German reinforced-plastics machinery supplier J. Dieffenbacher GmbH & Co. has bought proprietary technology and an engineering team from financially troubled, former East German injection press builder Sachsische Kunststofftechnik GmbH.
Dieffenbacher of Eppingen, Germany, acquired the melt compression molding machinery section of SKT of Freital, near Dresden, for an undisclosed sum. The MCM unit is in Vienna, Austria.
Dieffenbacher believes the MCM process, a form of low-pressure all-in-one molding for fabric and polypropylene used in car interior production, is a rapidly growing new business.
Meanwhile, SKT, formerly a state-run plant under communism that produced Kuasy injection machines, has taken the first steps to declaring bankruptcy.
In March, hopes that the machinery maker would be acquired by another German supplier, Arburg of Lossburg, were finally dashed when Arburg abruptly broke off advanced negotiations. It blamed ``unforeseen serious changes in the economic conditions existing at Freital.''
One area where SKT has become a market leader is in the MCM technology, according to Heinrich Ernst, sales manager of Dieffenbacher's plastics forming division. SKT invested in developing machinery based on the technology four years ago and had a design office and six-member engineering team based in Vienna.
One 400-ton MCM machine already is being used to produce BMW door interiors by Magna International Inc.'s Magna Eybl molding plant in Ebergassing, Austria, according to Ernst.
He said Dieffenbacher has an order for one 800-ton machine to be delivered this year from Magna Eybl. He expects confirmation for an order for a second 800-ton machine, he said.
Molding machine sales for Dieffenbacher are about 20 percent of total sales of 205 million deutsche marks ($114 million), Ernst said.