Photo by Caroline Seidel Milacron CEO Tom Goeke with a Klear Can during K 2016.
Milacron Holdings is starting to offer a wider range of injection moulding presses, bigger machines and beefed up service as the US-based company moves press assembly out of its Ferromatik Milacron factory in Malterdingen, Germany, and into its facilities in the Czech Republic.
Denis Poelman, managing director of Milacron’s injection moulding business in Europe, said the company will redeploy some experienced employees from Malterdingen into service organizations.
“So we will retain and optimise all the competence and service that we have,” he said at Milacron’s news conference at K 2016.
Milacron had two booths at K 2016, one main exhibit and another for DME mold components, Mold-Masters hot runners and other tooling products.
Milacron officials had announced in March that the company was moving machine assembly to the Czech Republic, eliminating about 132 jobs in Germany. Poelman did not give a figure for the number of Malterdingen employees who would move into service jobs, but he stressed that that facility will remain an important part of Milacron in Europe.
“Germany remains our headquarters for injection,” he said. “We have a strategy to consolidate our manufacturing footprint in Europe, in the Czech Republic, in new facilities. But the center of know-how — the competence center for our engineering, our applications and also our European operations — remains entirely in Germany. So Germany will remain for us the most important hub. And Czech will become our most important hub for manufacturing.”
Poelman said the machinery maker has negotiated a “very fair plan” with the IG Metall union in Malterdingen. Employees are working to make the transfer a success, he said.
Milacron is boosting the number of its European service technicians by 30% over the next 12 months. In the Czech Republic, there will be service people covering 16 languages.
“So we really are investing in regional growth to become closer to our customers to support their needs and be able to service them better,” Poelman said.
Milacron CEO Tom Goeke said the company has done a total of 34,800 square metres of expansion this year — in China, India, the Czech Republic and the United States.
Ferromatik Milacron specialised in multishot moulding presses, often with turning-stack moulds.
Poelman said the company will offer more types of presses, and larger sizes of over 500 tons in clamping force, as well as complete solutions under the One Milacron concept.
Poelman will bring the Maxima Performance press to Europe, starting at 2,000 tons to be fully launched in the middle of 2017, once the Czech Republic facility begins full production. In the next two years, the company will offer presses up to 4,000 tonnes.
“This was a big gap that we had in our product portfolio in the past,” he said.
Already a few customers have ordered the Maxima P press, he said.
Milacron also has sold more than 60 Magna Toggle Servo injection presses in the last nine months, since introducing them to Europe at the last Fakuma show, Poelman said.
For Milacron, K 2016 was a platform for highlighting its packaging technology.
The M-PET 300 uses a coinjection hot runner system and coinjection nozzles from Kortec. The press, which debuted at NPE 2015, brings Milacron’s PET press together with its Mold-Masters and Kortec businesses.
M-PET can mould preforms with a barrier layer for beverages, as well as wide-mouth jars, CEO Goeke said at the press conference.
Molding of the Klear Can is also on display — a see-through replacement for metal and glass food containers. Goeke said Milacron has sold the first Klear Can system — as well as a coinjection system to injection mold single-use coffee pods that are fully recyclable.
In mould-making news at K 2016, Mold-Masters introduced a new hot runner concept with a long, slender gate instead of the traditional round opening. The Flat Die Unit promotes better distribution of flow in parts that are not round, said Milacron Chief Technology Officer Bruce Catoen.
“This allows us to inject material at a very low shear rate, which reduces the temperature,” he said. “It allows us for non-round parts to be able to inject a uniform amount of material to each of the corners so we fill without warpage and without shorts and flashes.”
Milacron also showed its new SmartMold module. SmartMold collects data from equipment and shares it via the cloud to allow for regular maintenance scheduling. The module, which allows different pieces of equipment to talk to each other, also allows for the scheduling of regular and preventive maintenance.