Injection press giant Haitian International Holdings Ltd. is expanding production sites for both its subsidiaries: Ningbo, China-based Haitian Plastics Machinery Group Ltd. and recently acquired Zhafir Plastics Machinery GmbH.
Haitian Plastics Machinery is building a factory in Guangzhou for large-tonnage machines and also plans to upgrade its Ningbo headquarters, said Helmar Franz, Haitian International executive director.
``It'll be a new site of [2.2 million square feet] in total,'' Franz said in an interview at K 2007, held Oct. 24-31 in Dusseldorf. About 1.3 million square feet of that will be dedicated to production of injection presses, he said.
Zhafir, which has a research-and-development facility in SchwÃ¤bisch Gmund, Germany, is building a plant in Ebermannsdorf, Germany, to make its new Mercury series of high-end all-electric presses.
In September, Zhafir's existing plant in Ningbo began making its Venus all-electric presses in clamping forces of 40-400 metric tons. The 86,000-square-foot Ningbo facility employs about 60.
The company displayed a 230-tonne Venus 2300/750h press at K.
The Venus delivers same-level performance as Japanese all-electric presses, but costs 20-30 percent less, said Franz, who is also Zhafir's chief executive officer and owns 9 percent of that firm. The press uses Sigmatek IPC-based controls and features a quick acceleration time, he said.
``The Venus is more like the mainstream all-electric machines we are already seeing in the market,'' Franz said.
The Mercury press will be an innovative and premium product, Franz said. The presses, with up to 500 tons of clamping force, will be commercialized in 2009, he said.
``It'll be a totally new press, higher-end than Japanese products, but sold at same price,'' he said.
Zhafir will cut production costs for the presses by implementing standardization and trimming customization options.
``European presses are expensive not because of the costs of components, but because of the level of customization and resulted complexity of production,'' Franz said.
Haitian International, which is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, aims to ship the all-electric machines all over the world with a concentration of 70-80 percent in Asia.
In a news release Haitain said its current market volume for all-electric machines in China is 5,000-6,000 and about 2,500 outside Asia.
In the first six months of 2007, Haitian sold 10,000 machines, for a total of 1.89 billion yuan (US$253 million), a 20 percent jump over year-ago sales. Profit margin is around 26 percent, Franz said.
Haitian delivered 18,000 machines in 2006, with exports representing 30 percent of those sales.