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

Sumitomo Bakelite buying injection molder Vaupell Holdings

April 24, 2014 7:37 pm ET

Private equity firm H.I.G. Capital LLC of Miami has entered into a definitive agreement to sell plastics processor Vaupell Holdings Inc. to Sumitomo...    More

Injection molder Precision Plastics adding space, presses in Indiana

April 24, 2014 2:54 pm ET

Custom injection molder Precision Plastics Inc. is expanding its Columbia City, Ind., operation.    More

Image

CPM Extrusion, ECON launch new line of underwater pelletizers

April 23, 2014 11:25 am ET

CPM Extrusion Group and ECON GmbH unveiled their brand new EUPC line of underwater pelletizers today at ChinaPlas held in Shanghai, China.    More

Image

How CEO Santi is changing ITW

April 23, 2014 2:48 pm ET

Scott Santi is showing he can do more than just cut costs at Illinois Tool Works Inc.    More

Image

TSM growing into a second generation of leadership

April 23, 2014 12:50 pm ET

This is a time of great growth for the Dundalk, Ireland-based TSM Control Systems, a company that has created a name for itself since 1977 by building...    More

Market Reports

Market Data Book - Rankings & Lists

A one-stop download of Plastic News' exclusive annual lists and processor rankings containing essential data including sales, employees, end markets, materials and more.
EXCLUSIVE EXCEL FEATURE: full mailing address details for available plant locations.

Learn more

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report provides analysis and discussions of economic and political conditions, market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies. In addition, there are reviews of 25 leading thermoformers in the packaging segment, assessing their growth initiatives and performance metrics over 10 years.

Learn more

Mold Making and Tooling Review and Outlook 2014 North America

This report provides in-depth analysis of the mold and toolmaking market for North America, including discussions of trends, opportunities, threats, the latest developments in production and labor and equipment trends impacting moldmakers.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

May 6, 2014 - May 8, 2014Plastics in Medical Devices 2014

May 12, 2014 - May 12, 2014Plastics News Brazil Pharma Summit

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

February 3, 2015 - February 7, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events