Wittmann Kunststoffgerate GmbH, based in Vienna, Austria, is offering its Chinese customers more than just robots.
The company's Shanghai subsidiary, Wittmann Robot (Shanghai) Co. Ltd., is introducing its China-made dryers and hopper loaders to the Chinese market.
The new products will complement Wittmann's current portfolio of robots, granulators and mold-temperature control systems.
Wittmann Robot recently finished the second phase of construction at its Kunshan, China, factory, an hour from Shanghai, said Managing Director Jonathan Ching. Manufacturing space there has increased 50 percent and so will output, he said in an interview at APPLAS in Shanghai.
The Kunshan factory is installing five new, imported computer numerically controlled workstations, he said, and will expand its current workforce of 108 to 150 by mid-2008.
Ching said Wittmann is striving to provide complete production systems instead of single-unit equipment. One example is the in-mold labeling system the company launched at Chinaplas last year. A handful of those lines have been sold so far, he said, including to a company that is manufacturing cups for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
The molds used in the in-mold-labeling system are made in France, he said. But the firm plans to boost local content eventually. Its mold-temperature control systems and granulators already are 100 percent localized.
Robots still represent 70-80 percent of Wittmann's sales in China, Ching said, ``about 1,200 units in 2007.'' The firm will open more sales offices in 2008, in addition to existing ones in Shenzhen and Tianjin, he said.
Wittmann exports more than half of the products it manufactures in China.