DUSSELDORF, GERMANY - The strong yen/weak dollar combination has prompted Nissei Plastic Industrial Co. Ltd. this year to begin selling injection presses to its U.S. subsidiary in yen, not dollars. Will the next move be a U.S. manufacturing operation? ``At this moment, we have no plans,'' President Tsukasa Yoda said in an Oct. 5 interview at Nissei's booth at K'95 in Dusseldorf.
Nissei also rolled out a general-purpose line of machines.
But Yoda said Nissei now uses a small amount of U.S.-sourced components, such as some barrels and screws, and that may increase in the future.
The soaring yen, which has forced up the price of Japanese-made products, has prompted two other Japanese injection press makers, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and Ube Indus-
tries Ltd., to announce major U.S. manufacturing plans. Others have stepped up the amount of U.S.-made parts added after the presses are shipped from Japan.
Nissei used to sell machines to its U.S. unit, Nissei America Inc., in dollars. Earlier this year, the Nagano, Japan-based company began selling to Nissei America in yen, pushing currency pressures onto the U.S. unit, which sells to its customers in dollars.
``Subsidiary companies must retain a certain profit, so they must raise the price,'' Yoda said.
But Yoda said the move does not mean Nissei in Japan can escape the yen/dollar issue, since it owns the subsidiaries as well.
``It's quite a risk and has affected our profitability,'' Yoda said of the yen/dollar pressures.
Still, Nissei has kept the same pricing on the new line of general-purpose machines.
Yoda said Nissei makes about 3,500 injection molding machines a year, exporting 52 percent. He said Nissei plans to sell about 600 machines in the United States in 1995.
The K show is important to Nissei, which is trying to boost sales in Europe. The company opened its first direct sales office in Europe several years ago, in Ternat, Belgium. Yoda conceded the timing was not the greatest - Europe's plastics suffered a recession from 1992-1994. But business is picking up: ``We have more inquiries andpositive business now,'' he said.
Nissei showed the following new equipment at K'95:
The FN series, in clamping forces of 88-505 tons. Nissei has improved the plasticizing and mixing and mold unclamping, and boosted tiebar spacing. The machines have Nissei's NC9000 or NC21 controllers.
Nissei has downsized its already tiny HM7 8-ton press and introduced the THM7, which is also able to do insert molding.
A Triplemelt machine improves shot accuracy by sending the melted resin through a special mixing chamber between the plasticizing screw and plunger.
Also in Germany, Nissei was molding digital video discs on a system with a 44-ton press, a takeout unit and stacker and a material dryer.
Another press showed Nissei's technology that uses adjustable pins built into the moving platen to form holes in the part. Conventional systems have cylinders embedded into the mold, not the platen, according to Nissei.