CHICAGO (July 10, 11:15 a.m. EDT) — Chinese extruder maker Nanjing Giant Machinery Co. Ltd. is more than doubling its manufacturing space as it plans a major push into the North American compounding and sheet extrusion equipment markets.
The company, which was started in 2001 by former managers at extruder maker Nanjing Keya Industries and Indonesian investors, has grown quickly and is adding a 54,000-square-foot factory at its headquarters campus in Nanjing.
The firm makes about 200 extruders a year and thinks that its own improving technology and changing perceptions of Chinese equipment makes it the right time to push into North America, said Yun Pan, vice general manager of the company.
Nanjing has sold a handful of machines to North American companies and hired North Carolina firm Southeast Machinery as a sales and service agent for its machines in the United States, she said.
The company also struck a marketing and technology sharing agreement with Italian extruder maker Pomini SpA last year, Pan said at NPE 2006, held June 19-23 in Chicago.
While there is still skepticism about a “made in China'' label on big ticket capital equipment purchases, Pan said there's increasing openness to at least considering it.
“Five years ago, not so many customers believed Chinese products could be good,'' she said. “Now, American customers are beginning to accept Chinese products.''
The company makes single- and twin-screw extrusion machines for compounding, sheet and pipe applications, melt pumps and other equipment. It started with a focus on Southeast Asia, but in the last two years has started exporting to Europe and taking steps in North America.
About 60 percent of its $8 million in sales are exported outside China, Pan said.
The company employs about 150 in Nanjing, and the new factory space, which will give it about 65,000 square feet, will allow the company to boost employment to about 200, Pan said.
The company maintains a research and development staff of about 20 engineers, she said.
The firm is owned by its Chinese management and two Indonesian investors, Tawi Rahardjo and Stephen Angsoho, who both have investments in Indonesian plastics companies, including Pt. Prima Makmur Rotokemindo and Pt. Asaba Prima Makmur, she said.
Its U.S. sales agent, Southeast Machinery, opened a parts and service warehouse in Gastonia, N.C., and is looking to beef up its sales force.
Southeast is owned by partners Jim Morriston and Darrell Ward, longtime plastics equipment salesmen. Morriston said the two men traveled throughout China meeting with equipment firms to search out a partner before reaching the agreement with Nanjing.