The decision by Rapid Granulator AB to roll out its 100 series low-speed granulator at Chinaplas is proof that the Swedish company considers China to be a booming, important market, officials said.
``This is the world launch, and it's the first time that we are launching a new machine series in China,'' said Bengt Rimark, Rapid's marketing manager.
Rapid made the product introduction at an April 17 news conference at Chinaplas, held in Shanghai.
Rapid Granulator and Conair Group Inc. make auxiliary equipment in Shanghai, at a 32,000-square-foot factory that opened last year. Rapid has had production in Shanghai, with an earlier facility, since 2005.
Rapid's chief executive officer, Rolf Gren, said the company has a long-term outlook for China. In three years, officials expect that Asia will represent one-third of Rapid's total sales.
Gren said about 80 percent of Rapid's business in China comes from multinational companies operating in the country. The other 20 percent comes from domestic Chinese plastics processors, but that share could grow because Chinese companies are interested in higher-quality granulators, as they upgrade their factories, he said.
Gren called using China as the global launching pad for the 100 series ``a confirmation of how we view the China market - it's a high-quality, growing market.''
The screenless, beside-the-press 100 series granulator runs at a low speed, of 25 revolutions per minute. It boasts Integrated Metal Detection, which shuts down a grinder within 40 milliseconds if metal enters the cutting area, protecting the machine from damage.
Rapid picked up the patented IMD technology when it bought French granulator maker Moditec srl last fall.
The 100 series line also can automatically reverse itself if the cutter gets blocked, then cut again in the other direction, so it can handle big pieces.
Chinaplas also marked the introduction in China of Rapid's 150 series, which the company has been selling in Europe and the United States.
``We have realized that the demands on the customers here in China are exactly the same as in Europe and the U.S. This is why we're bringing this to China now,'' Rimark said.
For both models, Rapid builds the rotor and the cutter housing at its headquarters plant in Bredaryd, Sweden. The remaining parts are made at the Shanghai plant, where they are assembled into the final granulators, for sale into China.