LOSSBURG, Germany—Arburg GmbH has purchased its development partner of more than 20 years, AMK Arnold Mueller GmbH & Co. KG, as part of a strategic investment to strengthen its expertise and electric drives portfolio.
The acquired company, which was one of two divisions of AMK Group, based in Kirchenheim under Teck, Germany, has a product portfolio of motors, electrical drive systems and control technology and industrial automation technology.
Arburg plans to retain the AMK employees and keep open the sites in Kirchheim and Weida, Germany, and Gabrovos, Bulgaria.
The name of the acquired company will be changed to AMKmotion GmbH + Co. K.G.
Terms of the deal between Arburg's owners, the Hehl and Keinath families, and AMK Group's Chinese owner since 2016, Zhongding Holding Europe GmbH, weren't disclosed.
Arburg officials said in a news release that they seized upon an opportunity created by "the Chinese owner's desire for strategic change."
The two companies recently collaborated on Arburg's electric Allrounder injection molding machines, which range from standardized general purpose models to customized high-precision machines. Arburg's website says the innovative drive technology makes the machines reliable and economical, particularly in the clamping force range from 39 to 663 tons.
"We are very confident about this important acquisition," said Michael Hehl, managing partner of the Arburg management board. "This underlines the importance of electric injection molding machines, whose share in our portfolio has been growing steadily for years and still has plenty of potential for the future."
In the U.S., after continued slow growth of 1-5 percent annually, sales of all-electric machines comprised about 51 percent of the injection press market in 2020, according to plastics executives. That is a few points higher than previous years, Arburg Inc. President Friedrich Kanz told Plastics News recently.
"This growth is certainly related to the high demand of the medical molders in 2020," Kanz said last month of electric presses sales in the U.S.
The acquired AMK division is expected to influence future development work to allow "pioneering refinements" to be made more quickly and efficiently to the drive systems of the electric Allrounders, according to Arburg.
In addition to technology and the long-standing partnership, AMK's "sound basic philosophy" also factored into the acquisition, according to the Arburg partners, who point to the companies' similar values regarding entrepreneurial commitment, stability and a strategy focused on expertise.
Arburg and AMK have been development partners in the engine sector since 1994. They reached a big milestone in 2001 with the market launch of the first electric series machines, the Alldrive series. Since then, the Allrounder A machines have largely been equipped with AMK drive components.
In 2013, Arburg recognized AMK and its drives with one of its efficiency awards for energy optimization, environmental protection and resource conservation.
Arburg's acquisition of the AMK division went into effect Jan. 1, 2021.
Arburg machines are produced in Lossburg. About 2,650 of Arburg's 3,200 employees work in Germany. AMKmotion GmbH + Co KG is keeping its headquarters about 65 miles away from Lossburg in Kirchheim.
Founded in 1963 by Arnold Mueller, AMK Group has about 900 employees worldwide, according to its website, which doesn't break out how many were in the drives and automation division.