Germany's Battenfeld GmbH and a Hong Kong plastics equipment maker, Chen Hsong Machinery Co. Ltd., have formed a Chinese joint venture to manufacture extrusion lines to make pipe, profiles and film. The company, Battenfeld Chen Extrusion Systems Ltd., will be based in Shunde, China.
China has become the third-largest export market for German plastics machines, behind the United States and France, according to VDMA, the German trade association for factory equipment.
Battenfeld, based in Meinerzhagen, Germany, an-nounced the joint venture March 21.
The first pipe and monolayer blown film lines should be manufactured in China this year.
The initial investment is $5 million. Battenfeld will hold 51 percent of the shares. Chen Hsong Holdings will hold 34 percent.
The rest will be held by the third partner, Guangdong Sunny Group, which is based in Shunde.
German interest in building machines in the Far East and Southeast Asia, instead of exporting German-made ma-chines there, was apparent at the K'95 show in Dusseldorf, Germany, last year.
German machinery executives said moving some production to the region is a way to avoid Germany's high labor costs and to target machines specifically for Asian markets.
China's domestic machinery sector is relatively small. According to China's Bureau of the Oversea Custom Statistics, China imported 1,129 extruders and exported 218 extruders from January through August 1995.
A major Asian maker of plastics machinery, Chen Hsong already has created joint ventures with Chinese and Euro-pean partners, said Helmut Eschwey, member of the managing board of the company that owns Battenfeld, SMS AG.
According to Eschwey the Guangdong region of China has become a center of plastics machinery and processing.
Battenfeld's U.S-based blown film unit, Battenfeld Gloucester Engineering Co. Inc., expects the venture to boost its business.
The deal ``will augment [the company's] broad line of U.S.-produced blown film extrusion machinery with products manufactured in the People's Republic of China and provide even broader support to its valued customers in the growing Asian marketplace,'' said Harold Wrede, president of the company, based in Gloucester, Mass.