Sumitomo (SHI) Demag recruits respected process engineering academic

Sumitomo (SHI) Demag recruits…

As Head of Application and Process Engineering, Dr. Thorsten Thümen, who joined the company on April 1, 2019, is responsible for aligning Sumitomo (SHI) Demag’s application, plasticising technologies and Industry 4.0 technology-led developments.

The  teams,  led  by  Dr.  Thümen,  now  report  into  an  Application  Centre  (AC)  hub.  This  is  intentionally designed to foster greater collaboration across the company’s two sites in Schwaig and Wiehe. As well as helping  to  troubleshoot  processing  issues  for  customers,  the  AC  will  also  focus  on  delivering  real-time process optimisation support and training. Dr. Thümen replaces former Head of Application Engineering and Training, Mr. Andreas Schramm, who has left the company to pursue new professional challenges.

Meeting future plastic production demands

CEO Gerd Liebig explains the rationale for bringing all these customer-centric support and troubleshooting functions under the direction of Dr. Thümen. ''As customers strive to boost their production output rates and maintain their competitive edge, we will assist them to react to market demands by providing application-led  consultancy   and  professional   development  support   and  services,  customised  to  their  needs. Spearheaded by Dr. Thümen, the Sumitomo (SHI) Demag AC will focus on providing the most responsive manufacturing support and industry insight to customers.''

Last  year,  Sumitomo  (SHI)  Demag  invested  significant  resources  repositioning  its  product  portfolio  and increasing production capacity at the two German locations. The strategic realignment of both sites resulted in faster machinery delivery times and a 50 per cent increase in platen machine capacities. The Germany-based  machinery  manufacturer  is  now  focused  on  developing  the  right  technologies  to  continue  its leadership in the packaging market, as well as applying its application know how and precision moulding expertise to support growth in the automotive and medical sectors.

Building a digital-led ecosystem

Dr. Thümen comments: ''Sumitomo (SHI) Demag has a very clear market strategy and focus. By bringing together the development of applications with providing hands on customer support and practical training,we will be better equipped to analyse customers’ current production challenges and respond accordingly, adapting  technology  solutions  so  they  are  future  proof.  This  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,'' he adds.

In addition to processing technology, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag will also continue to take the industry lead on developing  wider  competence  and  skills.  This  includes  making  it  easier  for  customer  to  connect  with practitioners  throughout  the  network  and  scaling  up  investments  in  Smart  Factory  solutions  and  IoT technologies. By synchronising data, this will facilitate faster real time production decisions and drive future strategic  decision  making.''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,'' clarifies Dr. Thümen.

Noting that Sumitomo (SHI) Demag already has some market-leading innovations to support self-optimising control, including the active technology range, Dr. Thümen’s immediate focus is to create an overarching digitalisation roadmap. He explains: ''Successful digitalisation requires a holistic approach, bring different concepts together.  Rather  than taking an insular  approach we 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.''

To achieve this alignment, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag is fostering partnerships with other industry players, as well as academic institutions to leverage specific expertise.''Aligning all technologies and support services is like building a digital ecosystem. Our customers seek flexibility and production control. Yet, more than anything they want assurance of a unified experience.''

Delivering training when and where customers want it is another aspect to the AC programme. Germany already has plans in motion to replicate the company’s highly successful UK Academy. 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.

Dr.  Thorsten  Thümen  studied  mechanical  design  at  the  University  of  Paderborn,  majoring  in  plastics processing.  He completed  a doctoral thesis on the optimisation of plasticising systems. The 44  year  old specialist  from  Paderborn  also  has  many  years  of  experience  in  research  and  development  roles  in  the (injection moulding) machine sphere.

Dr. Thümen will be at K 2019 for the entire duration of the show. Come by and introduce yourself, Hall 15 Stand D22.