Engel expands Korea factory, eyeing markets dominated by Japanese

By Steve Toloken
Staff Reporter / Asia Bureau Chief

Published: March 12, 2013 1:00 pm ET
Updated: March 12, 2013 1:02 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Electronics, Injection Molding, Machinery
Companies & Associations Engel Holding GmbH

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA — Austrian press maker Engel Holding GmbH is doubling capacity at its South Korean factory.

The company hopes to expand its market share in Asia in part by capturing some of the precision electronics component manufacturing business currently dominated by the Japanese.

In a March 12 interview at the KoPlas 2013 show in Seoul, the company's top Korean executive said the 8 million euro ($10.4 million) expansion of its Pyeongtaek city factory would give it the capacity to manufacture 1,200 machines a year there.

It should take the company three to five years to reach that level, up from the 650 machines it makes annually now in Pyeongtaek, said Robert Bodingbauer, president of Engel Machinery Korea Ltd.

Engel, based in Schwertberg, Austria, started making all-electric presses in Korea three years ago, and is targeting high-precision markets like electrical connectors, lenses and LED lighting for its growth, he said.

Those markets have historically been dominated by Japanese molding machinery suppliers, but the Austrian firm plans a major push, Bodingbauer said.

"A few years ago the Europeans had problems to match the technology of the Japanese," he said. "Now we have it.

"We have developed now at Engel and Engel Korea [various] electric machines, and we hope we can penetrate companies that are now using this technology, which is Japanese," he said. "We needed additional capacity to react fast."

The expansion in Korea also reflects the growing importance of Korean multinationals in Engel's customer base.

Korean conglomerate Samsung and Korean auto components maker Mobis, for example, have been among the Austrian company's largest customers worldwide in recent years, and Engel regularly sells its molding machines into the supply chain of Korean car and electronics factories in Europe, South America, North America and Asia, Bodingbauer said.

"This is what we didn't plan [when it opened the Korean factory a decade ago]," he said. "This is a very nice side effect, not only for the Korean factory but for Engel globally."

Engel claims to have 52 percent of the market share of European injection press makers in Asia, including India, but it would be hard to grow beyond that percentage, so it is targeting new markets like the precision connector molding industry, he said.

The company has been able to grow in Asia because the Korean factory, and another in Shanghai, which it also expanded last year, give it the ability to ship machines quickly and deal with customers in local languages, Bodingbauer said.

Last year, Engel said its sales in Asia reached 100 million euros ($130 million), out of roughly 900 million euros ($1.17 billion) worldwide.

It invested 12 million euros ($15.6 million) in expanding its capacity in Shanghai, where it makes presses of 400 metric tons and larger. In Korea, it focuses on machines under 400 metric tons of clamping force.

The company is beefing up its presence throughout Asia, he said.

"We are getting more sales people in China. We have our own subsidiary in Thailand. We have been investing in Indonesia," he said. "India is also growing because Korea has a free trade agreement with India and Europe does not."

The KoPlas trade fair, which is Korea's national plastics show, takes place from March 12-16.


Comments

Engel expands Korea factory, eyeing markets dominated by Japanese

By Steve Toloken
Staff Reporter / Asia Bureau Chief

Published: March 12, 2013 1:00 pm ET
Updated: March 12, 2013 1:02 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Jarden hiring for new plastics plant

December 19, 2014 1:45 pm ET

Consumer products conglomerate Jarden Corp. is hiring plastics technicians for a new operation in Erlanger, Ky.    More

Image

The return of HPM's big presses

December 19, 2014 11:47 am ET

HPM is back in big injection molding machines.    More

Image

Sabic: Rapid demand growth led to Ultem shortage

December 18, 2014 12:06 pm ET

Sabic Innovative Plastics has been increasing production capacity for its Ultem polyetherimide but it still got caught short by increasing demand for ...    More

Image

Auto, medical, packaging all lead to solid sales for compounding extruders

December 18, 2014 6:00 am ET

Compounding extruder sales tend to be cyclical, but machinery makers report another solid year — thanks to automotive, medical, food packaging...    More

Image

Indian auto parts maker set to buy assets in Germany, Mexico

December 18, 2014 10:35 am ET

Indian auto parts maker Samvardhana Motherson Gropup is buying the assets of insolvent German plastics car parts producer Scherer & Trier (S&T).    More

Market Reports

Flexible Packaging Trends in North America

Our latest RESEARCH report examines trends in FLEXIBLE PACKAGING impacting the North American market including a review of economic conditions, key drivers of growth, materials pricing, M&A activity, sustainability challenges and the outlook for 2015.

Learn more

Plastics in Brazil - State of the Industry Report

This in-depth report examines the Brazilian plastics industry from a historical and geographical context. Our analysts provide insight on economic trends and forecasts, growing manufacturing sectors that utilize plastics, private investment opportunities, market environment challenges, and innovations in R&D.

Data tables and charts on producer prices, trade, plastics production and end market indicators is also included.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events