Hong Kong company Topfine Machinery (China) Co. Ltd. has started producing what technical director Richard Sayer jokingly calls ``China's Krauss-Maffei.''
The two-platen machine shown at K 2004 has a clamp end similar to the German company's C range of small machines (now superseded by the CX). Sayer said the machine is not a copy, however.
``It's pointless competing on price with mainland Chinese toggle machines,'' Sayer said at the K show, held Oct. 20-27 in Dusseldorf. ``We decided to keep the level of technology high. The speed of this machine compares with anything in Europe, but the price is around half. Most major components come from Europe; even the hoses are from Italy.''
Topfine recently moved into a facility dedicated to making machines for the European market. The plant can make 500 110-ton machines a year. The company has a total capacity of 1,000 units.
Until now, Topfine has concentrated its European sales efforts in Scandinavia, Spain and the United Kingdom. Since it began selling in the region in 1989, it has sold more than 400 machines.
Sayer has a history of developing budget injection molding machines. In the early 1980s, he was engineering director at Chen Hsong Group in Hong Kong. He subsequently co-founded Ultra-Tech, which made tie-barless machines in Poland. The design later was taken over by MIR SpA of Brescia, Italy, but since has been dropped.