CHICAGO—Officials of Germany's Battenfeld GmbH are expected to announce today they are building injection molding machines in the U.S., in central Pennsylvania. It's no secret — Battenfeld's South Hall exhibit (Booths S1400, S1800) sports a big 1,100-ton HM injection press with a large sign on top: ``HM Series — Made in the USA.'' Battenfeld officials, including top executive Helmut Eschwey, have said publicly for two years that the firm was studying whether to make presses in the United States. The firm currently sells German-made presses from its U.S. unit, Battenfeld of America Inc. in West Warwick, R.I.
The Battenfeld spokesman said the 1,100-ton machine at NPE was the first one built at SMS Engineering in Bellefonte, Pa., which is part of SMS AG. SMS Engineering makes steel forming equipment for steel fabricators. Eschwey and other executives are scheduled to make the formal announcement this morning at a 9:30 a.m. news conference, said a Battenfeld spokesman.
Battenfeld already is a significant U.S. plastics machinery manufacturer: making blown film equipment at Battenfeld Gloucester Engineering Co. Inc. in Gloucester, Mass., and extruders at American Maplan Corp. in McPherson, Kan.
Eschwey, a member of the managing board of SMS Aktiengesellschaft, which owns Battenfeld, made the first public comment about U.S. press making at K'95 in Dusseldorf, Germany.