manufactures a wide range of high-precision IM machines for diverse applications. Its all-electric platform (SE, IntElect, SR and CL series) spans from 20 to 935 U.S. tons, including micro to mid-sized, high-speed, packaging, high-duty, vertical, insert and high-speed multi-shot machine series. Ultra-high-speed hybrid machines (El-Exis SP and Systec SP series) are offered in models from 165 to 825 U.S. tons for packaging and other thin-wall applications. Configurable, high-performance hydraulic and toggle machines (Systec Series), including multi-component models, are also provided for applications from 39 to 2248 U.S. tons. Equally important, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag has an extensive worldwide network, ensuring customers of sales, parts, training, service and processing support when and where it is needed. Information on the North American operations of Sumitomo (SHI) Demag can be found at http://www.sumitomo-shi-demag.us.
An impressive production cell demonstration at Swiss Plastics Expo 2023, featuring Sumitomo (SHI) Demag all-electric moulding machines represented by MAPAG Maschinen AG in Switzerland, attracted a good footfall and lots of fascination.
Lucerne – January 2023. As Swiss Plastics Expo 2023 drew to a close, Peter Kirst, CEO of MAPAG Maschinen AG, Bern, representing Sumitomo (SHI) Demag in Switzerland, and product manager Urs Kocher, reflect on the positive outlook. Kirst suggests that although the number of visitors to the stand appeared level with pre-pandemic, the number of substantive discussions and emerging projects provided an optimistic market picture. “Despite the current macroeconomic uncertainties, including the Ukraine war, disrupted supply chains, energy challenges and inflation, visitors were upbeat and positive about the future. There seemed little hesitation or restraint, especially on Wednesday,” explains Kirst.
Predominantly attracting visitors from Austria, Switzerland and neighbouring regions, including southern Germany and Vorarlberg, the CEO also noted a strong contingent of interested parties travelling to the show from France. “Representing the entire plastics processing chain and drawing an international crowd, this year’s Asian delegation was more restrained. Topics repeatably discussed at our booth mirrored points of particular interest to the Swiss market. Namely energy efficiency, precision and cleanliness – all features characterised by the Sumitomo (SHI) Demag all-electric moulding machine series,” observed Kirst.
Presenting the new high speed IntElect S 75 ton machine, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag also showcased its in-house automation prowess, presenting its handle&place SAM-C robot contained inside the production cell. Collaborating with Maxon Motor AG, visitors witnessed the moulding of a critical component used in sterile high precision motor drives. The likes of which have been deployed by NASA robots to collect soil samples on Mars.
These drives, which Maxon supplied the exhibit tooling for, are specifically designed for medical applications, including human implants, insulin pumps, surgical robots, respirators, ventilators and more. To avoid microbiological contamination, the motor, gearbox and encoder must all be produced in a sterile environment and meet the stringent ISO class 8 cleanroom and GMPc certified standards.
Given the cleanliness priority, the IntElect S 75 ton offers a fully configured, compact all-electric injection moulding machine. Yet also offers the precision required to produce complex and fine structures, including applications with micro tolerances. “The integrated all-electric direct drive enables clean room production, delivering optimum repeatable accuracy without process fluctuations,” emphasizes Kirst. One of the key processing advantages these electric drives is the ability to control the linear axis with velocities in excess of 500mm/s. With no belts spinning, the drives don’t have to work as hard. And therefore, consume considerably less energy.
“Combined with the space-saving SAM-C robot, a protective housing and conveyor belt, the exhibit perfectly illustrated the interaction between machine and removal robot within a single cell,” adds Kirst.
To demonstrate the energy and economic efficiency of the production cell, an exciting live comparison was carried out at the booth. Placing a kettle next to the IntElect S, energy consumption was measured for both. The injection moulding machine averaged 1.4 kW/h, while the household appliance required 2.3 kW/h. Additionally, visitors dropping by the digital space on the booth received an insight into Sumitomo (SHI) Demag’s myAssist software project. This software contributes to better process transparency and precise tracking, which in turn increases efficiency and productivity. Explaining the benefits of the digital solution, the expert adds: “This can all help to reduce component scrap to a minimum and deliver higher machine availability long term.”
Additionally, bfa solutions ltd showcased for the third time its sustainable and scalable solutions at the Lucerne booth. With MAPAG Maschinen AG, the two companies have successfully partnered up on joint projects, assisting customers to obtain, visualize and evaluate accurate data generated from their production system.
Marking 30 years in partnership
This year, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag and MAPAG Maschinen AG celebrates its 30th anniversary in partnership together. The agency, active in Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein since April 1993, has helped to establish Sumitomo (SHI) Demag as a recognizable industry- brand and one of the leading injection moulding machine suppliers in Switzerland. The figures and market conditions are a testament to the agency’s success domestically.
“With the IntElect, for example, we currently hold the largest share of all-electric injection moulding machines on the local market,” reflects Kirst. His company currently serves more than 50 customers, who combined run more than 650 injection moulding machines supplied by the Japanese-German machine manufacturer.
MAPAG is a distribution and service company for capital goods operating within the pharmaceutical, chemical, food, cosmetics, plastics and packaging industries. Its workforce of approximately 20 employees are split into specialist teams, comprising internal sales, field and service support. Customers served by MAPAG include large corporations and medium-sized companies from the automotive, packaging, medical, micro and precision technology industries. MAPAG also provides a responsive technical injection moulding support service, extending to automation, maintenance support and machine qualification.
Molding specialist releases new mid-size IntElect S high-speed energy-saving range globally.
Schwaig – January 2023. Engineered specifically for high-volume packaging, medical and automotive applications requiring the highest processing precision in the fastest cycle time, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag is accelerating its global expansion of the IntElect platform.
Filling an important gap in the mass-manufacturing market, notably thin-wall packaging, the company is releasing new sizes within its IntElect S all-electric high-performance injection molding machine range, including medium clamping force (mid-size) machines between 220 and 450 tons. Product Manager of the IntElect series Peter Gladigau, emphasizes that with this latest release molders requiring cycle time speeds of between three to 12 seconds now no longer need to compromise on any aspect of productivity, energy efficiency and processing speed and stability.
By expanding the IntElect S series, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag is resolute in its ambition to open up the all-electric molding machine market and the associated benefits to even more product applications, including low part weights and narrow tolerance components. Positioned squarely between the conventional IntElect all-electric series and the new high-speed packaging injection molding machine PAC-E, the IntElect S is geared specifically toward plastic processors mass-manufacturing narrow tolerance and thin-walled components at the fastest speeds.
“Cycle times of between three and twelve seconds and injection speeds of up to 350 mm/s are the typical range of this machine,” reports Gladigau. He draws special attention to the resilient, high-performance drives, shorter clamp spindles and longer service life. Culminating in the faster acceleration of the injection speed to achieve on average a one-second cycle time saving when compared to a standard IntElect model.
The IntElect S mid-size range caters specifically to high-performance applications with the shortest cycles, and high material throughput, which typically consumes more energy affirms Gladigau. “Given the rapid rise in energy prices, counteracting the impact on rising manufacturing costs through higher productivity, processing repeatability and reduced waste is increasingly imperative with regard to competitiveness. For this very reason, market interest in our IntElect S series remains very high,” reports the product manager.
Indicative of the current energy challenges, for packaging applications, the IntElect S can lower energy consumption to between 0.25 to 0.32 kilowatt hours per kilogram, states Gladigau. Citing it as the epitome of mass production efficiency, compared to hybrid machines this increased production capacity combined with saving tens of thousands of euros per year on energy, can result in one of the fastest machine paybacks.
Benchmarking dry cycle times on thin wall packaging products with equivalent electric systems on the market, IntElect S remains at the forefront of innovation and energy efficiency, assures Gladigau.
Featuring optimized tool movement, nozzle position, injection and ejector movements and metering speed, the IntElect S model outperforms previous generations of IntElect machines. “Increasing the capacity of the IntElect’s braking energy recovery system not only improves energy efficiency but also extends the lifespan of electrical components and capacitors. Verified by extensive machine and part lifecycle durability tests, notes Gladigau. Clamp spindles tested under the hardest conditions showed no evidence of visible wear after millions of cycles. Guaranteeing safe operation of the machine, even in the fastest-cycle applications.
Expertise in thin-wall packaging and know-how in IML and ICM are to be contributed.
Schwaig – December 2022. With 80.000 all-electric machines in operation around the globe, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag’s strong focus is on the sustainable and resource-saving operation of injection moulding machines in the plastic processing industry. The company is part of the Sumitomo Group which is headquartered in Japan and has four production plants – one in Japan, two in Germany and two in China. With almost 800 Mio. Euro turnover this year – Sumitomo (SHI) Demag is the world leader in all-electric injection moulding machines and will offer its strong expertise in plastic packaging applications like thin wall packaging and pails to the R-Cycle-Community and the whole industry.
Sumitomo (SHI) Demag is convinced that a broad collaboration within the whole value chain of plastic packaging will gain the biggest impact to transform the linear to a circular economy. Furthermore, the use of digital product passports can leverage benefits to many areas of our daily business. Digitalization is key for a circular economy and can transport the necessary transparency to the different process steps in the chain – regardless of whether for the more effective sortability of plastics in the recycling process or as an information carrier in the communication between different machine and processing operations in the context of Industry 4.0 applications.
Christoph Wynands, Product Manager for packaging machines at Sumitomo (SHI) Demag, explains: “As a specialist for thin-walled packaging in the food industry, most of the products manufactured on our machines are made of PP or HDPE and our customers want to significantly increase the recycled content in their products. In order to do this economically, they are particularly dependent on clean recyclate streams. Unfortunately, the corresponding approvals for the broad use of mechanically recycled polyolefins in the food sector are still lacking in Europe. Accordingly, we want to provide support here and see in R-Cycle a fantastic opportunity to improve the purity and quality of PP and HDPE recycling streams to such an extent that the necessary food approvals for the use of these recyclates can be achieved. Here, we want to contribute our expertise with technologies such as In-Mould-Labelling (IML) and Injection-Compression-Moulding (ICM) to generate convincing applications and make them available to all stakeholders in cross-industry projects. In this way, we will generate new knowledge to be able to competently consult and convince as many packaging manufacturers as possible.”
Last but not least, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag will use digital product passport technology to provide detailed transparency about the footprint of their machines in the future. Christoph Wynands stated: “We review and analyse our internal value chain and discuss with partners and suppliers in our network the carbon footprint of our own machines and improve the supply chain whenever it is possible and necessary to reduce the carbon footprint. Furthermore, sustainable measures and ecological conducts are our very DNA for many years. The ecological impact and sustainable aspects are two of the highest-rated criteria in our scoring charts when we evaluate and prioritize all our new developments. For this reason, we have streamlined our machine portfolio to all-electric injection moulding machines and powerful services, for example, to support our partners and customers in the responsible use of virgin material and to enable them to increase the recycled content in their products. Or – even in near future – to halve the energy consumption of their packaging production by upgrading from a conventional hybrid injection moulding machine to our all-electric PAC-E without losing a single millisecond of cycle time.”
Software platform EcoVadis evaluates labor and human rights, environment, sustainable procurement, carbon management and ethics.
Schwaig – November 2022. EcoVadis has awarded Sumitomo (SHI) Demag its bronze medal in recognition of its sustainability achievements. Achieving a score of 54 points, the company narrowly missed out on the silver medal, which required 56 points. Providing CEO Gerd Liebig with both confirmations that its sustainability strategy is robust, but equally giving future motivation. Mr. Liebig comments: “Sustainability in our mind is a corporate strategy and lived practice – for our products, for our production, but also with regard to being a responsible employer. Achieving the EcoVadis bronze medal shows that we are on the right track, but at the same time provides an incentive to become even better in the coming year.“
EcoVadis is a software platform renowned for assessing the sustainability of companies, which includes examining the entire supply chain. Major competitors of Sumitomo (SHI) Demag are active in this ranking too. Based on questionnaires and corresponding reports, points are awarded in the categories of labor and human rights, environment, sustainable procurement, carbon management and ethics. This wider view of sustainability topics from every angle determines the overall result.
“Our customers were approached and asked to rate us. We completed this assessment for the first time in 2021, and this year improved our performance,” reports Carsten Friedemann, Compliance Officer at Sumitomo (SHI) Demag. “The bronze medal is awarded to a company receiving a rating that is better than half of the participating organizations. By reaching 64 percent, this placed us in the top 40 percent for our industry,” he explains.
In order to strengthen and further expand this high accomplishment, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag is already working on identifying and implementing further activities that will lead to achieving an even better score in 2023. Most new improvement measures will be in the areas of labor and human rights. There is also an increased need for action in carbon management, explains Friedemann. “In addition to these specific targets, we especially want to focus on environmental performance. We can gain more points here by further documenting our actions.
“The topic of sustainability is socially driven and is incorporated into companies through appropriate legislation. We expressly welcome this, as only sparing use of the planet’s limited resources will preserve it for future generations,” says Friedemann. In addition, an increasing number of customers are now demanding evidence of the efforts being taken. Last, but by no means least, young employees now call for appropriate efforts. “During these times of worker shortages, discovering if the company people are considering joining supports sustainability is an important aspect of their selection criterion,” he explains.
Sumitomo (SHI) Demag remains fully committed to sustainability, underpinned by its slogan “Act! Sustainably”. As part of this commitment, all future innovations must fit within this company framework and corporate social responsibility mission statement. Accordingly, this includes only manufacturing machines and equipment mindful of these ecological aspects.
The machine is for use by long-standing partner TE Connectivity at its Esztergom (Hungary) production site.
Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery GmbH, Düsseldorf – 24 October 2022: Marking an important milestone for the Sumitomo (SHI) Demag all-electric IntElect machine series, CEO Gerd Liebig is handing over the 80,000th model at K 2022 to representatives of long-standing customer TE Connectivity based in Schaffhausen (Switzerland). The fast and energy-efficient IntElect 2 S 100/470-110 will be located at the Esztergom production site in Hungary, where it will injection mold technical components destined for the automotive industry.
“Passing over our 80,000th machine to TE Connectivity once again validates from our customers’ perspective the quality of our products and their consequent loyalty,” affirmed Liebig pre-event. “As the global market leader in all-electric injection molding machines, customers value our resource-saving, energy-efficient and fast manufacturing solutions. Additionally, we continue to address their requirements for small footprint integrated production cells.”
Since 1986, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag has supplied TE Connectivity with more than 500 injection molding machines during this longstanding cooperation spanning over 35 years. As specialists in connection and sensor products, over half of this machine park installed across a number of the Group’s European and international locations by the Japanese-German machinery manufacturer were fully electric.
The milestone machine is being dispatched by the company’s plant in Wiehe, Thuringia. It’s here where Sumitomo (SHI) Demag has exclusively manufactured its all-electric injection molding machines IntElect series for the past six years following a production changeover. With locations in Germany, Japan and China, the company claims that it is the global market leader in all-electric injection molding machines. Additionally, more than 90 percent of its machines and manufactured with the corresponding drive.
TE Connectivity is a global technology leader headquartered in Switzerland with a strong US heritage. The foundation of the company in Switzerland dates back to 1973 with the registration of a sales office named AMP (Schweiz) AG in Lucerne. Today, TE Connectivity designs manufacture, and markets a wide range of connectivity and sensor solutions for transportation, industrial applications, medical, power, data communications and households. In 2021, the company generated sales of $14.9 billion and currently employs more than 85,000 people, including more than 8,000 engineers
Introducing a new servo pump and energy recovery system, the El-Exis SP 420 Servo being unveiled at K 2022 (Hall 15, Stand D22) consumes less power, setting a new high-speed and sustainability benchmark for packaging manufacturers.
Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery GmbH, Schwaig – October 2022. Alongside the world premiere of the new packaging machine PAC-E at K 2022, German machine manufacturer Sumitomo (SHI) Demag will further demonstrate its sector proficiency and expertise by presenting the new El-Exis SP 420 Servo. Combining the outstanding performance characteristics of the El-Exis SP models, the range’s latest advancement introduces a servo pump and a completely closed toggle lever, resulting in high energy savings and improved cleanliness for manufacturers of packaging solutions.
Arnaud Nomblot, Director of Business Development Packaging, explains the significance of this development: “With hybrid machines, in order to achieve the high injection performance, the pump that charges the accumulator consumes approximately 50 percent of the overall energy used to power every cycle. By replacing the conventional pump with a servo pump, we can now maintain the same performance but consume significantly less power.” As with the new PAC-E machine, cleanliness is optimized through the introduction of a fully-enclosed toggle lever.
Initially, the El-Exis SP Servo series will be expanded in the medium clamping force range, comprising 250 to 420 tons. Larger clamp-force machines will subsequently follow.
Exhibiting the machine’s speed and sustainability credentials to visitors at K 2022, the El-Exis SP 420 Servo on the main Sumitomo (SHI) Demag stand (Hall 15, Stand D22) will demonstrate in a six second cycle time the production of 500-gram butter and margarine containers, featuring IML, using a 4+4 stack mold supplied by Bazigos (Greece).
Rather than using virgin polymer, for the El-Exis SP 420 Servo demonstrations Borealis (Austria) presents a fully recyclable material from the “Bornewables” portfolio that doesn’t compromise on performance. Demonstrating the viability of selecting circular PP solutions for packaging and the significant contribution that this can make toward reducing CO2 emissions. Other like-minded ecological partners include label supplier Karydakis (Greece), with Campetella (Italy) providing the IML and side removal automation.
In another sustainable packaging and eco-display, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag also features prominently at the VDMA Circular Economy Forum. Located in the outdoor pavilion area, visitors will get to see an IntElect S 180 featuring an advanced IML process combined with MuCell technology producing hinged flip top lids for baby milk powder containers. Collaborating with packaging powerhouse United Caps, this special exhibit will reveal the application of a patented 3D visual effect to the lids developed by Coveris. Pagès Group supplies the corresponding automation. The lids are again manufactured using a material from the Borealis “Bornewables” range.
Fully integrated into the IntElect S 180 machine is Trexel’s MuCell foaming technology, reports Nomblot. The combination of weight reduction using foaming with the energy efficiency of the all-electric injection molding machine underpins the Group’s Act! Sustainably strategy, affirms the Business Development Packaging Director. “As part of this ecological commitment, we are taking decisive action by stating all future innovations, machines and equipment from Sumitomo (SHI) Demag are now totally manufactured with this mission and the EU Digital Product Passport (DPP) in mind.”
The IntElect S 180 appearing in the VDMA Circular Economy Forum also features the company’s web-based ‘myConnect’ software solution. Presenting critical data and decision making information in real time, this central platform offers a wide range of fully networked support services to help better manage inefficiencies and reduce machine downtime. It’s now been extended to include condition monitoring. “Using myConnect, customers can access machine documentation online and our service teams can connect to the machine online to troubleshoot and resolve any technical issues,” confirms Nomblot.
Sumitomo (SHI) Demag expands cross-company product management with industry expert appointments.
Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery GmbH, Schwaig – August 2022. Following the successful market launch of the second generation IntElect series, which has positioned Sumitomo (SHI) Demag as the all-electric machine world market leader, the company has defined additional product management experts, each of whom is aligned with future strategic topics. Positioning the company to respond even faster to the product strategies of tomorrow as they emerge.
Now responsible for 75% of Sumitomo (SHI) Demag‘s order intake, the company’s focus remains strongly influenced by the all-electric IntElect series. Yet, product strategy increasingly includes elements that lie outside of the team’s mechanical engineering expertise, notes Dr. Thorsten Thümen, Senior Director of Engineering at Sumitomo (SHI) Demag. He explains: ”Industry-specific requirements are integrated and further developed with digital added value. The structured integration of these complex requirements from machine, application, industry, systems and digitization requires professional product management, which we have now established.”
The new team will be integrated into the engineering department under Dr. Thümen’s leadership. Ensuring that the entire engineering department is closer to the customer. ”This allows for market requirements to be quickly recognized, developed and implemented. Through this, our product management approach factors in the current trends by combining industry-specific sales with product-related developments,” explains Dr Thümen.
Four product managers have been appointed and they are responsible for further advancing the company’s respective product machine series, process technologies and digital solutions. “This approach is about monitoring the life cycles of our products, identifying new market requirements if necessary, implementing the necessary technologies and marketing our solutions accordingly,” summarises Peter Gladigau. The highly-qualified plastics technician has been working for Sumitomo (SHI) Demag since 2011 and is responsible for the all-electric IntElect machine series. Under the new structure, Gladigau will also specialize in silicone processing.
The latest addition to the product management team is Christoph Wynands, responsible for the high-speed packaging machines El-Exis SP and PAC-E. He brings several years of experience from his work as a product manager for a supplier of quality control systems in plastic packaging, most recently marketing functional additives within the PET beverage and recycling industry.
Another product manager team member is Dominic Böhm, who is responsible for Sumitomo (SHI) Demag‘s servo-hydraulic Systec machine series. Within this function, he also oversees developments in multi-component technology. The technician for plastics and rubber technology was previously head of production technology at a global automotive supplier. His most recent role was head of production and technology at a plastics processing company.
The fourth product manager, Dr. Thomas Schilling is responsible for digital solutions. He spent ten years in a plastics processing company accountable for process digitization. Dr. Thomas Schilling sums up his outlook: “Increasing efficiency through digitalization is a major issue. Virtual techniques, data acquisition and presentation, augmented reality, usability or hyper automation are just some of the keywords that we use to collect information, prepare it according to requirements and apply profitably for our customers.“
The aim of this restructuring is to respond faster to evolving market needs, the customer wishes and industry-specific development trends and to implement these more effectively in the various business areas. In doing so, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag is again setting a new course for the future.
At the K-Preview, Dr. Thorsten Thümen, Senior Director Technology, revealed the ongoing strategic focus and new products coming from Sumitomo (SHI) Demag
Düsseldorf – June 2022. Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery GmbH, Schwaig: At the introductory press conference for K 2022, Dr Thorsten Thümen, Senior Director Technology, outlined the company’s evolving strategic focus. He also gave guests a clear indication of the upcoming product innovations that will feature as exhibits at the world’s leading trade fair, drawing upon the successes of the company’s all-electric injection moulding machine portfolio.
“We are focusing on the global expansion of the IntElect platform, which will open up additional fields of application,” explained Dr Thümen. For example, a “multi” version for the efficient production of multi-components, as well as a high performance IntElect S. Both new additions will cover the medium clamp force range. Additionally, standardised process engineering equipment packages for LSR and physical foaming (MuCell) will be available.
Keeping PAC-E with packaging trends
Indicative of the importance of the packaging market at Sumitomo (SHI) Demag, Dr Thümen announced a corresponding expansion in this area. Based upon the El-Exis SP platform, this includes future delivery of a “servo” variant equipped with servo pumps in the medium and high clamping force range to further enhance energy efficiency, as well as additional supplementation of process engineering equipment packages.
The most exciting development for the packaging market will be the global unveiling of a new high-speed machine series at K 2022. Named PAC-E and initially targeted at packaging applications requiring a medium clamp force, Dr. Thümen briefly described PAC-E as a fusion of features from the El-Exis platform and IntElect series. Yet with a brand new injection unit specifically developed for high-speed packaging applications.
Accelerating automation plans
Simultaneously, the company continues to drive forward its in-house development of automation solutions. The SAM (Sumitomo (SHI) Demag. Automation. Machine.) robotics concept first unveiled last year comprised the SAM-C. A linear 4-axis robot with cartesian kinematics for standard applications to complement the longstanding cooperation with Sepro and its linear 4-axis SDR.
A new addition is an innovative variant of the SAM robot. Designed for more complex requirements, it combines the linear axis system with other technologies. “The SAM models are our proprietary automation products. The design, software and servo motor technology comes from our company,” emphasized the Senior Director of Technology.
Overall, the company’s automation strategy comprises three pillars: ‘Easy Automation’ is the standardized production solution, encompassing an injection molding machine and robot. Designed for handle&place and handle&box applications, it offers users a compact production unit footprint, and extensive handling functions, with fully integrated robot control. ‘Industry Solutions’ blends automation concepts developed specifically for the automotive, consumer and electronic industries with automation solutions created by partners for special packaging and medical applications. Lastly, ‘Customized Automation’ is based on concepts developed by regional experts located across automation competence centers spanning Europe, Asia and America.
Setting the sustainability example
Presenting a total of eight full-electric machines under the ‘Act! Sustainably’ slogan at the revered Dusseldorf show, four will be showcased on the Sumitomo (SHI) Demag stand (Hall 15, D22) and a further four at the VDMA’s Circular Economy Area, Sepro (Hall 12, Booth A36), ONI (Hall 10, Booth F45) and Pagès (Hall 13).
Additionally, the company’s web-based software solution ‘myConnect’ plays a central role in presenting critical data and decision making information in real time. “Looking to the future, all new machines will be equipped with this central platform, which offers a wide range of fully networked support services. It’s now been extended to also include condition monitoring. Additionally, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag is driving the digitization and implementation of AI-supported systems through to an IoT platform that combines all functions,” states Dr Thümen.
In his presentation at the K-Preview, the Senior Director of Technology presented the individual exhibits, highlighting special technological features and disclosing more application-specific information. More details were promised to the public in the run up to the international trade show.
Venturing to sum up the strategic outlook, notwithstanding the aggregate effects of global economic uncertainties, Dr. Thümen announced: “Our strategic ambition is to be an international system provider respected for our industry-oriented application expertise, with a European focus,” he announced. The company’s global positioning and associated strength should provide the basis for this. Drawing upon the synergies between the individual plants in Germany (Schwaig/Wiehe), China (Ningbo) and Japan (Chiba).
He used the hydraulic series Systec XL to put this into context. Citing that delivery times in Europe should drastically reduce, customers in Asia get access to previously unavailable machines and market penetration in South America increases.
With the all-electric IntElect series, the strategic direction remains steadfast. Standard applications will continue to have orders fulfilled in Chiba. For industry orientated and customized solutions, the IntElect machines will be manufactured in Germany.
Gerd Liebig reports on the success of 2021, underpinned by all-electric machine sales, and the economic outlook for Sumitomo (SHI) Demag
Düsseldorf – June 2022. At the K-Preview press conference, Gerd Liebig, CEO of Sumitomo (SHI) Demag, hailed the 2021 financial year as the Group’s most successful to-date. Group sales reached a new all-time high of 808 million euros, increasing by 17.4 percent compared to the previous year (2020: 688 million euros). “This strong sales growth can be wholly attributed to our all-electric machines, where market share continues to rise,” he asserted. The company is now officially the global market leader in all-electric injection molding machines.
Focusing specifically on the results for Germany and Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery GmbH, Schwaig, which comprises production sites in Germany and China, Liebig also reported unprecedented turnover figures. For the first time surpassing the 300 million mark and exceeding the pre-corona level with 302.3 million euros. “We also achieved the best results in terms of profit and customer satisfaction,” states the CEO. Putting this into context, sales per employee climbed to the second highest point in the past five years. The company currently employs 1,100 people. Order intake also reached a record high of 322.9 million euros.
Profitability in 2021 was in the double-digit range and only slightly below the previous 2018 record. “This stable profit is all the more remarkable given the extreme economic adversities caused by material price increases,” Liebig summed up. He remains optimistic that the 2022 results will be just as good, despite a challenging first quarter. Further milestones accomplished included a drastic 20 percent reduction in quality costs and a significant increase in customer satisfaction, reaching the second highest level in the last five years, he exclaims.
The company’s Net Promoter Score (NPS) – a metric that measures the extent in which consumers would recommend a product or service – also rose significantly in comparison to pre-pandemic levels, peaking in the mechanical engineering ranking.
Concurrently, employees expressed their satisfaction in the company, awarding a 100 percent recommendation rate for the first time by the respected rating portal Kununu. This evaluation helped to reaffirm and validate the importance of company stability and reliability as both a machine supplier and employer corroborates Mr. Liebig. “This result was truly unique in our industrial environment.”
An overriding factor in the company’s success is the rapid and rising proportion of all-electric machine investments, especially in Europe. “Already accounting for 33 percent in 2021, we are anticipating 40 percent in 2022,” claims Mr. Liebig, who remains resolute to continue on the path adopted by his company. “We took a prudent decision to only produce all-electric machines at our plant in Wiehe. These robust results are indicative that it was the right one. Extensive investment in the two German locations will further strengthen the firm’s responsiveness and R&D. Considerable resources are being re-invested in Schwaig to improve mechanical production and assembly. In Wiehe, the focus is on reducing throughput times, optimizing cycle processes in final assembly and functional testing, and digitalization projects.”
Providing his industry outlook, Liebig summarised three factors likely to significantly impact sales-orientated industries: sustainability, corona and the war in Ukraine. His assessment flags several mutually disruptive forces, including escalating energy and material prices, high inflation and massively disrupted supply chains.
The effects on each market will vary hugely. While Packaging, Electronic and Medical will remain stable in 2022, the expectations in Automotive are more modest due to longer delivery times. The consumer is also uncertain due to the erosion of spending power. “Longer term, these sectors will recover and increase strongly,” predicts the CEO. He believes that the automotive sector will overcome the economic and structural crisis and will rise sharply from 2024, while the high savings rate and the trend towards all-electric machines as a result of spiraling energy prices would lead to significant growth in consumer goods.
Expanding further, Liebig referenced the five influential and mutually dependent future market trends.
In addition to the significant increase in the automotive and consumer sectors, high demand for all-electric injection molding machines links back to the sustainability and circular economy agenda, which connects back to the new EU Digital Product Passports (DPP). As part of the Sustainable Products Initiative, the DPP challenges that sustainability is no longer confined to machines or products it manufactures. “It now questions how sustainably the machine is manufactured in-house,” announced the CEO.
Facing up to these challenges, Liebig shared how the company plans to improve sustainability throughout the entire product life cycle. He expands: “Critical material availability looks set to remain problematic for some time to come. Here, we’ll use multi-sourcing concepts to develop alternative material flows in order to achieve maximum on-time delivery through optimized availability.”
Successful subsidiary reflects on a successful first year with launch of a new technical training facility, networked service solution to optimise machine uptime and unveils its automation roll out plans.
Prague – March 2022. Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery Česko spol. s r.o., Prague (Czech Republic) is celebrating its first anniversary. Officially opened on 1 April 2021, the branch office in the Czech capital has achieved all of its initial business ambitions and maintained its unwavering service focus, with Managing Director David Svoboda declaring that “customer feedback has been extremely positive.” Highlighting the next process orientation phase aligned to the domestic growth strategy, Svoboda unveils the next customer-orientated milestone – the opening of a new technical centre in Prague to deliver on-site training, testing and tool validations.
Covering an expansive 450 square metres, the Technical Centre features a state-of-the-art showroom and offers a comprehensive combination of theory and practical learning experiences. Accommodating up to 15 people at a time for seminars, workshops and courses, delegates are exported into Sumitomo (SHI) Demag’s advanced digitised technology world via an interactive 86-inch monitor. Cameras connected over LAN and WLAN facilitate a clear view of the very latest market development and research projects being undertaken within the Group’s Schwaig and Wiehe German plants. Explaining how this learning experience complements the extensive training that the team delivers when visiting customer’s own processing facilities, Svoboda notes: “Everyday work can regularly lead to distractions. Giving team members dedicated time to visit our new facility and enhance their skills without interruptions can be extremely productive.”
Adjacent to the tutorial facility is a fully-functional all-electric IntElect 130/520-560 injection moulding machine, comprising robotics and all the typical production peripheral conveyor, material dosing, drying, tool cooling and temperature control equipment. “This enables us to fully showcase the practical machine features and also demonstrate how the machine performs with specific applications. It’s a very hands-on learning experience,” emphasises the Managing Director.
The room is equipped with all the typical utilities, including compressed air, electricity and water. Additionally, a crane with a load capacity of five tonnes facilitates the safe handling of heavy equipment.
For Svoboda, one of the most valuable highlights is the full demonstration of the company’s new web-based software solution “myConnect”.
One of the first international subsidiaries to offer the “myConnect” service to its customers, the Czech Technical Centre illustrates the benefits of having direct access to a wide range of fully networked services using two touch screens – one operated by the service technician and one by the customer. “For productivity, “myConnect” is a big gamechanger helping to better manage inefficiencies, reduce costs, reduce total cost of ownership, troubleshoot errors and minimise machine downtime”, reports Svoboda.
With a workforce of 15 comprising two dedicated sales people and an efficient back office team, the Czech subsidiary operates a free weekday telephone support line (8am to 4.30pm). More than half of the team (eight) are service technicians ensuring full coverage throughout the Czech Republic and neighbouring Slovakia and guaranteeing customers a fast response time.
Joining the team soon will be SAM, the first proprietary robot series solution from Sumitomo (SHI) Demag. “In-house automation will be introduced in the Czech Republic during 2022,” announces Svoboda.
Offering fully-integrated deployment from a single supplier, the new SAM (Sumitomo. Automation. Machine.) robot series succeeds in delivering the smallest injection moulding footprint comprising robot and material handling technology. Already available in four payload sizes – three, five, ten and 20 kg – the two ‘handle & place’ SAM-C (Cartesian) robots are designed specifically for injection moulding machines with clamping force sizes between 50 and 500 tons, and for standard applications with cycle times of 10 seconds and higher. Further robot kinematics and functional elements will roll out in the next couple of years.
“Customers will soon benefit from process and system technology from a single supplier source, complete with hardware and software control integration of robot technology into the injection moulding unit and production-optimised robotic mechanics fully customised to Sumitomo (SHI) Demag machines. All at the best price to performance ratio,” explains the Managing Director.
With the company’s IO-Link communication system, intelligent sensors and actuators can be connected to the automation system. This means the SAM series fully meets future Industry 4.0 and Smart Manufacturing requirements. Additionally, the robots all incorporate “myConnect”.
As a scalable solution, the SAM robot series fills an important gap offering a good return on investment through increased output, enhanced quality, repeatable precision and reduced waste.
Looking to the future, Svoboda affirms that the branch has ambitious plans to supply complex automations as soon as 2023. What is more, with its expansive and well organised warehouse, spare machine components can be rapidly supplied and technicians deployed to help customers optimise their injection machine parks. “One year in and we are in a very strong position to react flexibly to customers’ service and training needs,” adds Svoboda.
The growth opportunities are abundant claims the Managing Director, citing packaging and medical as the markets with the greatest market potential within the region. “Last year’s MSV trade exhibition in Brno provided an excellent benchmark for the future. We sold machines, made contacts and secured new customers. The response was overwhelming and as a result we plan to exhibit again between 4-7 October 2022.”
From zero to fully operational, it is easy to underestimate just how much the Czech Republic team has accomplished within 12 months. “From day one, our service hotline was assisting customers and efficiently troubleshooting and resolving issues. We hit the ground running and the speed in which we were able to resolve issues for customers was testament to our extensive processing knowledge and industry expertise,” reflects Svoboda. “This robust foundation combined with our extensive on-site resources, knowledge hub, showroom equipment and high all-electric IntElect market share (currently 80%) further demonstrates Sumitomo (SHI) Demag’s responsiveness to the processing challenges of the moment, particularly escalating energy costs and the sustainability agenda,” ends Svoboda.
Success through synergy Sumitomo (SHI) Demag support package helps Italian dc motor manufacturer move into injection molding
Value takes many forms. But for one Italian company specialising in automotive and industrial DC motor production, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag is much more than a machinery supplier. The affinity, consultancy support and practical guidance supplied by Sumitomo (SHI) Demag consistently over the last two decades has proved invaluable to Electro-Parts S.p.A who embarked on launching a dedicated in-house moulding facility in 2002. From utilising its deep experience in purchasing and sourcing plastic components for its motors to its current in-house production of 30 million precision components annually, the Italian firm is now on an ambitious mission to penetrate new markets.
For 20 years, Electro-Parts S.p.A located in Bossolasco, Northern Italy, had carved out a solid reputation as a quality manufacturer of DC motors and gears used predominantly by the automotive sector. Yet, it’s reliance on one external supplier could have thwarted future strategic ambitions at the turn of the century. To safeguard the company’s future, CEO Marco Falcone tentatively approached current Sumitomo (SHI) Demag’s Italy Managing Director Paolo Zirondoli to explore the feasibility of establishing an in-house mould shop.
Paolo’s advice proved invaluable. With the support of Sumitomo (SHI) Demag, Electro-Parts developed a roadmap to bring the moulding of its precision components in-house. Starting with hydraulic-driven machines, today the company’s fleet comprises 14 Sumitomo (SHI) Demag injection moulding machines, including nine precision all-electric operating three shifts daily, including an overnight ghost shift.
CEO Marco Falcone recalls the pivotal moment Electro-Parts switched from sub-contracting its production of components to bringing moulding in-house and commends the ongoing consultancy support and ‘total solution’ approach. “Sumitomo (SHI) Demag’s support in getting this project off the ground has been invaluable. The relationship formed at the start was mutually beneficial. They have been an exceptional partner, sharing the same affinity to our business strategy and providing the assurance that the equipment was 100 percent reliable and appropriate for the strategy we were proposing. They supported us in the switch in applying the indirect moulding experience we had gained purchasing parts to developing our own direct moulding process. Electro-Parts launched a facility that enabled us from day one of this new approach to maintain control over production capacity, costs and quality. The synergy between our two companies has been constant. Through this mutual trust, the Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Italy team helped us to fast track our ambitions.”
Since 2002, the Electro-Parts plant has expanded five times, adding equipment, gaining ISO 16949:2002 certification and establishing dedicated assembly and electronic R&D centres.
Masters of precision moulding
With today’s workforce of approximately 280 people, 180 in Italy and 100 in Romania, Electro-Parts manufactures and assembles a wide range of motion parts, DC and brushless motors used in vehicle rooftops, electric windows, as well as parking brakes, seat adjustments, automated trunk opening and closure mechanisms and cooling fans. Every mass moulded component is assembled and EOL tested on one of 30 automatic lines on-site.
As production line assembly robots are not tolerant to variables, moulding repeatability and precision on every single component is critical, notes Paolo. It’s one of the key rationales why Electro-Parts installed the first IntElect Smart all-electric machine in 2009, introduced thanks to the dedication and engagement of the local agent Mr. Roberto Sallemi, that since years together the Sumitomo Demag Italian Team takes care of the Customer. Since this date, the company has exclusively extended its machine fleet with all-electric injection moulding machines, initially with the IntElect Smart series, followed by the IntElect2. Two of the latest IntElect2 series were installed in July 2021.
With automotive applications requiring greater dimensional stability, Electro-Parts predominantly uses polyamide, materials and other safety and fibre-reinforced components. Controlling the injection pressure and process optimisation is essential for mouldability.
Paolo explains: “For industries where precision is paramount, the combination of electric drives and digital control can turn injection moulding into a predictable and precise operation. As a result of the parallel movements, Electro-Parts reported a 15% increase in productivity on their new IntElect machines compared to their hydraulic machines.” Fewer defects and subsequently less material waste was also decisive driver for moving entirely to all-electric machines. Due to the highly technical demands and properties of the components, Electro-Parts cannot reuse and recycle scrap material.
Given the current material expense and supply challenges, every plastic pellet must be transformed into a part rather than wasted. Processing 200 tons of material every year, the IntElect machines address this critical challenge, as well as other sustainability agendas including energy consumption, water use and noise emissions to safeguard workforce welfare.
“The IntElect machines enable moulders to run much closer to low weight limits, with greater precision and consequently fewer defects and lower scrap rates. In practical terms, it means no additional quality control
or associated costs are required. Simply put, each IntElect machine generates first-class quality parts, time and again,” adds Paolo.
Luca Avataneo, who has managed the Italian company’s entire moulding workshop since the very first day comments: “We change moulds two or three times daily, processing very technically demanding polymers, including glass fibre reinforced polyamides, self-extinguishing materials, PBT, PPA and more. Consequently, every machine must be easy and fast to reset, reactive, flexible, reliable and high-performing.”
Sustainable and smarter
Sumitomo (SHI) Demag’s direct drives – developed in-house by its Japanese parent company – are another feature valued by Electro-Parts. Designed and built purely for the injection moulding process by experts truly dedicated to motion control, the high torque motor is reactive and reduces the risk of inertia. Paolo explains: “Sumitomo (SHI) Demag is unique in that we don’t use conventional motors. The reason – injection moulding isn’t a simply standard process. It’s high speed with very fast acceleration and braking. Rather than incurring efficiency losses as a result of additional components used in conventional indirect technology, our motors are directly linked to the axis. Resulting in a higher injection power and a more dynamic response. As a result, in certain conditions moulders can achieve energy savings exceeding 70 percent and even faster cycle times in comparison to conventional moulding.”
All of Electro-Parts IntElect machines are also equipped with Sumitomo (SHI) Demag’s patented activeFlowBalance. This unique technology ensures complete filling of the mould tool cavities, ranging from single to eight cavities at Electro-Parts. As the main person overseeing the machines, Luca explains: “The activeFlowBalance feature uses the compression of the melt inside the barrel to stabilise the pressure, resulting in partially-filled cavities being filled by the expanding melt. It means equal pressure is applied to each cavity, avoiding flashes and incomplete filling. Doing this automatically saves me time by allowing complex injection profiles to be established in less than a minute, with minimal input from myself or other technical staff.”
Paolo confirms: “activeFlowBalance overcomes many of the problems which can cause malformed parts in the injection moulding process, undermining productivity and profit. Using this technology can reduce rejects by up to 40%.”
Another unique IntElect feature – activeProtect, ensures falling components are safely ejected during the opening and closing sequence, protecting the mould tool from damage. Paolo clarifies: “The additional sensor on the link of the toggle system controls and measures the forces on the clamping movement during
the complete stroke. If the sensor picks up that the position or forces have deviated from the set parameters and related tolerances, it reacts instantly.”
For added mould protection, activeProtect also monitors the opening strokes. This helps to ensure mechanical mould elements, for example pins, are protected from damage.
The complete package
Providing all the equipment, including cooling systems and peripheral items, coupled with the consultancy support, training and process optimisation guidance from day one, has put Electro-Parts on a new strategic path which it is embracing with confidence. CEO Marco comments: “Having previously relied on sub-contractors to supply components, we now have the moulding acumen and capacity to consider expanding production to supply assembled precision motors to new markets.”
Excited about the future prospects, Marco concludes: “The extensive experience gained by injection moulding precision components to exacting quality standards in our highly efficient moulding shop, all fully equipped with Sumitomo (SHI) Demag machines managed by Luca has opened our minds to new production scenarios. Including sub-contracting our services out to manufacture high demanding parts for other OEMs. Reaching this point was made all the more feasible thanks to the unwavering support of Sumitomo (SHI) Demag. It has been a technology and team effort.”
Beacon MedTech Solutions, formerly Built-Rite, Reliance & LSR Engineering and Acromatic Plastics, announced today a new partnership agreement with Sumitomo (SHI) Demag to support increased production in its 120,000 sq. ft. facility in Leominster, Mass. The addition of new machines through this partnership will increase the company’s overall capacity to expedite the production and delivery of complex, critical precision plastic and silicone components. #plasticsindustry
This ongoing investment in new machinery will enable the Beacon team to further scale medical molding operations to support increased customer demand for Single-Use Technology applications in the Bio-Pharma and Life Sciences markets. Following an initial installation of two SE-EV-A series injection molding machines, Beacon MedTech plans to install additional presses in the first half of 2022. Each Sumitomo (SHI) Demag presses comes standard with:
· Direct-drive servo motors on clamp and injection movements.
· Mold parallelism to ensure the mold is square and assembled correctly.
· Front flow control (FFC) to provide precision control to ensure consistent filling.
· Easy integration with automation in dedicated work cells to increase efficiencies.
Each press is outfitted with automation – including standard robots, guarding and conveyors – sourced from Massachusetts-based suppliers with national and global reach. These complement Sumitomo (SHI) Demag’s sophisticated injection molding technologies and leverage relationships that Beacon MedTech Solutions Senior Tooling and Program Manager Robert Gove has across the regional medical supply chain. #supplychain #automation
“Sumitomo (SHI) Demag worked directly with our technical and engineering departments to optimize the presses to meet demanding, complex medical product specifications,” said Michael McGee, president of Beacon MedTech Solutions. “This partnership will allow our team to maximize productivity while maintaining the commitment to operational efficiency that allows us to deliver the speed and responsiveness our customers expect.” #medicaldevicemanufacturing
As Beacon MedTech Solutions grows, the company will continue to invest in additional machinery, allowing the team to scale operations and expedite the delivery of vital innovations in Bio-Pharma and Life Science technologies, LSR and Class II medical devices.
“Beacon MedTech Solutions is an ideal manufacturer to leverage Sumitomo (SHI) Demag’s technologically advanced injection molding equipment given its focus on complex, highly engineered parts for the Medical, Life Sciences and Bio-Pharma industries,” said Bob Brady, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Medical Business Development Manager. “We look forward to continuing to work together to specify and build additional machines that will expand capacity for high-quality, high-precision components.”
Talk by Gerd Liebig, CEO of Sumitomo (SHI) Demag, on the occasion of the LAPP trade press event
Gerd Liebig, CEO of Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery GmbH, outlined how high-quality connector production can be designed cost-effectively and sustainably in the future in a talk held during the LAPP trade press event. He drew a bridge from the trends in customer requirements and machine generations to the collaboration with partners and corresponding make-or-buy strategies, right through to the resulting requirements for connectivity, miniaturisation and increased reliability of the connectors.
Liebig reported on market trends characterised by increasing demand for sensors and functionalities, for example for interior equipment in the automotive sector. “The development is heading towards greater connectivity and machine condition monitoring within the smallest possible installation space to achieve the lowest possible footprint in the production unit with regard to sustainability,” said Liebig. On this basis, he analysed product trends such as standardisation of connectors to simplify processes and reduce costs, and the demand for smaller connectors with higher functionality, as well as the integration of sensors, cables and connectivity.
Sumitomo (SHI) Demag is meeting these challenges by driving forward with the digitalisation of its machines. The fully electric IntElect series for regulating, controlling, monitoring and integrating automation and peripheral systems has an OPC-UA interface. They also have their own web-based software solution “myConnect”. This central platform gives customers direct access to a wide range of fully networked services for their machine.
The third largest manufacturer of injection-moulding machines in the world is currently working on developing assistance apps, a system for setting up and optimising processes, introducing a material and knowledge database and integrating simulation tools for expanded configurations and in-depth insights into the processes. The aim, says Liebig, is an intelligent machine that can independently make predictions about part quality, machine wear and failures, and perform optimisations online.
“This aspiration is not an end in itself, but serves to produce machines with high flexibility in a cost-optimised manner,” reports the CEO. This is achieved by a combination of the company’s high-quality work in Germany supplemented by cost efficiency in Asia. “Our focus is clearly on fully-electric machines for the packaging and medicine sectors. We impress with differentiated, high-quality technology rather than complex, low-quality machines, and offer our customers high efficiency with unique products.”
Particularly in connection technology, Liebig expects increasing demand for sensors and functionality, for example for interior equipment in the automotive sector. It is therefore essential for connectors to be further standardised to simplify processes and reduce costs. Smaller connectors with better functionality are also the order of the day, given the increasingly compact components.
Sumitomo (SHI) Demag’s focus is on the fully electric mechanical engineering series IntElect. “The market has greatly picked up since the beginning of this year, mainly driven by the automotive and consumer sectors, as many companies are investing in machinery there again,” said Liebig. “Our decision four years ago to consistently rely on fully electric and energy-efficient machines from the IntElect series has paid off. Turnover will thus continue increasing in the coming years, as more and more governments are pushing for energy-efficient production.”
In order to increase the added value and productivity of the fully electric IntElect series, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag chose LAPP as a new partner four years ago. “We were faced with the question of make or buy. We were looking for a trusted partner who could handle the complete assembly of the individual components for various machine sizes and reliably deliver just-in-time,” explained the CEO.
He summed up that this partnership developed very positively for Sumitomo (SHI) Demag, “The key reasons are the great core competence as a connector and cable manufacturer, the high process expertise, the lower labour costs through production of the cable sets in the Czech Republic and the lower component and quality costs.” In addition, Lapp has ensured greater transparency in the documents and optimised processes with suggestions for improvement.
Liebig illustrated the differences between the times before and after the LAPP cooperation. “As a manufacturer of injection moulding machines, producing cable sets was not our core competence. As a result, production processes could deviate from the documents and inefficiencies could not be rectified. Despite a high level of flexibility, there was consequently little motivation to correct discrepancies in the documents. There were also high labour costs,” he looked back. This is why this “make” strategy involved high component and quality costs.
Thanks to LAPP, this has changed radically, as the production of cable sets is one of the company’s core competencies. “Thanks to their extensive expertise, there is a clear production process with final testing, and inefficiencies are eliminated. Errors, discrepancies and suggestions for improvement are highlighted by LAPP and corrected in the documents once approved by us. We also benefit from low labour costs through production in the Czech Republic,” reported Liebig and summed up: “The “buy” strategy has meant that component and quality costs have fallen significantly.”
The latest collaboration with LAPP is the new M12L connector, which will soon be used in Sumitomo (SHI) Demag’s IntElect injection moulding machines. Liebig: “We have a lot of plans involving LAPP as a partner on our side.”
The Fraunhofer spin-off plus10 has been conducting application-oriented research together with the South German Plastics Center SKZ. As part of their DarWIN research project, new AI-based process optimization tools have been developed specifically targeting injection molding machines. Sumitomo (SHI) Demag was selected to perform the final series of comprehensive research tests.
A beacon for automated machine learning in the future, the ambitious project has focused on developing continuous learning models that deliver higher molding quality in shorter cycle times, around the clock. To accomplish this overarching strategy and facilitate autonomous reactions to individual production situations, the research team has captured valuable deep learning from different machinery manufacturers.
An R&D program instigated in the mid-2020s, developments accelerated at speed in 2021 with a series of machine learning tests facilitated by the Fraunhofer spin-off plus10 and the SKZ plastics center. Labelled the DarWIN research project, this AI program focused specifically on gathering detailed and transferrable processing behaviors from multiple models of injection molding machines using high-frequency machine data.
Through the transferability of pre-trained machine learning models, the DarWIN project proves that individual machines from different manufacturers have the capability to learn from each other. In reality, this now means that individual behavioral models of a specific machine don’t have to be completely re-learned every time. Instead they can be adapted to the machine and product application through minor automated adjustments.
This ability to adapt to the prevailing conditions, for example raw material characteristics and ambient conditions, provides robust evidence that processing patterns and behavioral models are transferable to machines of similar size and technology, regardless of the manufacturer.
AI tests performed on Sumitomo (SHI) Demag machines
Most recently, plus10 and the SKZ performed a series of thorough AI pilot tests on Sumitomo (SHI) Demag machines. Thanks to the high-frequency machine connectivity, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag machines provide the ideal platform to put the plus10 algorithms through their paces.
Offering real-time communication in the millisecond range, the company’s advanced machine controllers are ‘AI-ready’. This universally compatible digital interface allows for seamless communication across all machinery assets. Additionally, it facilitates easy implementation of continuous learning AI-based optimization tools. Accomplishing optimal productivity at all times and allowing for further advances in interface design, continuous learning and AI-based software developments.
By providing this real test environment, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag continues to demonstrate how the company is proactively addressing the innovations coming down the line, delivering intelligent automation and actively shaping the future of injection molding.
Supporting sustainable plastics production
The test simulation results further underpin the strong industry emphasis placed on sustainable plastics processing. Specifically, the plus10 technology allows for stable processing of sensitive and heterogeneous materials, such as thermoplastic post-consumer recyclables and fast-curing elastomers. Thus supporting all the efficiency and defining characteristics of a fully circular plastics processing economy.
The research project ‘DarWIN’ was funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF funding code 01IS20066). Concluding on 31 December 2021, the results are currently being processed and incorporated into the plus10 software. Plans are in place to publish the detailed insight at the end of 2022. Additional activities and live demonstrations of the development results will be shared at specialist events, including the “Digital Injection Molding Meeting” to be hosted at the SKZ in Würzburg.
Westminster Tool is proud to announce that it has recently introduced a new Sumitomo (SHI) Demag 354T SE-EV-A-HD injection molding machine to its mold qualification technology center. The new addition will complement the company’s two injection molding presses, 110T and 150T.
In order to expand its mold qualification capabilities, CT-based mold maker Westminster Tool partnered with Sumitomo (SHI) Demag in hopes it can better serve its customers’ needs. Westminster Tool president, Ray Coombs, says the machine’s application will specifically accommodate upcoming medical manufacturing projects that require larger parts and higher cavitation. “Partnering with Sumitomo (SHI) Demag was a natural fit considering the timing, and it’s a perfect alignment of each company’s needs.”
Sumitomo (SHI) Demag, producer of precision plastic injection molding machines, HQ of North America operation located in Georgia, was specifically looking for partners that could help them market the machine to a critical regional market in New England. Sumitomo (SHI) Demag North America Business Development Manager, Bob Brady, says, “With Westminster Tool’s reputation in the plastics industry and its reputation in the community here in Connecticut, our machines are getting the exact kind of exposure we need.” He says it was Westminster Tool’s widespread influence as an industry leader, its commitment to skill development and its overall company culture that helped solidify the new partnership.
In addition to mold validation and internal research and development, the machine’s new home at Westminster Tool will also serve as a centralized showcase for potential training, especially with prospective Sumitomo (SHI) Demag customers. “Training is a major focal point for Westminster Tool, and that’s why this relationship is such a great fit,” Brady says. Both companies recognize the importance of education when it comes to new technology.
According to Coombs, several of its key medical customers are proud Sumitomo (SHI) Demag owners, which makes for a smoother transition from the mold build to qualification. “In the medical industry, it’s all about consistency,” Coombs says. “By partnering with a company like Sumitomo (SHI) Demag, we can rely on their trusted reputation with our customers and validate their molds to their own standards.”
“Several of our features are specifically geared toward the rigid consistency needs of the medical industry,” says Brady. Features such as Sumitomo’s Zero Molding technology aims to reduce defects to zero by stabilizing molding at a lower mold clamp force, all while maintaining precision and accuracy. And now, with Westminster Tool’s help, they can demonstrate those features to regional prospects on site.
For Westminster Tool, the new machine represents the company’s latest commitment to merging people and technology. “We spent years establishing our company culture to support our skilled talent,” Coombs says. “Now we need to expose them to the technology that is going to give them the tools they need to step up their game.”
To learn more about Westminster Tool’s commitment to exploring the latest technology, visit http://www.westminstertool.com.
About Westminster Tool, Inc.
Westminster Tool Inc., located in Plainfield, Connecticut, is a mold-making company that specializes in innovative manufacturing solutions for plastics and composites. Westminster Tool Inc. is dedicated to continually innovating and providing customers with the latest in machining and software technology. In addition, Westminster Tool offers solutions from concept through development and into production to satisfy aerospace, medical devices, or consumer packing requirements.
About Sumitomo (SHI) Demag
Sumitomo (SHI) Demag has shaped the development of the plastics industry from its very beginning. As a specialist for injection molding 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 molding machines with clamping forces of between 180 and 15.000 kN. With more than 149,000 installed machines, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag is present in important global markets and ranks among the largest manufacturers of injection molding machines in the world. 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. Sumitomo (SHI) 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. With its comprehensive sales and service network of subsidiaries and agencies, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag is present in all major markets.
For more information on Sumitomo (SHI) Demag, visit http://www.sumitomo-shi-demag.us.
At Fakuma 2021, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery GmbH, Schwaig, will present numerous new products, focus on sustainability and unveil solutions for modern networking via Industry 4.0. Shown above is an all-electric IntElect 130/520-450, including an LSR package, that will demonstrate the production of a 16-cavity freeform automotive axial seal. Read more…
- Bob Brady has joined the company in a newly created position as Business Development Manager – Medical/Healthcare.
- Dan Anderson has rejoined the company as a Regional Sales Manager.
- Tony Marchelletta has been appointed National Sales Manager for Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery North America.
- Chad Mefford has been appointed General Manager of Sales and Georgia/Illinois Operations.
- Sumitomo (SHI) Demag’s IntElect 1000 kN injection molding machine performs in BASF’s injection molding pilot plant.
- Innovative manufacturing cell to produce a wide range of different test specimens.
- Fully-digitized robotic processing and digital integration.
- Teamwork, uninterrupted operations and large U.S. inventory provide important support for molders during the pandemic.
- New facilities and improved equipment, logistics and efficiencies focus on meeting needs of U.S. market.
Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery GmbH continues to enhance the energy credentials of its El-Exis SP range, which remain the fastest packaging injection molding machines in the world market today. … Consuming up to 20% less energy than its predecessors, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag is bringing two energy-enhanced El-Exis SP machines to K-2019 – a large and a small version. Catering specifically to the packaging molding markets, the ultra-high speed range ensures manufacturers never need to compromise on quality, production efficiency or sustainability. Read more…
Chicago Applications Center Grand Opening Postponed
Sumitomo (SHI) Demag announced today that it is postponing the grand opening of its new Chicago Tech Center that was scheduled for April 22-23.
The decision to postpone the two-day event was made to protect customers, supplier partners and company employees and ensure that company resources are focused on supporting customer requirements during this difficult time.
Every reasonable effort is being made to help our customers with the parts and services necessary for their ongoing production schedules while ensuring the health and safety measures demanded by the COVID-19 situation. And as always, customers can count on Sumitomo Demag for free, technical phone support 24/7.
The new Chicago Tech Center is part of a 15,300 sq ft facility that has opened in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, outside of Chicago. The facility includes a training room and offices for sales, service and processing support, plus the 8,000+ sq ft Tech Center equipped with four SE-EV-A platform all-electric machines (SE50EV-A, SE100EV-A, SE180EV-A and SE385EV-A-HD) and partners’ auxiliary equipment. The Center will be used for machine demos, mold tests, hands-on training and other processing and application support and development activities.
When appropriate, the grand opening event at the Chicago Tech Center will be rescheduled. Meanwhile, please reach out to your Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Regional Sales Manager or the Aftersales Team as needed to support your production requirements.
At Sumitomo (SHI) Demag, our customers come first. As a supplier to you and your business, we continue to closely monitor the impacts of COVID-19 and we strive to ensure the health and safety of our employees so that they are better able to serve you. We know that continuing production is a high priority for your business. Due to the global COVID-19 situation, you may experience delays in parts orders and service from Sumitomo (SHI) Demag. As always, we will keep you informed should there be a delay with your order.
In an effort to keep our employees, as well as your employees, safe from the potential spread of any illness, we will respectfully adhere to your policies on accepting outside visitors. As such, we will request confirmation in advance for those of our associates or partners who are required to travel by air to visit your facility.
We appreciate your understanding during these challenging times and want you to know that our commitment to providing, protecting, and building the value of your machinery and the quality of the products you produce still remains our highest priority.
For questions or additional information, please contact your Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Regional Sales Manager.
Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery North America, Inc. today announced Phase Two of its 2019 Expansion Plan in support of the U.S. injection molding market. Phase Two of the plan includes the addition of a new facility and Tech Center in the Chicago area and a new Training and Demo Center in Anaheim, CA. This follows the February 2019 Phase One move to a new, 74,500 sq ft facility and Tech Center in the Atlanta area, almost triple the size of the Norcross, GA, facility it replaced. Read more…
Schwaig, October 16, 2019 – Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery GmbH launches what is believed to be the largest and most energy efficient packaging machine in the current global market. Unveiled at K-2019, the El-Exis SP 1000 (1124 U.S. tons) responds to market demands from injection molders specializing in pail production and other large-scale packaging applications, including thin wall stack molding. Read more…
Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery GmbH will unveil its fastest, most energy efficient, sustainable, data driven integrated machine line-up at K-2019, Hall 15, Booth D22. Presenting five machines, the company is continuing its staunch focus on delivering “Precision. Power. Productivity.” to plastic molders globally. Read more…
Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery North America, Inc. introduced today a new, fully automatic, fast color change system for its injection molding machines. An SE50EV-A all-electric machine demonstrated the new system by molding PP vacuum cleaner fan blades on a 14-sec cycle. Read more…