Milacron Inc. has announced its China manufacturing strategy, a plan to build injection molding machines through a joint venture with a major automotive plastics molder, Jiangnan Mould & Plastic Technology Co. Ltd. in Jiangyin, China.
The plant will employ 50 in the start-up phase. It will build medium- and high-tonnage machines for Jiangnan and other molding operations in China, said officials of Cincinnati-based Milacron.
``We'll be assembling by the end of the year,'' said Jay Woerner, Milacron's vice president of global manufacturing and sourcing. Milacron will own 70 percent of the company, called Milacron Plastics Machinery (Jiangyin) Co. Ltd. He said the other 30 percent is held by Jiangnan Mould & Plastic Technology's parent, Jiangyin Mould Plastics Group Co. Ltd.
Milacron announced the Chinese manufacturing joint venture April 28. Woerner was interviewed the day before in Columbus.
Milacron has three offices in China, and it has imported machines into that country for about two decades, mainly to multinational customers familiar with Milacron brands. But manufacturing there will help raise the Milacron profile, said Ronald Brown, chairman, president and chief executive officer. Brown called Chinese manufacturing ``essential to providing our customers who have established production in this strategic market with Milacron technology at more competitive cost.''
Having a local manufacturing presence also will improve support for parts and service in China, officials said.
``These injection presses will be engineered, branded, sold and supported in the aftermarket by Milacron,'' Woerner said. Some components will be sourced in China.
The joint venture is leasing a 50,000-square-foot building from Jiangyin Mould Plastics Group.
Woerner said the company molds automotive components - and holds a 40 percent market share of automotive bumpers in China. Jiangyin sought a machinery partner that could reduce the costs of their processing equipment as it expands, he said.
``So we will start off with an immediate market for our injection molding machines,'' Woerner said. Milacron also will sell to other processors in China.
Milacron manufactures in the United States, Europe and through a joint venture in India. Woerner said there are no immediate plans to sell Chinese-made presses to the United States or Europe, or to ship components or subassemblies from China to other Milacron assembly plants.
``Our first priority is to build machines for the China market,'' he said.
He said Milacron will look at the export issue in the future.
Jiangyin Mould Plastics Group used to make presses and do molding, but Woerner said the firm no longer makes equipment.
The deal is subject to review by Chinese regulatory authorities.