Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery GmbH has intensified its application and process engineering capabilities as well with the appointment of respected academic Dr. Thorsten Thümen.
Thümen joined the plastic machinery supplier in Schwaig, Germany, as head of application and process engineering 1 April to succeed Andreas Schramm, who has left the company to pursue new professional challenges.
Thümen is responsible for aligning Sumitomo (SHI) Demag’s application, plasticising technologies and Industry 4.0 technology-led developments.
Led by Thümen, the teams now report into an application centre (AC) hub, specifically designed to foster greater collaboration across the company’s two sites in Schwaig and Wiehe.
The AC will address processing issues for customers while focusing on delivering real-time process optimisation support and training, Sumitomo Demag said in a 25 June statement.
“We will assist them [customers] to react to market demands by providing application-led consultancy and professional development support and services, customised to their needs,” explained CEO Gerd Liebig.
The combination of services offered by the AC will help Sumitomo (SHI) Demag analyse customers’ current production challenges and respond accordingly, said Thümen in comments.
These services could range from guidance on processing recycled, renewable or special plastic materials to clear direction on sourcing the optimal processing technology to increase productivity and boost total cost of ownership.
In addition to processing technology, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag will also help the industry develop wider competence and skills.
Amongst others, the initiative will include connecting customers with other suppliers and helping them scale up investments in smart factory solutions and IoT technologies.
“New business models are emerging every day and these developments are continuing to reshape our digital framework. For long term competitiveness these digital ecosystems need to be robust and sustainable,” Thümen added.
Thümen’s immediate focus at Sumitomo (SHI) Demag is to create “an overarching digitalisation roadmap.”
“Successful digitalisation requires a holistic approach to bring different concepts together. Rather than taking an insular approach we [are] being customer-centric and examining all aspects of our digitised business model. Like any ecosystem, we need a solid platform to nurture growth, and strong investment in R&D,” he added.
To achieve this, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag said it was developing partnerships with other industry players, as well as academic institutions to leverage specific expertise.
In addition to that, the company aims to deliver training to customers as part of its AC programme.
The company’s plan is to implement “a globally accredited training concept with modular courses” that could be rolled out via local subsidiaries and tailored to regional skill variations and customers’ needs.
Last year, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag invested “significant resources” repositioning its product portfolio and increasing production capacity at its two German locations.
The realignment of both sites, according to the company statement, resulted in faster machinery delivery times and a 50% increase in platen machine capacities.
The machinery maker is now focused on “developing the right technologies to continue its leadership in the packaging market.”