CHICAGO — Nissei Plastic Industrial Co. Ltd. has opened a new, 11,000-square-foot factory to make large-tonnage injection molding machines at its headquarters city of Nagano, Japan, Nissei President Tsukasa Yoda said at NPE 1997 in Chicago.
Construction was completed June 4 on the $6 million factory, Yoda said. The first machine manufactured at the plant, a press with 1,430 tons of clamping force, was scheduled to be shipped this month.
The plant will assemble machines with clamping forces of 400-1,430 tons.
``We're very busy. We need more space for assembly,'' Yoda said at a press conference at Nissei's booth June 18 during the show.
Nissei, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, sold its 70,000th injection press March 25. Yoda said he expects Nissei to sell more than 3,600 injection molding machines in 1997, about 400 presses more than last year.
He said Nissei sells about 800 machines a year in North America, through Nissei America Inc. of Anaheim, Calif.
Yoda said 1996 was slow until late in the year.
``From October on, it was very, very busy,'' he said.
Yoda said Nissei holds a special ceremony for employees in Nagano when the company passes each 10,000-machine mark.
At NPE, held June 16-20, the largest Nissei press was a 720-ton representative from its FV9110 series. The line boasts a newly designed injection mechanism and larger injection stroke to screw diameter ratio and screw length to diameter ratio.
The plasticizing capacity has been improved by about 20 percent, and accuracy and injection response are improved, the company said.
Although a Nissei news release called the big-machine factory ``part of a comprehensive re-evaluation of [Nissei's] large injection molding production facilities,'' Yoda, speaking at the press conference, said Nissei does not plan a huge presence in very large machines.
Nissei has made large machines before, including an experimental 4,000-ton press, Yoda said. But the market for machines over 1,000 tons is not that big, and Nissei's main market will continue to be small and midsize machines, he said.
Expanded big-press manufacturing helps Nissei serve existing customers better, according to Yoda.
``Some customers want to have all machines of the same brand. In those cases we have to supply,'' Yoda said, speaking through an interpreter.
Turning to the issue of electric machines, Nissei showed two of its new Elject presses in Chicago, with clamping forces of 44 tons and 198 tons. Servo motors run injection, metering, mold opening and closing, and ejection. Nissei makes Elject presses up to 398 tons.
Yoda said Nissei has sold just one Elject to a U.S. customer. Most of them go to Japan. Yoda thinks electrics will remain a niche market, and not find broad appeal.
``Nissei will make an effort to sell electric machines, but only to a limited field,'' Yoda said.
He said Nissei will make electrics in larger sizes, but plans are not final yet.
Nissei showed 14 injection molding machines at NPE. Some highlights:
Its high-speed FC series machine for molding thin-wall products and food containers. Two FC machines were shown, of 198 tons and 397 tons. The machines feature Nissei's Triplemelt injection unit.
Also in thin-wall molding, a 154-ton UH1500-140 injection molding machine that boasts an injection speed of 1,500 millimeters per second, according to the company.
A 110-ton, vertical-clamp insert molding machine with a rotary table. The clamping mechanism has three tie bars instead of the conventional four, so the turning platen's diameter is larger and the platen can accommodate molds with different fitting sizes. Rotating speed also is increased by 20 percent, the company said.
A DC120-9A press for molding two materials. Nissei said the machine uses two pistons, instead of the traditional single piston, so clamping force is transmitted to the center of both mold faces, to provide the ideal mold clamping for the injection pressure.
An injection press molding digital versatile discs from polycarbonate. The DVDs measure 0.6mm thick and 120mm in diameter.