For over 50 years, BMB S.p.a, based in Brescia, Italy, has been an industry-leading injection moulding machinery manufacturer, specialising in fast-cycling machinery for thin-walled products. Also serving the automotive, medical and houseware sectors, BMB’s UK sales team is headed by UK Area Sales Manager, Michael Craig. He is the next PlastikCity Partner to face the HotSeat…
What trends do you think will shape the future of UK plastics? How will BMB respond?
It has been highlighted more than ever that our customers are changing their purchasing strategies. In our experience, clients are looking for a machine to be compatible for many years, on all projects.
BMB is renowned for its ability to offer turnkey solutions and fully customised machines to perfectly match our customers’ requirements.
In my opinion, the trends going forward will be smart factory operations to fully capitalise on industry 4.0. At BMB, we have been developing our machine communication and remote support since the early 2000s. Via our CNC controller, we can incorporate the customer’s requirements, for example, robotics, downstream systems, hot runner controllers and mould feedback sensors.
Digitisation is already integrated within our CNC controller, enabling for more efficient cycle times, along with standardising programming for optimal performance and energy saving.
An increasing trend which we are seeing is the replacement of energy-hungry hydraulic machines with more environmentally friendly solutions. This trend was recognized early on by BMB, and our response has been to develop a range of Full Electric and true Hybrid machines. In this series, we range from 100T to 2800T clamp force.
Indeed, at this present time, 90% of sales are Hybrid and Full Electric machines.
The Hybrid design is almost completely fully electric, and consequently, it offers energy savings almost in line with our fully electric series for low consumption. The patented clamping system is operated by two direct, liquid-cooled motors, where the transfer of motion occurs through satellite recirculating roller screws, operating in sealed oil bath reservoir, that combines speed and precision.
Our Full Electric ranges cover machines from 100T to 1600T clamping force. Precision and performance are inherited features of these machines, key factors, especially by those who produce medical components.
How has BMB developed during your tenure?
BMB is a family-owned business and was established in 1967. From the outset, its goal was to make the most reliable machines available in the marketplace. To this day, the spares and service aspect of the business has never been considered as profit generation.
What do you credit as the key to your success?
I have to say I was incredibly lucky at the start of my career to have a great mentor in the processing department. This filled me with enthusiasm for the job and fuelled my willingness to go that extra mile. I personally found that opened doors for other opportunities within the business.
My first year on the job, I was locating spare parts, operating the SAP system and helping the engineers on in-house jobs. Even though it was not my job, when orders were quiet, I would clean and mop the demo room for customer visits or trials etc.
I can always remember one of the managers coming into the demo room and helping me mop the floor and he said: “You’re never above anyone, and you should always treat people with respect, regardless of your position.”
This philosophy has been engraved in my memory ever since.
What has been the greatest challenge in your career?
During my earlier days as an apprentice engineer, again I was extremely fortunate to have a company who believed and supported in me to move to the next step of my career.
Being the first-ever apprentice within the business and working with some old school engineers was challenging, it took some time to incorporate their way of working. I think getting thrown in the deep end, you either sink or swim.
I always put myself forward for the big or difficult jobs and over time you earn the respects of your colleagues.
After 9 years working on the tools, I moved on to sales position where I found my true vocation, capitalising on my technical background.
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?
I am extremely fortunate that I am doing the job that I really love.
As an apprentice, I was taught that you must be willing to go that extra mile for your company, with the early mornings and late finishes, work as hard as you can, and along the way you learn and develop your skills for further growth within the business.
I asked myself every day, “If I was the boss, what would I want doing next?”
Take the initiative to do these tasks yourself, showing a positive attitude to the management.
What hidden talents do you have?
I like my road cycling and enjoy mountain biking as well. (The key to the enjoyment is not falling off!)
Living in Shropshire there many great locations to ride.