Press release by Weber Fibertech GmbH
Weber Fibertech acquires PME fluidtec
Markdorf / Ettenheim, February 12, 2020 – Weber Fibertech has just acquired PME fluidtec GmbH with retroactive effect from January 1, 2020. PME is a worldwide leading manufacturer for fluid assisted injection molding. The aim is to combine the company’s innovative technology with Weber Fibertech’s impact extrusion process. PME fluidtec will continue to operate independently, and further investments are already in the pipeline at the facility in Ettenheim, south-west Germany.
Lightweight design specialist Weber Fibertech of Markdorf develops and manufactures highly innovative, long and continuous (endless) fiber-reinforced thermoplastic parts, for example for the automotive industry. These products are mainly created using a patented production process referred to as E-LFT. PME fluidtec is a worldwide leading manufacturer of machines and injection systems for fluid assisted injection molding. This process is utilized to make hollow parts at reduced cycle times not only with conventional gas mixtures but also by means of water and projectile injection.
Optimum balance between lightweight design, performance, and unit costs
First and foremost, Weber Fibertech’s acquisition of PME fluidtec has enable it to secure the comprehensive expertise of PME’s highly specialized employees – and with it the company’s globally unique technology for manufacturing complex lightweight structures in a fluid assisted injection molding process. Weber Fibertech is now aiming to combine PME’s fluid technology with its own processes. The idea is that by leveraging the benefits of both lightweight design technologies, it will be possible to develop and produce ultra-lightweight structural parts using very economical materials at significantly shorter cycle times.
Friedbert Schmitt, Managing Director of Weber Fibertech, perceives enormous potential in the combination of the two processes. “In the future, we’ll have the capability to provide customers with the ideal lightweight technology for their part designs and materials.” The goal is to reconcile torsion and bend-resistant hollow structures, for example for tailgates and chassis components, with an increasingly lightweight design, maximum performance, and falling unit costs.
Plans for a pilot plant – investments in the future
PME fluidtec will continue to operate as an independent subsidiary of Weber Fibertech, developing, manufacturing, and servicing machines and injection systems – and even complete production lines on request – for clients all over the world. “Water injection technology, in particular, holds significant growth potential for both companies,” says Schmitt. That is why he is proposing to expand this business segment and step up sales activities. Plans are also in the pipeline to build a pilot plant at the Ettenheim site, “where we intend to press ahead with the theoretical and practical development of fluid injection technology in close cooperation with our research partners.”
To ensure that the transfer of knowledge to Markdorf takes place as smoothly as possible, PME and Weber Fibertech have resolved to consolidate their organizational structures. Friedbert Schmitt will act as Managing Director of both firms. Friedrich Westphal – engineer, creative mind, and founder of PME – will retire from day-to-day operations for reasons of age but will continue to assist and advise the company with his vast experience in the future. “I’m delighted that a successor has now been appointed. And I’m confident that Weber Fibertech – our number one choice as partner – will strive to perfect our technology even further and lead the company into a successful future.”