FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, GERMANY (Oct. 21, 1:15 p.m. ET) — Zhafir Plastics Machinery, which is part of the Haitian International group in China but has its headquarters in Ebermannsdorf, Germany, says it is making progress with its all-electric machines in the European market.
Helmar Franz, CEO of Zhafir, acknowledged the difficulty in establishing a new brand in the highly competitive European injection molding machine market. But the Zhafir brand is becoming “increasingly recognized”, he told European Plastics News at the Fakuma fair in Friedrichshafen.
“Orders are picking up nicely,” he said.
The company says that more than 1,000 machines in Zhafir's all-electric Venus series have been sold worldwide since the series was launched in the middle of 2008.
Zhafir's strategy is to sell its all-electric machines at prices that are comparable with hydraulic machines, and therefore cheaper than the all-electric machines made by competitors based in Europe and Japan.
Franz says that these lower prices mean that potential customers looking to buy their first all-electric machines have less risk when making their purchasing decisions.
He says that most interest has been shown by processors in the packaging sector and those molding precision parts. Zhafir invites potential customers to do mold trials on its machines at Haitian group technology centers around the world.
Zhafir assembles machines at the Ebermannsdorf facility, which has been expanded to turn it into a complete production, sales and service centre. At the Ningbo plant in China, the production area is also being expanded from 12,000 to 18,000 square meters.
A new factory is also being built in Vietnam, which will have initial capacity to make 2,000 machines per year. Land is available to allow a later expansion.
Zhafir builds machines in all regions except Africa and North America.
Asked whether the company would consider machine manufacturing in the United States, Franz replied that the market is currently too small to justify a facility there. But he added the group is constantly analyzing investment decisions.