CHICAGO (Aug. 21, 5:30 p.m. EDT) — Taizhou Huangyan Mega Machinery Mold Co. Ltd. is negotiating to set up joint ventures in Canada and Bulgaria to assemble PET bottle blow molding machines.
“We will send parts from China and assemble the machines locally for those markets,” sales manager Simon Cai said. “It is more about quality assurance than cost-saving.”
Early this year, Huangyan, China-based Mega started to use California firm West Zone International Pro Inc. for distribution in the United States. Meantime, it signed a partner agreement with an agent in Canada that is interested in establishing a joint venture.
“We are discussing the details,” Cai said.
Mega plans a new plant covering 6 acres in Huangyan that will start production at the beginning of next year. The company's smaller, existing facility will be used for the firm's injection and blow mold-making business.
The 300-person firm exports 95 percent of its products to more than 40 countries, mostly to the Middle East.
“We have developed our fourth generation of stretch blow molding machines and would like to go beyond the low-end market and enter North America and Europe.”
Cai understands it may take a long time and much investment to open new markets, but “it must be helpful to bring the machine here, let customers see, feel and try, and compare with competing products.”
Mega's machines process polypropylene for medical products and PET for drink bottles as well as heat-resistant bottles.
“We are shipping a machine for heat-resistant bottles to Japan soon,” he said.
The reason Mega is not selling much in China is, “Chinese processors tend to prefer more labor-intensive operations than automatic machines that we produce,” Cai said.
“We realize how far we are lagging behind giant Western companies, but we still see space for us in the market,” he added. For instance, the company makes a machine for 5-gallon bottles. “Big companies in the States rarely make them.”
Mega also makes a preform machine with as many as 96 cavities.
The company reported 2005 sales of 50 million yuan ($6.25 million) and said business has been growing 15 percent annually in recent years.