Milacron Inc. in April delivered its first China-built injection molding press, a Maxima machine with 1,100-tons of clamping force, to its Chinese joint venture partner.
Milacron created the Jiangyin-based joint venture last year with Jiangnan Mould & Plastic Technology Co. Ltd., a major automotive plastics molder in China. Cincinnati-based Milacron plans to begin taking orders from other customers at Chinaplas 2005, set for June 21-24 in Guangzhou.
``The Chinese-built machine is identical to models we build in North America and Germany, while featuring a significant portion of Chinese domestic content,'' said Karlheinz Bourdon, Milacron's president of global plastics machinery.
Milacron Plastics Machinery (Jiangyin) Co. Ltd. can make injection presses of 500-4,000 tons. Jiangnan Mould & Plastic has ordered several large China-made Maximas for delivery by the end of 2005.
In order to fast-track production for the automotive molder, Milacron also shipped over two large U.S.-built Maximas, which were installed at Jiangnan Mould's plant in Shanghai.
Jay Woerner, Milacron's vice president of global manufacturing and sourcing, said Milacron could export parts from China to its other assembly plants to reduce costs. But he said the joint venture does not have immediate plans to export finished machines.
``There may be some future opportunities to export around the Pacific Rim, but at this point in time we are not planning to export production from China,'' he said.
Milacron already is sourcing some steel products from China - as well as Brazil, India and Russia - to offset material price increases, said Ronald Brown, Milacron's chairman, president and chief executive officer, during the company's first-quarter conference call May 5.