Graham Engineering Corp. has ended its joint venture to make shuttle-type extrusion blow molding machines in China, and granted a license to its partner, Rim Polymers Industries Pte. Ltd.
``Now Rim has taken over the operation,'' said Dave Yenor, Graham Engineering's vice president of global business development.
Graham and Singapore-based Rim Polymers had created a joint venture in 2004, called GMG Shenyang, to build shuttle machines in Rim Polymers' factory in Shenyang, China.
Rim Polymers continues to operate on its own, building shuttle machines for the Asian market, Yenor said in an interview April 24 at Graham Engineering headquarters in York.
Yenor said Graham Engineering is focusing on blow molding machines that require a higher level of technology and automation. One example is a five-head industrial shot pot machine, which Graham introduced last year at NPE. The press gives 2½ times the production out of the same floor space and labor that would be used with a conventional two-head machine. Graham also builds high-speed wheel machines.
Last year, Graham Engineering closed its Hesta shuttle machine plant in Stuttgart, Germany, Yenor said. Graham had purchased Hesta Blow Molding Machinery Co. in 1999.
Graham Engineering continues to make accumulator-head machines for industrial blow molding, but its equipment mix is now more weighted to packaging. ``The industrial market is declining as a percentage of the overall machinery market,'' Yenor said.
Graham began making blow molders in 2000 at its larger factory in York, with 160,000 square feet of space.