Lucky enough to secure a U.S. visa at the last minute, the 100 or so Chinese companies exhibiting at NPE still had to overcome logistical challenges at their first NPE show. But Zhejiang Sound Machinery Manufacture Co. Ltd. (Booth N7420) managed to display an energy-saving injection press and make clear polystyrene plates at the booth, drawing visitors wandering around the Chinese Pavilions.
The machine will be shipped to a customer in Mexico after the show.
Sound, the oldest Chinese exhibitor at this NPE, is also one of the last few state-owned injection press makers in China.
Although it considers itself much smaller than giants like Haitian, it said the North American market is not mission impossible.
The company sold more than a dozen 1,000-tonne (9800KN) injection presses last year.
Japanese housewares maker Iris Ohyama purchased 42 of the machines and installed them in its plants in Japan; Dalian, China; and Dallas.
``We see the potential in the U.S. market,'' said export manager Zhang Zhiming.
The company has had a sales agent in Miami for two years, which sold quite a few machines to South American countries like Bolivia and Brazil.
``We are looking for an agent who can actually sell our machines in the States.'' Zhang said Chinese products are often stifled by lack of sales channels.
The 600-employee company from Hangzhou, China, has 2,000 units in production and posted 2005 sales of $30 million. About one third is from exports.
Sound started to export only five years ago, but its machines have been sold to more than 30 countries, in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.
``We have the most complete series of plastic injection machine in China,'' Zhang said. The firm supplies presses with clamping force from 900-4,000 tons, including electric-hydraulic hybrids and dual color models.
Zhang said the best strategy is to combine the company's strengths and the market's real needs.
Sound introduced its hybrid machine at K 2004 but hasn't sold any yet.
``We intend to sell that model outside of China, but it turned out, although our price was substantially lower than Western makers, it was still considered too expensive as a Chinese press.''
He added: ``We are focusing on our well-performing end markets: auto, home appliance and construction.''
Sound sold a 3,300-tonne press last year to a customer based in the United Arab Emirates that makes pipe elbows for construction projects.
``One shot weight is 60 kilograms [133 pounds],'' Zhang said. ``The press can make elbows up to 630 millimeters [24.8 inches] in diameter, which are the largest in the world.''
2006 is showing a promising market for the company, as demand surpasses supply. ``We've received so many orders that we are trying hard just to finish them.''
The firm also will be exhibiting at K 2007.