Canadian Plastics

Sumitomo (SHI) Demag reports machine orders up during COVID-19 crisis

Demand from the packaging and medical technology sectors largely is driving growth, the injection molding machine maker said.

August 12, 2020   Canadian Plastics

Sumitomo (SHI) Demag staff, from left: Henrik Langwald, Paolo Zirondoli, Anatol Sattel, Jürgen Schulze, Arnaud Nomblot, Gerd Liebig, Siegfried Köhler, and Thorsten Thümen.

Compared with the first half of 2019, injection molding machine manufacturer Sumitomo (SHI) Demag is ending the first half of 2020 with what it calls “a healthy order book.” During the first six months, the value of incoming orders for machines produced in Germany rose by almost 25 per cent.

In an Aug. 12 statement, the German-Japanese company described itself as “cautiously optimistic for the future”.

CEO Gerd Liebig attributes the positive results primarily to demand coming from the packaging and medical technology sectors. “Our intentional strategic focus on these two growth markets over the past few years has placed us in a stronger position, helping us to survive during these difficult times with a strong order increase,” he said in the statement.

By contrast, demand from the automotive industry has slumped sharply for the firm, and its forecast for the consumer segment is also cautious: “Due to the tense situation on the labour market and the declining propensity of consumers to buy, [we] anticipate a lower inclination among molders to invest,” the statement said.

As a result of stable sales, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag expects to report a year-on-year 17per cent increase in overall incoming orders for 2020. “Our plant in Wiehe [Germany] is operating at full capacity and from November 2020 we will be producing the all-electric small machines at the historic high cycle,” Liebig said. “The strategic focus on this series is now paying off in full: By the second half of 2020, we will double our production capacity once again in order to meet demand.

As a result of this increase, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag is pushing ahead with the planned cooperation with its Japanese parent company, with Japan commencing production of IntElect machines later in 2020.


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