NEW DELHI (Feb. 6, 1:05 p.m. ET) — India's Kabra Extrusiontechnik Ltd. and equipment maker Battenfeld-Cincinnati Austria GmbH are deepening their technology partnership, expanding the range of B-C equipment that Kabra can manufacture at its Indian factories.
Under the new agreement, Kabra, or KET, will be able to manufacture more Battenfeld-Cincinnati single-screw extruders, including its solEx line, its twinEx and konos twin-screw models and its fiberEx wood-plastic composite system.
The companies said they want to both increase sales in India and increase the range of more economical versions of Battenfeld-Cincinnati equipment available globally, including in other emerging markets.
Kabra could previously build some Battenfeld equipment at its factories in Daman, India, and this agreement essentially adds equipment from the former Cincinnati Extrusion before it combined with Battenfeld in 2010, said Anand Kabra, director of Mumbai-based KET.
The company sees particular potential with the solEx lines in India, and he noted that the wood-plastic composite product offerings would be new for KET. The agreement also allows KET to manufacture an expanded range of extrusion dies.
“We see a lot of new markets as well as the fact that Kabra always wants to stay at the top of technology for its customers, and this will continue,” Kabra said, in an interview at the Plastindia trade show, held Feb. 1-6 in New Delhi. KET announced the expanded manufacturing partnership Jan. 6.
Battenfeld-Cincinnati executives said it will help them in India.
“We expect to benefit from KET's strong manufacturing set-up and marketing network across India as our group's entire product range shall be exclusively made available by them,” said Battenfeld-Cincinnati CEO Jürgen Arnold, in a statement. “Furthermore, the modern facilities of KET will be instrumental for establishing [a] manufacturing footprint in India and [to] increase the presence of Battenfeld-Cincinnati made European equipment in the country.”
The companies said the agreement will let them make better use of their worldwide factory network to tailor products to specific markets. Battenfeld-Cincinnati has factories in Austria, China, Germany, and the United States, and Kabra in India.
“We have the possibility to combine European equipment with Chinese equipment with Indian equipment, depending on what the customer preference is in a certain part of the world,” said Walter Haeder, managing director of Battenfeld-Cincinnati's infrastructure division in Vienna, Austria, in an interview at PlastIndia. “It gives us a unique global manufacturing footprint… which nobody else in our industry has.”
Anand Kabra said the arrangement allows KET to export machines it makes.
“Only four markets are restricted — Germany, Austria, the United States and China, where they have their manufacturing locations,” Kabra said. “We have restricted these four countries where we will not be selling directly. Every other market is open.”
However, he said for practical purposes the partners have a clear division of markets. Kabra will not sell in Western Europe directly, for example, with the nature of the economy dictating the machines offered, he said.
“There is a bottom segment, a middle segment and a top segment of the market,” Kabra said. “As the Battenfeld-Cincinnati-Kabra group we would like to operate in each of these segments. All customers don't want to buy European machines.”
Battenfeld-Cincinnati has a 14 percent ownership stake in Kabra. The former Battenfeld Extrusiontechnik unit and Kabra have had a technology sharing partnership since 1983.
Kabra, which is part of publicly-traded Indian firm Kolsite Group of Cos., is one of India's largest plastics machinery companies.