DUESSELDORF, Germany—Arburg GmbH & Co. KG is launching arburgGreenworld, the company's solution to the circular economy, and company officials also are expanding the digitalization strategy called arburgXworld internationally—showing e-commerce with a major twist.
Arburg made the announcements at its news conference Oct. 15, the day before K 2019 kicks off.
Michael Hehl, managing partner and speaker of the board of directors, said the plastics industry faces challenges in 2019—the "difficult economic situation" coupled with global trade conflicts. And plastics is getting blamed, too simplistically, for waste, he said.
"The problem here is waste and plastic is put together, and plastic is not seen as an important material," Hehl said.
Hehl also said Arburg this year probably won't reach the record level of sales it achieved in 2018, of $835 million. But he declined to give specific numbers, or a percentage of sales decline in 2019.
"We are aware of a tangible downtown in order intake levels. Investment levels in new equipment by the automotive industry, in particular … are currently low to non-existent," he said, because the industry is beset by profound change with new car technology in the future.
Even so, Hehl said, Arburg is expanding in its hometown of Lossburg, Germany, the U.S. subsidiary in Rocky Hill, Conn., Italy and France. "We invest on an anti-cyclical basis with an eye to the future," he said.
At K 2019, Arburg is showing a hydraulic Allrounder 270 S compact injection press billed as the first Arburg machine to that can be configured online. Juergen Boll, managing director of finance controlling IT, walked reporters through arburgXworld, the name of company's customer portal as well as its digitization strategy. The portal has been available to German customers since March, but at K it's going global, available in 18 languages.
Customers can fully configure the machine online, selecting options and features like injection unit size. The price is shown and you click to order the machine. The arburgXworld portal lets customers buy aftermarket parts, too.