Zhafir Plastics Machinery GmbH and its parent company, Haitian International Holdings Ltd., will introduce two new lines of all-electric injection molding machines at K 2007.
The first, named Venus, was unveiled at a Sept. 19 news conference at Zhafir's headquarters in Ebermannsdorf. The machine is an upgrade of Haitian's KTD series.
Mercury, the second, was touted as a ``machine of the future,'' but the company is keeping details under wraps until the show, set for Oct. 24-31 in Dusseldorf, Germany.
Venus will be available in clamping forces of 40-400 metric tons. Helmar Franz, Haitian's chief strategy officer, said Venus will have much better performance than the KTD it replaces, with four times the acceleration to peak injection speed, its servo-motor taking just 20 milliseconds to reach 2,000 revolutions per minute. Initially it will be available in a 230-metric-ton version, with a 400-metric-ton version offered by the end of 2008.
Franz said the Mercury all-electric series will have a ``revolutionary solution on the injection side.'' But since its patents are still being worked out, Franz said he could not reveal more details before K 2007. He predicts the company will sell 500-1,000 of the Mercury machines per year. The firm will begin delivering the presses by the end of 2008 or early 2009.
Franz said the Venus will cost ``at least 20-25 percent less than the Japanese competition,'' such as machines from JSW, Nissei and Toshiba, but he admits technically it is not in the same league as a machine like Netstal's all-electric Elion.
Saying ``not everything that is beautiful is affordable,'' Franz said if costs can be managed adequately, the Mercury later should compete strongly with machines from Fanuc, Sumitomo and European producers' all-electric machines.
First, though, comes construction of a European assembly plant. Zhafir bought 5 acres of land alongside its Ebermannsdorf headquarters where the company will build ``one of the most advanced assembly plants in Europe'' and open it by early 2009, Franz said.
Until that factory opens, the Venus machine will be made in a new Zhafir plant in Ningbo, China. The new German plant also will make the Venus, but that location is expected to be the sole production site for the Mercury.
Franz said the all-electric machines will be built in Europe primarily for the fast-growing Asian markets, especially China and India, because of the advanced components and engineering competence in Europe. Zhafir eventually will have 50 assembly employees and 15-20 engineers in Ebermannsdorf.