Npe2009 Preview: Npe2009 The Insiders Predict…
Steve Braig, president and CEO, Engel North America, York, Pa. (Injection molding machines)
Doug Brewster, national sales manager, The Conair Group, Cranberry Township, Pa. (Auxiliary equipment)
Adolfo Edgar, marketing manager, Brampton Engineering, Brampton, Ont. (Blown film systems)
John Fleischer, vice president of sales and marketing, Universal Dynamics Inc., Woodbridge, Va. (Auxiliary equipment)
Bruce Kirby, marketing chief, CDS- Custom Downstream Systems Inc., Lachine, Que. (Downstream extrusion machinery)
Robert Koch, president, Boy Machines Inc., Exton, Pa. (Injection molding machines)
Rob Miller, president, Wittmann Canada Inc., Richmond Hill, Ont. (Auxiliary equipment and injection molding machines)
Jim Murphy, president, Davis-Standard LLC, Pawcatuck, Conn. (Extrusion equipment)
Larry Pascucci, general manager, Negri Bossi Inc., Mississauga, Ont. (Injection molding machines)
Carrie Shoemaker, marketing communications, Motan Inc., Plainwell, Mich. (Material handling systems)
I think there will be a natural focus on such growth market segments as the medical and packaging industries, with a view on expanding operations to cover a broader range of industry markets. The difficult economy means that everyone attending or exhibiting at NPE2009 will want to get extra value for every dollar they spend.
Suppliers will be focused on efficiency — for example, less energy consumption and scrap generation. Given the current state of the economy, the focus will be on those market segments that will continue strong in spite of the recession, like the food and medical packaging industries.
Extrusion machinery manufacturers will not completely ignore the housing and automotive markets, despite the current state of the North American economy. For instance, although decking demand is stagnant, demand is expected to double within the next five years for wood-plastic composite materials. In general, I think there will be a greater focus on medical, industrial tubing, and pipe applications.
There are some industries, like medical, packaging — especially consumer packaged goods — and aerospace, that are not seeing the significant declines experienced by other industries. We expect the show will attract customers from these and other industries looking for new ways to enhance their operations.
In this current economy, I expect most companies to focus on how and where their customers, or potential customers, can save money.
Those making the investment to attend the show will be looking for added value in every exhibit, in every technical session, and in every presentation or discussion. We believe that in the machinery segment, attendees will be looking for machines that offer the lowest operating costs and provide them with enabling technology to differentiate themselves from their competitors through leading-edge processing technology solutions. They’ll want to see energy savings, lower cost of operation, versatility and flexibility, and ultimate reliability.
Canadian processors are always looking for an edge; they’re cost-conscious, but not afraid to innovate. This year, more than ever, I think Canadian visitors to NPE will be looking for technology that gives them better, more complete control over their operations. They’re going to be looking at ways to understand their process more completely, tighten their operating set-points, reduce energy consumption in all equipment, and make better and more efficient use of scrap — all while still making quality product.
I think the mood will be one of cautious optimism, as processors will have had time to evaluate where the opportunities may lie in the current business environment. Processors will be looking for features and technologies that allow them to differentiate themselves from their competition, with the intention of providing value-added products to their customers. Processors don’t want more of the same, they want machinery suppliers that are able to work with them to generate new ideas and make them a reality.
If the show attendees are optimistic about the future, and if they have both the money and the need for more equipment, the NPE show will be a good time for them to buy, probably at lower prices than in normal circumstances.
As OEMs and their customers struggle to deal with the harsh new business climate, the typical showgoer will be attending NPE2009 with the future in mind. They’ll be taking into consideration the long-term trends of those products they make. They’ll be attending to see more of the latest innovations in product development, and how these products might be able to help them to open up new markets in the future.
We think the attendee mindset will be focused on technology that will save them time, money, floor space, and energy.
Attendees will be asking themselves how they can get the most for their time attending NPE, and that means looking at new equipment and how it can offer them the greatest ROI (return on investment). Equipment suppliers will need to clearly show the advantages their equipment offers and how it improves the bottom line with solid data and not wild claims. Processors that are to remain successful will continue to look at how to take cost out of the process with automation, which is much more than just robots and includes all areas of the process, especially that of resin handling given the significant cost savings opportunities available.
Visitors to NPE2009 are going to be very focused on getting value in their investments at the show. I think the attendees will be looking for the best equipment and suppliers, and they’ll want to make sure they get some tangible takeaways.
Attendees will definitely be looking to save money where they can.
In extrusion machinery, we expect European and North American manufacturers to concentrate on those applications that are the focus of most government-approved stimulus packages: industrial tubing, and piping.
We think the general trend in injection molding will be towards energy efficiency, as well as smaller machines and reduced cavitation.
Energy savings are only one area to consider when purchasing equipment. There are many other areas, like simple controls, easy operation, low maintenance, resin savings, and scrap reduction that contribute to the true operating cost and ultimately the ROI.
The common theme for the injection molding machines we’ll be showing will be molding material specialization, speed of operation, centralized information, energy efficiency — and, of course, service.
Engel North America will be ‘electrified’ at NPE2009, with a range of injection molding machines, automation, and Engel technology, focusing on all-electric machines and energy savings. Also, Engel will introduce its latest two-platen machine model, as well as an energy calculator that allows operators to choose the machine settings to provide the most energy-efficient mode of operation.
Conair’s focus will be on controls that give users more information about their process, whether it involves drying, blending, material handling, or heat-transfer. Several new approaches to reducing energy consumption — particularly in the drying process — will also be introduced.
Our company is positioning itself as a partner to its customers. We use our technology and our customers’ requirements to engineer and manufacture the equipment that will produce the value-added blown films that our customers need to satisfy the requirements of their markets.
In addition to drying products and granulators, Universal Dynamics will be showing our Factory Acquisition Control System (F.A.C.S.), a Windows-based, plant-wide control and monitoring system for plant material conveying.
Aside from our standard machinery for pipe, profile, and tubing applications, we’ll be putting an emphasis on machinery for small tubing applications. Also, we’ll be showing our new medical downstream equipment line, which will have several features new to the medical market.
Boy Machines will be demonstrating energy-efficient machines, and the benefits of small footprint and single-cavitation machines.
The concept of integrated control, and of one-stop shopping for robots, automation, auxiliary equipment, and injection molding machines will be an important area for Wittmann Canada at NPE2009, in the Wittmann Battenfeld booth. We will feature our comprehensive product offering with many new additions and developments since the last NPE. Attendees will be looking at everything from a single loader or dryer to a fully integrated automated work cell complete with machine, robot, and all auxiliaries. Wittmann Canada will be at the show to provide them with the best possible solution for their application.
Generally, our products are very engineering-intensive, and there’s lots of give and take between the customer and our sales and engineering teams to take the basic technologies and apply it to the line or equipment the customer needs to convert. One thing we’ll be doing more of at NPE2009 is utilizing more advanced multimedia type displays; our equipment can be very large and it can almost be impossible to run at a trade show.
Negri Bossi will be focusing on what we see as growth areas: high-speed applications, liquid silicone resin (LSR), multi-material molding, and plant monitoring and Internet-based service.
Motan will be showing our latest in gravimetric blenders, coupling stations, and mixing and dosing units. One of the highlighted attractions at our booth will be media kiosk — attendees can take control with their own hands and operate our WEB-compatible units. CPL