Don't talk about recession blues in China to Markus Gschwandtner.
The Siegsdorf, Germany-based sales director for oriented-film equipment supplier Bruckner Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG says demand for his firm's types of large, high-end lines has bounced back nicely in China, where Bruckner claims about 90 percent market share. The firm makes equipment that produces biaxially oriented PET, polypropylene and polystyrene film.
There's a 12-month delivery time for our machines, Gschwandtner said in a May 20 interview at Chinaplas, held May 18-21 in Guangzhou. The market is rebounding for us in 2009, he said, and it looks like 2010 will be better for us than 2009.
October and November looked tough, he said, but after the Chinese New Year in January, the market started to become more active, and Bruckner is benefiting. In the past five months alone, he said Bruckner has secured 10 orders, eight of them in China, and most for BOPP film.
Gschwandtner estimated China's total industrywide nameplate capacity for BOPP film to be about 6.61 billions pounds, with utilization rates nationwide running at about 85 percent. So, even if the sector's growth slows this year to about 8 percent, from its usual 10-12 percent annually, he said that would equal an increased throughput of approximately 529 million pounds.
By his calculations, that means a need for six to eight more BOPP lines to handle that work. Landing most or all of those orders would make for a good year, he indicated.
And there is activity on the polyester film side, as well. Gschwandtner estimated China's nameplate capacity for BOPET film to be about 1.76 million pounds.
Suqian, China-based film producer Jiangsu Suqian Color Plastic Packing Co. Ltd. started up its new, 28.5-foot BOPET film line Jan. 25, the day of China's Lunar New Year, four weeks ahead of schedule. Bruckner said that during startup, this new line achieved speeds of 1,361 feet per minute. The German supplier claims this is the first time in China's BOPET film industry that a line has exceeded production speeds of 1,312 feet per minute.
Just three weeks prior to Chinaplas, Gschwandtner said Jiangsu Suqian Color ordered and paid for yet another 28.5-foot BOPET line, its fourth overall from Bruckner.
Meanwhile, longtime Bruckner customer Far Eastern Textile Ltd. is also busy expanding capacity for PET sheet. The Tapei, Taiwan-based firm recently installed and commissioned the first of six Bruckner lines, ordered in February 2008. The firm started up a 5.9-foot line in Taiwan, and soon will commission two more lines in China and another in Taiwan. Far Eastern Textile already operates 10 Bruckner lines in its factories in Hsinchu, Shanghai and Wuhan.
Finally, Bruckner said that Zhejiang Tongxiang Quanwei New Flexible Packaging Co. Ltd. of Tongxiang, China, recently commissioned a 27-foot BOPP film production line that ran with a constant output of 9,920 pounds per hour for an entire week without any film break or other disturbances.