Sumitomo (SHI) Demag consolidates its product portfolio

Focus on all-electric drives and toggle technology

Technology - Wednesday, 4 July 2018

The price difference between hydraulic and all-electric injection moulding machines is reducing every year. This fact underlines the clear trend towards all-electric machines, especially in the lower clamp force range. Gerd Liebig, CEO of Sumitomo (SHI) Demag, explains the reasons as follows: “All-electric machines like the IntElect have become so technically mature, that after considering all the criteria, more and more customers are finding it attractive. In addition to the technological advantages such as dynamics, precision, repeatability, process stability, and energy efficiency, the price-performance ratio and the associated quicker ROI is decisive”. The management says that the growth rate of the IntElect series is outstripping all forecasts. For example, almost half of all machines sold in the past 12 months have been from the all-electric IntElect series.

The product portfolio is therefore being changed to reflect market trends. “In Germany, we are replacing production of small fully hydraulic machines with our superior electric drive technology. From Fakuma 2018 on, our investment in the clamp force range up to 1,200kN will shift entirely to the IntElect series”, Liebig says. At the same time, the focus is shifting to hybrid drive technology for packaging machines and servo-hydraulic toggle technology for medium and large machines. For fast applications, the El-Exis SP series with its clamp force range of 1,500-7,500kN rounds off the portfolio. For universal applications, the modular Systec Servo remains available for the clamp force range of 1,600-15,000kN.

Liebig is certain of one thing: “The IntElect precision machine is our lead product of the future. In the clamp force range of 500-4,500kN, we offer an exceptionally wide range of applications. Our experience of delivering 65,000 all-electric machines, and the in-house development of electric drive components, has given us a clear head start in the technology”.

An extensive investment programme has been launched at the two German locations. At Wiehe, a global competence centre for electric injection moulding machines, cutting-edge conveyor belt production lines have raised output by 30%. Schwaig will almost double its capacity for platen processing by the end of the year thanks to its new processing centres.

Sumitomo (SHI) Demag will continue its decades-long commitment to refining toggle technology in all machine series, according to the injection moulding machine experts in Schwaig, it is an important component of production efficiency. “In the areas of mould protection, reliability, precision, and energy efficiency, there is no better locking system than the toggle system - for all-electric, hydraulic, and hybrid fast cycling machine series,” says Hideki Kuroiwa, CTO of Sumitomo (SHI) Demag. “It allows us to achieve maximum productivity for our customers”.

The Wiehe plant’s focus on the all-electric IntElect series is expected to optimise the entire production flow and increase annual manufacturing capacity to 1,000 all-electric machines. At the same time, delivery times will be greatly reduced. The management says that, after the plant in Chiba (Japan) is taken into account, future annual output of all-electric injection moulding machines will increase significantly with drives developed and manufactured in-house.

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