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To meet higher demand for locally made machines, KraussMaffei Group has started to make injection molding machines in its Haiyan, China, factory. The plant is being expanded to double its production space and add capabilities.
Hans Ulrich Golz, new president of the injection molding segment, said the company plans to increase injection molding activities throughout the group, while maintaining the independent market presence of the Netstal and KraussMaffei brands with clearly defined product portfolios and separate sales teams.
Construction on the Haiyan expansion is expected to be complete by the beginning of next year, said Harald Schweizer, head of the China subsidiary. Production space will be increased to about 322,000 square feet.
KraussMaffei has been making extrusion lines at Haiyan for seven years. All downstream units, such as vacuum tanks and spray baths, also are produced locally.
The Haiyan site will be making the MX850 model — which the company calls a benchmark for the automotive industry — in sizes from 850-4,000 metric tons of clamping force for the Chinese and Asian market. The series is designed for hard, continuous operation and combines short machine times with quick cycles and high molding output.
The China market has changed a lot in the past decade, said sales Vice President Frank Peters.
“China needs high-performance, large machines,” he said, noting four current market trends in China: infrastructure expansion; and greater demand for food packaging, energy-efficient and automated production, and lightweight automobiles.
With an increasing orientation toward domestic growth, KraussMaffei China has been strengthening its market position.
In the Netstal business, the company said it has seen a “remarkable increase” in market shares in PET preform and sealing caps; it plans to build a PET lab and training center in Haiyan to support the growth.
At Chinaplas 2012, held April 18-21 in Shanghai, the company touted its patent-pending preblow process, which can be used to achieve extra-thin bottle bases. The technology, called LightBase, can lead to substantial material and energy savings as well as faster cycle time.
On the Berstorff side, extrusion technology Vice President Jens Liebhold said local production enables quick delivery, competitive prices and models designed for China. Global players are investing in modern extrusion technology to manufacture premium products in China, he said.
The company reported high demand for polyolefin pipe and polybutylene pipe extruders.
The KraussMaffei China operation consists of offices in Shanghai and Shenzhen as well as the Haiyan factory, with a total of more than 300 employees.