Plastics News - Show Daily - October 18, 2023 - 3

FAKUMA SHOW DAILY
Plastics News, October 18, 2023 * 3
Engel photo
ENGEL
Hall A5,
Booth 5203
" Resilient
entrepreneurship is
what the industry
needs " was the
rallying cry of
Engel CEO Stefan
Engleder at the
news conference
on the opening day
of Fakuma 2023.
Plastics News photo by
Caroline Seidel
Engel aims to bolster
customers' resilience
in challenging times
By Karen Laird
Sustainable Plastics
" Resilient entrepreneurship is
what the industry needs, " was
the rallying cry of Engel CEO Stefan
Engleder at the news conference
on the opening day of Fakuma
2023.
It was a fi rst day that, he said,
that saw high-quality traffi c at
the Engel booth, although the fair
seemed in general to be slightly
less bustling than usual.
The present economic and social
conditions have combined to
create a great deal of uncertainty
in the market. From wars, weak
demand and supply chain issues
to labor shortages, infl ation and
high energy costs, the industry
has been buffeted by adverse
conditions and challenging circumstances.
" It
is why our motto for this
year's Fakuma is 'Get connected.'
Because it is in times like this that
strong cooperation is needed, "
Engleder explained.
Engel, he said, is directing its
focus in particular on small and
medium-sized companies, as these
have been especially hard-hit by
the economic and political developments
in Europe. At Fakuma, the
company is demonstrating how
close-to-standard solutions can be
implemented using proven Engel
technology - and how this can help
to improve a company's resilience
despite the uncertain situation.
Global market
volumes sag
Engel, too, has been impacted
by the changing market conditions.
The company will in all likelihood
close the current fi scal year
" just slightly down, " Engleder said.
While the company was able to
process all of the orders from the
previous year, the level of incoming
orders has for months been
very low. The impact is making
itself felt particularly strongly in
the last quarter of the current fi scal
year.
Engleder said that sales revenues
will therefore be slightly less
than the previous year's level of
1.7 billion euros. At 50 percent,
Europe represents Engel's largest
market, with the Americas accounting
for 30 percent, Asia for
17 percent and 3 percent coming
from other regions.
For the coming months, the
company anticipates a signifi cant
decline in global market volumes.
" This will defi nitely be in the
double-digit range compared
with the previous year - and be
particularly pronounced in Europe:
high energy and personnel
costs are causing investments
to be shifted to other markets,
such as the USA and other countries
outside Europe, " the Engel
CEO noted.
A noticeable trend, he added, is
that Asian manufacturers are increasingly
growing their share of
the Western markets, a phenomenon
that is particularly noticeable
in the automotive sector.
" If we look at Europe, we already
have a frown on our face, "
said Engleder. " What is positive,
however, is that Engel is growing
its share of what is a shrinking European
market. " This is primarily
due to a number of large orders
received by the company.
He believes that the European
sales market is facing a structural
change in the medium to long
term, mainly because of an even
more fundamental problem.
" Even if the energy prices drop
again one day, and the Ukraine war
comes to an end, we have a substantial
problem in Europe that
has come to stay: the shortage
of skilled workers, " he explained.
" It's a lack of workers, leading to
an expensive workforce combined
with a new mood in the industry
- or at least in the Central European
region - that is causing
many SMEs to simply close down.
They are not going bankrupt, they
are simply stopping, because they
feel it is no longer worth the effort
and investment. It's a negative
trend and I am sorry to see it, because
SMEs are the backbone of
our industry. "
Other customers are looking
outside Europe, for example to
Turkey and North Africa, to grow
their operations, a development
to which Engel, with its global
network, can respond. " Our
global presence strengthens us.
It has made us very versatile as
a company and given us the opportunity
to follow our customers
into the markets where they are
based, " Engleder said.
Outside Europe
The mood in the Americas is
somewhat brighter, with North
America and some parts of South
America - Mexico above all: " the
country is booming, " Engleder
said, exhibiting a healthy growth.
Particularly the medical as well
as the teletronics and technical
molding divisions are doing well
in the regions, driven on the one
hand by diabetes and obesity
care and on the other by the increased
use of recycled materials.
Across the board, the recovery
of the markets in Asia is progressing
more slowly than anticipated.
Foreign investment levels in China
are declining, with moderate
growth forecast for next year.
Engel's Wintec brand saw a stabilization
in the order situation
in the last six months of the year,
although orders remained signifi -
cantly below the level of the previous
year. However, projects are
projected to increase in the China
region. Chinese investments in
South-East Asia may also buoy up
sales in the region.
Sustainability
a priority
As a company, Engel takes
pride in its achievements in terms
of sustainability. It earned a platinum
EcoVadis sustainability
score in the autumn of 2023, placing
itself among the top 1 percent
of the world's most sustainable
companies.
" It shows that even in challenging
times, the company is
sticking to its principles, " declared
Engleder.
This summer, Engel also announced
its commitment to the
science-based target initiative
(sbti) - as one of the fi rst companies
in injection molding machine
manufacturing to do so - and
it has set science-based targets
for reducing its greenhouse gas
emissions to help meet the Paris
Climate Agreement. Among other
things, the company uses one
hundred percent green electricity
in all of its Austrian plants,
a steadily higher proportion of
which is generated by the photovoltaic
systems it has invested in.
Proprietary technologies are used
to process recycled plastic waste
into high-quality new products is
a further building block.
The commitment to SBTi is
" our way of taking the next logical
step, " Engleder clarifi ed. " We are
offering our customers the best
possible transparency and benchmarking
in terms of our climate
protection activities by ensuring
independent verifi cation in line
with internationally recognized
standards. "
In concrete terms, Engel is
reducing all Scope 1 and Scope
2 emissions by 50 percent and
Scope 3 emissions by 42 percent
by 2030, compared with 2022.
" In our opinion, the greatest
leverage for reducing greenhouse
gases, beyond material- and
energy-effi cient solutions and
the expansion of renewable energy
sources, can primarily be
achieved by digitalizing production
processes and establishing a
circular economy, " Engleder said.
" For this fi scal year, we have
budgeted 10 million euros for the
expansion of our own renewable
energy production alone. Beyond
this, we are increasingly focusing
our development activities on effi
cient and recyclable solutions. "
News at Fakuma 2023
Asked about the advances the
company is showing in Friedrichshafen,
Engleder pointed to
a number of solutions for sustainability,
that he described as
" close to standard. "
" In the segment of two-platen
injection molding machines, we
are exhibiting an application that
supports a variety of use cases.
We manufacture automotive trims
for the vehicle interior made of a
[polypropylene] compound. Using
30 percent recycled material,
this application aims at the EU
directive currently under discussion,
which envisages a 25 percent
share of PCR (post-consumer
recyclate) in cars by 2030. "
Another example
is the
See Engel, Page 19

Plastics News - Show Daily - October 18, 2023

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