Plastics News correspondent Roger Renstrom reported these items from ASEANplas 99, held March 23-26 in Singapore.
Netstal subsidiary cranks out presses
During 1999's first 12 weeks, Netstal-Machinery Ltd.'s Singapore subsidiary sold 50 injection molding machines valued at 13 million to 14 million Swiss francs ($8.9 million to $9.7 million).
The operation sold 110 presses during 1998 and 145 in 1997, said Georg Hoefner, managing director of the Netstal Singapore Pte. Ltd. unit.
``This year will be slightly better than last year,'' Hoefner said.
Most of the early 1999 sales were Discjet units shipped to Hong Kong for replicating optical discs.
``We have a good business here for optical discs,'' including recordable compact discs, he said.
A required code in each mold to trace replication sources and combat piracy has impacted the number of Hong Kong production sites.
``Before, 83 companies in Hong Kong were producing CDs,'' Hoefner said. ``Now, it's only 50 companies.'' He estimated that 95 percent of discs produced in Hong Kong are sold in China.
Netstal's Singapore unit also supplies Taiwan, Macau and Malaysia and, in September, established a distribution relationship with Messrs. Multi-Tech Co. Ltd. for Thailand business. At ASEANplas, Netstal operated a SynErgy 800-230 press to mold polypropylene drinking cups.
Netstal employs eight in Singapore, five in Hong Kong and two in Taiwan. Equipment is manufactured in Switzerland.
In Asia, Netstal is ``looking for niche markets like thin-wall, highspeed and closure molding,'' said Felix Huthmair, Asia area sales manager based in Nafels, Switzerland.
Juken Kogyo boosts machine promotions
Juken Kogyo Co. Ltd. of Toyohashi, Japan, is increasing its marketing of tiny, high-end injection molding machines, which account for 10 percent of its annual sales of about US$50 million. Some 50 percent is molding, and 40 percent is mold making.
``We are going to be aggressive on the machine side,'' said David Wong, managing director of Juken Technology Singapore Pte. Ltd., a joint venture between Juken, and Mecplas Engineering Pte. Ltd. in Singapore. Juken Technology and Mecplas shared space at ASEANplas.
Juken's machinery unit in Toyohashi has manufactured fully automatic 10-ton presses for internal use. In recent years it began making the equipment available to other firms.
For molding precise, tight-tolerance components, Juken operates 150 of the 10-ton machines in Japan and another 200 at units or ventures in Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, South Korea and China.
``The more machines we sell, the more molds we can supply to customers,'' Wong said. Juken Kogyo, a 30-year-old firm, prices its JMW-005S machine at about 4.8 million Japanese yen ($40,800).