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HotSeat – Barry Hill, Managing Director at Wittmann Battenfeld UK

The WITTMANN Group is one of the leading manufacturers of injection moulding machines, robots and peripheral equipment for the plastics industry worldwide. Barry Hill has been managing Wittmann Battenfeld UK for over ten years, with a demonstrated history of working in the machinery industry. He is the next PlastikCity Partner to face the HotSeat…

What trends do think will shape the future of UK plastics?

– Integrated and connected production equipment with clear and effective process control.

– Cost-effective and ergonomic factory automation.

– Programmes of ever more effective energy efficiency.

All of the above factors will help our customers achieve clean, green and profitable plastics processing.

How has Wittmann Battenfeld UK responded?

Here at Wittmann Battenfeld (WIBA) UK we have just concluded a successful series of daily workshops on Industry 4.0; tapping into an industry appetite to know more and to profit by it.

‘Connected’ production technology is already a fact in plastics processing. The Wittmann Group intends to lead the way in the Internet-led integration of all aspects of modern injection moulding – primarily through our proprietary B8 control technology.

Successful and cost effective automation is also another essential for the plastics processors of the future. The Wittmann Group has been developing plastics automation for over a quarter of a century and has no peer in the design and manufacture of linear robots for plastics production; from the Primus range right up to the pro robots.

In energy efficiency I believe that we are the only injection moulding machinery supplier to adopt the KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) that has been so successfully applied in the automotive and F1 sectors. The Wittmann Group lays great stress on energy efficiencies for all its production equipment and we are again certain that we have leadership in this area.

How has Wittmann Battenfeld UK developed during your tenure?

I began my industrial career with Battenfeld in the UK and so the wheel came full circle when the Wittmann Group – with whom I had been for 30 years –  purchased the global Battenfeld business on April 1, 2018.

The past ten years have been something of a whirlwind but the rewards have come through the positive reaction of our customers to all the new equipment – SmartPower, EcoPower, MicroPower, MacroPower – and to the ever-evolving Wittmann range of ancillaries.

We are really looking forward to showing it all off to customers at our 10th anniversary celebrations in Kottingbrunn, Austria, June 12-13th.

What do you credit as the key to your success?

We try to mirror the leadership shown by Werner and Michael Wittmann: Provide leadership by example, pick a good team and stick by them.

What has been the greatest challenge in your career?

Getting everyone onto the bus to the Open Days and Celebrations in Vienna and Kottingbrunn – and counting them all back home again.

What advice do you wish you’d had on entering the industry and does that differ from the advice you would give to an Apprentice joining now?

WIBA UK is proud of our work with apprentices and the same advice applies; build the skill sets patiently and recognize that good results always take time.

What hidden talents do you have?

I guess I’m pretty good with speed – from most things on two wheels to the snow board and, more lately, ski-ing. September will see me once again cycling from London to Paris for charity.

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Wittmann Battenfeld
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