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Haitian seeks to 'stay standard'

By: Nina Ying Sun

May 16, 2014

SHANGHAI — Two words summarize Haitian International Holdings Ltd.’s core strategy for the next few years — stay standard.

“[It is] not to go into the trap of so-called ‘engineering’ — being more sophisticated, more system-integration, which leads the machinery industry to a very narrow field,” said Executive Director and Chief Strategy Officer Helmar Franz. “It is existing and it makes sense for some applications, but it’s not representing 70-80 percent of the market.”

The vast majority of the market needs standard machines, he said, tasking himself with what he calls the “demystifying” of plastics parts development.

“We are looking more into providing the customer with what they really need, not what engineering can do,” he reiterated. “The possibilities of engineering are very high. A lot of things are nice, but not really needed.

“To stay standard, to get to numbers, this is a big challenge, I think, for a company to achieve success.”

At the recent Chinaplas show, Haitian unveiled a high- performance version of the Mars series in the range of 170-480 tons of clamping force, for applications such as multi-cavity, thin-wall packaging. It also launched a high-performance version of its two-platen Jupiter series with clamping force from 1,000-1,600 tons. The JU II/h series expands the mold area space by up to 20 percent to accommodate larger tools, and it has a modified clamping unit for heavier molds.

“These are still standard machines,” Franz emphasized.

The benefits of being standard are multifold, including cost advantage and faster delivery time. For smaller presses up to 260 tons, Haitian delivers them within four weeks, he said. “In a highly competitive, fast-moving market, customers invest in machines when they really need it,” he added.

For larger machines, such as a standard 2,000-ton press, the delivery time can be three to four months.

The servo-hydraulic Mars series is Haitian’s best seller. “We’ve sold more than 100,000 [Mars presses] in the past six to seven years.” The two-platen Jupiter series released its second generation machines in the beginning of last year and saw sales jump 40 percent in the full year, and more than 60 percent in the second half.

Going hand-in-hand with the “stay standard” strategy, Haitian also is redefining its end markets.

When asked about its largest end markets, Franz uttered two word: “Mass parts.”

Injection molders usually serve different sectors, he explained, “An auto part maker can’t just make auto parts.” As market changes, customers shift their focuses accordingly. “Auto is strong now. But if it goes down, customers might want to shift gears, change molds, and make something different. “

So, instead of categorizing machines based on end markets, Haitian defines machines by the size, shape, complexity and material of their processed parts, he added.

“Customers like this concept,” he told Plastics News in a one-on-one interview at Chinaplas.

Haitian’s Zhafir unit also unveiled a new electric machine at Chinaplas with an integrated hydraulic unit. The Zere series, with clamping force of 40-230 tons, enables processors to easily switch from hydraulic machines to electric and to continue to use their existing molds with improved precision.

Haitian also updated the progress on the two factories it’s building in Ningbo. The 120,000-square-meter Chunxiao facility will be operational this month. It’s mainly for producing all-electric machines with annual capacity of up to 10,000 machines. The Tong Tu Lu II facility, 150,000 square meters in size, will focus on large, two-platen machines. The first phase of the construction has completed and the plant will be fully operational in 2015.