Under its «inject the future» motto ENGEL Austria, one of the leading global manufacturers of molding equipment exhibited at the K 2010 show. Russia, Belorussia and Ukraine area vice-president at ENGEL Austria, Olaf Kassek and commercial director at Engel Ltd., Eygeniy Rodin spoke in their interview to Plastiks Magazine of how did the company overcome the past crisis, current projects and know-hows for the future.
– Mr. Kassek, the K show is a reason to summarize the results. How was the company operating in recent years? – Generally successfully. The parent company in Austria is developing dynamically: it expands its production facilities, improves infrastructure and manufactures modern equipment. However as every equipment manufacturers between the fall 2008 and the spring 2009 we experienced an unpleasant period. During the crisis ENGEL benefited from being a family enterprise with traditions to deal with employees and customers as family members: we did not leave them in the lurch. During that period we managed to keep the key employees and provided complete service to the customers and continued to invest into business development. This tactics occurred to be very effective: for example by the end of 2009 we had 20 million euro in sales at Russian and Belorussian markets! Nowadays ENGEL revenues are the largest ones at Russian molding equipment market. Every third our machine comes with automation systems or molding tooling. – Mr. Rodin, what are advantages of your company in executing complex projects? – The advantages lie in optimal reflecting of customer's demands in a technical solution ensuring 100% product quality and high efficiency. For example along with injection molding machines ENGEL provides its customers with its own robots and transporters; special departments within the company employ tooling and peripherals experts. It is noteworthy that along with unique unparalleled technologies and equipment ENGEL always offers simple and economic solutions for standard tasks. Mr. Kassek, what interesting molding solutions did ENGEL present at its booth? – At our 1400 sq. m. booth we presented 11 exhibits divided according our competence fields: automotive components production, technical parts molding, modern packaging, electronic and medical products. We also made a separate zone for our automation systems. In every application field we tried to present real know-hows, unique technologies, some of which are now only the future of injection molding. For example ENGEL organormelt method allows to manufacture steering mast component with reinforcement ribs with combined molding technology. This ensures adequate strength and low weight of the product. Also at our booth we unveiled our ENGEL clearmelt innovative technology designated for interior elements production which were formerly produced of single wood pieces. Now the robot places scale wood work piece at the molded plastic substrate and then the surface is coated with high-gloss transparent polyurethane film. The product manufactured with the technique features great functionality and scratch resistance. With ENGEL rotating cube technology it is possible to produce and decorate flexible cosmetic tubes with caps during the single operation. Here the economic effect consists of cutting own costs by 30 percent and reducing energy costs by 50 percent compared to conventional tube producing technology. Just one more example. At the vertical ENGEL injection molding machine with electrical injection unit and rotating table the e-insert technology was demonstrated: the PA housing for electronic device with metal insert was molded with robot assistance in an extremely short cycle. For medical applications the company demonstrated automated clean-room production cell based on ENGEL injection molding machine producing polystyrene Petri dishes while guaranteeing 100% product sterility. – Mr. Rodin, the molding sector is literally "electrified" with the idea of fully electric machines. What is your opinion? – The ENGEL task is to provide customers with a wide choice, follow its requirements and relevant market demands that is why we have been producing fully electric machines for more than 10 years both standard and high-speed ones designed for special applications along with hydraulic machines. However currently energy costs for our customers account for 3 to 7 percent of total plastic products production costs. It is probably the main reason of fully electric machines have only 2-4 percent share in Russian and CIS sales. Under these conditions another ways of cutting energy costs such as servo drives in hydraulic machines or new generation of ENGEL viper robots emerge to prominence. Certainly if the energy prices continue to grow the future for fully electric machines looks quite optimistic. However there is still a remark: in the cases purchasing of fully electric machine is feasible I would recommend to buy an electric machine with a track record i.e. experience of operating under Russian conditions and definitely adapted to Russian electric supply networks. – Mr. Rodin, please tell us about recent interesting ENGEL projects in Russia and CIS… – In fall 2010 we opened a production of modern plastic containers for fruit and vegetables in Kabardino-Balkarya. Under the project we supplied the equipment for more than 3 million euro including the large injection molding machine with 2700 tons clamping force which produces large-dimensioned agriculture containers. There is still no similar production facility in Russia. At the automotive components production site in Nizhniy Novgorod employing more than 30 ENGEL injection molding machines we installed the e-factory system uniting all the machines in a single information computer network. – Mr. Rodin, what are ENGEL principles of customer cooperation? – The main thing is to sell customer and adequate machine, then he will return and buy form us another time. In order to do so it is necessary to understand the task at the very first phase – in the case basing on our wide equipment portfolio we can always offer an optimal solution in terms of effectiveness and price including calculations of investment level, project payback period and the share of equipment price in product own cost. Our goal is to offer our customers reliable world-class equipment with operation factor up to 95-98 percent, the equipment which is not to be substituted every 5 years. And of course we provide our Russian, Belorussian and Ukrainian customers with European service.
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