Gerd Liebig evaluates the success of global trade fair, signalling it as being a step towards normality.
Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery GmbH, Schwaig – November 2022: Gerd Liebig, CEO of Sumitomo (SHI) Demag, concludes that K 2022 was overall a positive exhibition. Although the number of visitors to the world’s leading trade fair dropped by 21 percent compared to 2019, there was an increase in the volume of visitors to the German-Japanese mechanical engineering firm’s booth.
Additionally, the CEO claims that the quality of visitors was significantly higher. Liebig explains: “We attribute this increase in quality to our team registering a 20 percent rise in the number of purchase decisions. K 2022 was a big step towards normality. Because visits were scheduled well in advance, it enabled our team to plan and dedicate much more time to supporting the top purchasing decision-makers, all of whom came.“
The CEO cites rapidly escalating energy prices for the significant interest shown towards all-electric injection moulding machines, along with the comprehensive display of Sumitomo (SHI) Demag exhibits, as being the rationale for these pleasing developments. “The introduction of the new all-electric high-speed injection moulding machine PAC-E was a big attraction, playing to our strengths. Additionally, visitors showed great interest in our in-house automation SAM robotic series, plus smart solutions myConnect and myAssist,” states Liebig.
We recorded a high proportion of decision-making contacts, while the ratio of the purported ‘running audience’ visiting at the weekend and overall appeared relatively low. “The volume of visitors from Asia – especially China and Russia – meant that it was much more manageable,” says the CEO.
“Customers are increasingly seeking long term stable partners for the future and are interested in attractive industry solutions,” he sums up. Referencing the future status of trade fair events, fears that visitor numbers could further decline, coupled with weak project prospects, was refuted by Liebig. If anything, those that visited were serious decision-makers. Another benefit of this more manageable footfall was the noticeable improvements in transportation logistics, he notes.
Sharing his observations of the user industries, Liebig drew another distinction. “Even though economic uncertainties currently dominate, projects in electronics is currently very strong. Also running at a good level are the packaging, medical technology and consumer goods sectors. In contrast, the automotive sector remains rather weak. Despite the dramatic mood and enormous uncertainty, Liebig would not be drawn into the threatening scenario forecast before K 2022 regarding the poor propensity to invest. “Although the mood was somewhat cautious, there are new projects still out there,“ he affirms
The effect on trade fair events feared by the resurgent corona pandemic were also absent. “The number of infections was manageable – for our stand staff it was around four percent,” Liebig reports. With daily testing, the company had the situation under full control.
Another special highlight at K 2022 was handing over the company’s 80,000th fully-electric IntElect injection moulding machine to Tyco Electronics. A partnership previously characterised by ups and downs, all consistently resolved and viewed as the best learning experience, the now very satisfied customer accepted its new machine in the amiable atmosphere of the show, says the CEO.
New COO era
Effective November 1, 2022, new COO (Chief Operations Officer) was welcomed to the management of Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery GmbH. Takaaki Kaneko replaces Shoichi Ohira, who has been COO and Head of Operations of the Group since January 15, 2019.
Ohira is returning to Sumitomo Heavy Industry’s Plastics Machinery Division in Japan in mid-November. “High production efficiency and stable, high quality standards is Shoichi Ohira’s legacy that he leaves behind as COO,” exclaims Liebig.
Sumitomo (SHI) Demag thanks Mr Ohira for his tireless efforts and the exceptional operational performance, all testament to his dedication.
New COO Mr. Kaneko, is a proven production specialist who has worked for the injection moulding machine division of the company’s Japanese parent company Sumitomo Heavy Industries for 27 years. He has also worked in Germany and was Managing Director in China . “My focus is on further improving production efficiency by strengthening flexibility and generally reducing delivery times,” says Kaneko.
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 moulding 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 moulding machines with clamping forces of between 500 and 15.000 kN. With more than 162,000 installed machines, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag is present in important global markets and ranks among the largest manufacturers of injection moulding 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.
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 moulding machines, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag offers customised and standardised systems for the 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 moulding machines.
With its comprehensive sales and service network of subsidiaries and agencies, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag is present in all major markets.