logo

Woojin Plaimm setting up offices in Japan and Mexico

By: Steve Toloken

April 5, 2012

ORLANDO, FLA. (April 5, 5:50 p.m. ET) — South Korean injection press maker Woojin Plaimm Co. Ltd. (Booth 1521) wants to significantly expand its international sales, setting up direct sales offices in Japan and Mexico this year and expanding its North American service staff.

The Incheon-based firm, which makes 1,500 injection molding machines annually and claims to be Korea’s largest press maker, made a similar push in the last two years in Asia, setting up direct sales offices in India, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia.

“The Korean market is very small,” said Steve Gwon, director of the company’s Brea, Calif., sales office. “Our concentration is to globalize.”

This is the first time the company has exhibited at NPE, and Gwon said Woojin is looking to add technical support staff in Illinois and Georgia later this year so it can expand sales outside of its base on the West Coast of the United States.

“In the U.S. we are just selling machines in the West Coast,” he said. “We would like to expand to the East Coast and the Midwest.”

The company sells about 25-30 presses a year in the United States, with business of about $4 million, but wants to more than double that in the next two years, he said.

Globally, the company has sales injection molding machinery sales of about $147 million, with its Incheon factory accounting for about $130 million and the rest from a small factory in Ningbo, China.

Its worldwide sales have grown from $30 million 10 years ago to five times that now, Gwon said, in part because it started manufacturing presses larger than 1,000 tons clamping force in 2008.

About half of the company’s sales are outside Korea. It opened its new Japanese sales office in late March, and it plans to open its Monterrey, Mexico sales office this summer.

“We have many customers in Monterrey and Tijuana,” Gwon said.

At NPE2012, Woojin was exhibiting two high-speed all-electric presses of 165 and 220 tons clamping force, along with two different versions of energy-saving motors for hydraulic presses, and several other presses.

It was also showing its injection machines with heaters wrapped in what it said was the world’s first nano-porous insulation material to prevent energy loss.

The equipment was developed by Korean company Aerogel Application Group in Deajeon City, two years ago, and last year was installed on thousands of injection molding machines at factories making components for Samsung’s mobile phones and televisions, said Aerogel Chief Executive Officer Brian Kim. He spoke in an interview at the Woojin booth.

The equipment both cuts energy loss and reduces the temperate around injection molding machines, making the environment more comfortable for employees, Kim said.

As of April 1, Woojin changed its name from Woojin Selex to Woojin Plaimm.

It plans to expand in three or four years and move to a much larger facility in central South Korea. It’s running out of space at its current 540,000 square foot factory in Incheon, near Seoul, Gwon said.