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China's Haitian opens Cleveland-area tech center

By: Steve Toloken

April 5, 2012

ORLANDO, FLA. (April 5, 6:30 p.m. ET) — Absolute Haitian Corp. (Booth 1573), the U.S. affiliate of Chinese injection molding machine maker Ningbo Haitian Machinery Co. Ltd., is opening a technical center in Parma, Ohio, to handle increased business and build stronger links with auto parts manufacturing companies in the region.

The 20,000 square foot facility will house aftermarket support functions, including customer training, field service and aftermarket parts, along with a warehouse for machine demonstration and mold trials, Worcester, Mass.-based Absolute Haitian said in a news conference at NPE2012.

The Ohio facility, located four miles from the Cleveland airport, will complement an existing technical center the company has in Chicago but will have more of a focus on aftermarket support.

“We are currently implementing many upgrades to the facility, such as hardwood floors, remodeling of the warehouse and office space, and outdoor park-like area for the company and customer gatherings,” said Absolute Haitian President Glenn Frohring.

At NPE, Ningbo, China-based Haitian showed several machines, including one of its new Mercury series manufactured at its factory in Ebermannsdorf, Germany, molding medical pipettes in a 64-cavity mold.

It also showed a 150-metric ton model in its all-electric Venus series targeted at the packaging industry, making a 16-cavity cap mold, with a cycle time of under five seconds. Haitian also presented one of its Mars series molding snack trays, using a multi-axis robot.

Absolute Haitian officials said the company sells up to 200 injection molding machines a year in the United States.

Absolute Haitian has grown Haitian’s U.S. market share about one percentage point a year, from zero when it opened in 2006 to about 6 percent now, and anticipates continuing on the same trend, said Mike Ortolano, chief engineer with Absolute Haitian.

Haitian said its North American sales roughly doubled last year, reaching $19.9 million in 2011, compared with $10.3 million in 2010.

North America remains a small market globally for the firm, accounting for about 6.3 percent of export sales last year. Including its mainstay domestic China market, Haitian had 2011 sales of about $1.11 billion.