Arburg predicts rebound on the way

Dec. 29, 2020
In the coming year, Arburg expects continued strong demand for automation and technologies related to the production of medical products.
By Karen Hanna

For everyone who has longed to see the calendar pages turn forever away from the grim year of 2020, Arburg President Friedrich Kanz offered some encouraging words:  

“We will get COVID under control, and we will see overall business rebound,” he predicted in comments made in December. 

Amid news of successful vaccine trials, Kanz voiced optimism for the plastics processing industry, which spent 2020 relying on surging demand from the medical industry to offset the retrenchment of automotive manufacturers. 

Like so much of society, the outlook is riding on the advances of the medical sector. 

“It all depends on the vaccine, but that seems to be looking good right now,” Kanz said. “In general, I would say that we can feel positive about the plastics economy in 2021.”  

He said he is expecting to see some growth in the automotive industry.  

I don’t expect sales to go through the roof, but I expect greater sales activity and investment by automotive suppliers will increase in 2021 as automotive companies try to catch up on production and launch new models,” he said.  

Arburg, like other OEMs, reported that medical parts makers made up its strongest sector in 2020. Kanz suggested that trend might have staying power. 

“In 2020, the medical market has been the strongest, and most of that is COVID-related. First of all, it seemed to be driven by the need for personal protective equipment, then testing  pipettes, for example  and now certain components for packaging of vaccines coming out soon. I also expect that scenario will continue into 2021.” 

Along with rebounding demand for its presses, Arburg is anticipating continued interest in its Industry 4.0 and automation products. Customers are increasingly asking for complete manufacturing lines. 

“In addition to being able to provide high-technology molding machines, Arburg is selling more and more turnkey systems,” Kanz said. “We have a turnkey team in the U.S. that is building customized production cells for customers, and that was very important in 2020 because many people, especially in the medical market, were asking for more than a molding machine.” 

In 2020, he said Arburg delivered a number of turnkey systems, complete with automation and downstream equipment.  

With the medical industry strong and other industries having weathered 2020 fairly well, Kanz was looking ahead 

“We are still living in a time of uncertainty, but I would assume that the COVID scenario in 2021 will be brought under control,” he said. “With the availability of vaccines, I hope we can return in the course of the year to a more and more normal lifestyle. 

Karen Hanna, associate editor

[email protected]


Arburg Inc., Rocky Hill, Conn., 860-667-6500, 

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About the Author

Karen Hanna | Senior Staff Reporter

Senior Staff Reporter Karen Hanna covers injection molding, molds and tooling, processors, workforce and other topics, and writes features including In Other Words and Problem Solved for Plastics Machinery & Manufacturing, Plastics Recycling and The Journal of Blow Molding. She has more than 15 years of experience in daily and magazine journalism.