Staff reporter Nina Ying Sun and correspondent Michael Lauzon gathered these news items at Plast-Ex 2007, held May 1-3 in Toronto.
Haitian sales grow faster than expected
China's injection press giant Ningbo Haitian Machinery Co. Ltd. is beefing up its sales in North America with its newly established sales arm, Absolute Haitian Corp. of Worcester, Mass.
Absolute Haitian anticipates achieving 200 percent of its original sales target in the first 12 months since its launch before NPE last June, said Glenn Frohring, vice president of sales and marketing.
``This is encouraging, in light of the current market conditions,'' he said. ``We are pleased with our progress.''
Frohring said sales are likely to reach 150-200 machines in three years, adding that local service reassures customers in the United States and Canada.
Automotive and medical parts are Haitian's major end markets in North America. The best-selling regional markets are the Midwest and New England.
Starting this summer, Haitian will begin shipping all-electric machines from China to North America. ``We'll discuss more details during the Chinaplas show,'' May 21-24 in Guangzhou, Frohring said.
Haitian claims to hold a 47 percent market share of all-electric presses in China.
Absolute Haitian currently has 12 full-time employees, and the entire sales and service team numbers 25.
Chen Hsong steps up N. American efforts
One of China's largest injection molding machine makers, Chen Hsong Group of Hong Kong, is putting more emphasis on the North American market by signing Toronto-based Mould-tek Industries Inc. as its exclusive representative.
R. Lorne Berggren, chairman and chief executive officer of Mould-tek, said the company started selling Chen Hsong's presses last year. He said a 1,250-ton machine for making products like buckets has been delivered to a customer in Canada.
Chen Hsong is promoting its Jetmaster range of machines, especially the Large series, with clamping forces of 650-2,005 tons and its C series, of 55-470 tons. Other Jetmaster series are available in tonnages of 50-3,000 tons.
Berggren said Chen Hsong ships presses from its plant in Shenzhen, China, to North America, targeting housewares molders. ``These machines are made according to North American specs and equipped with safety devices,'' he added.
Chen Hsong's former service/salesperson in Toronto has joined Mould-tek, he said.
France's Billion touts multi-injection press
Billion SA featured a two-component injection press as part of its recent push into North America.
The Oyonnax, France, firm demonstrated the speed and multiple injection capability that are possible with its Chronoma Multi line of injection presses. At the show, a 200-ton press was molding a polypropylene plate and a polystyrene cutlery set in one mold. Billion general sales manager Olivier Crave said the setup included a copper/beryllium steel mold for fast cooling and cycle times.
Crave said multi-injection machines account for about 75 percent of Billion's press sales. Cosmetics packaging, automotive and technical markets are key outlets for the machines. The firm offers multi-injection presses with clamping forces of 40-2,500 tons. Machines can be adapted for overmolding as well.
One of Billion's more exotic recent applications is in-mold assembly of an automotive water filter at an undisclosed company in France. The system sequentially molds two PP halves of the filter, then seals them in the mold with a PP seal layer. In a cycle time of 25 seconds, the part exits the mold fully assembled.
Pak Tree Consulting LLC of Dundee, Mich., handles U.S. sales for Billion. In Canada, TechServ Inc. of Brampton, Ontario, handles service and installation in the United States and Canada.
Negri Bossi focusing on Amico, service
Negri Bossi Inc. (Canada) is boosting staff to support its injection molding press marketing push in Canada.
The Mississauga, Ontario, firm recently hired Luciano Bosco, who will head the company's automation engineering integration team.
Negri Bossi Canada General Manager Larry Pascucci said the company is putting extra emphasis on its automation and service. Its Amico wireless, patented monitoring technology is key to the thrust, he said.
Amico constantly monitors machine control by integrating with Web cam visual imagery and control screen monitoring. Control changes can by made remotely and in real time, allowing monitoring and control by a supervisor while traveling. Pascucci said the technology goes hand in hand with its CanBus fully digital machine control. CanBus eliminates about 75 percent of the wiring found in a conventional injection press and boosts reliability.
Negri Bossi offers presses with clamping forces of 77-6,600 tons in a range of platforms, including all-electric and high-speed thin-wall machines. The firm can integrate its presses with robotics from sister company Gaiotto Automation SpA, as well as Negri Bossi's own Flash series of three-axis robots or multi-axis robots supplied by Kuka Roboter GmbH of Augsburg, Germany.
Negri Bossi ran two presses at the show. A CanBio hydraulic/toggle type with 320-ton clamp molded two halves of a polycarbonate vehicle license-plate cover. A 210-ton CanBel all-electric press molded PC visors. Each press included a Kuka robot.