Larry Mermuys started buying Borch injection molding presses imported from China in 2004 for his company, Tier 2 automotive supplier Plastics Plus Inc. in Hamilton, Ontario.
“The first ones had issues,” he said.
But at NPE2012, held April 1-5 in Orlando, he was at Guangzhou Borch Machinery Co. Ltd.'s booth, touting the injection molding machines, as president of Borche North America. (The Chinese parent firm, based in Guangzhou, spells its name Borch; the North American company, Borche.)
Mermuys is still president of Plastics Plus, the custom injection molding operation that he founded in 1984. But he's also trying to help the Chinese machinery maker make a larger impact in the North American market.
Borch has been constantly improving and upgrading its products over the years, Mermuys said, and 15 of the 19 injection presses being used in his Plastics Plus plant in Hamilton are Borch machines.
Guangzhou Borch now exports one-third of the machines it manufactures in China, according to Hans Chen, vice president of Guangzhou Borch Machinery. The company is well-established in Europe and South America, said Chen, who is also president of Upland, Calif.-based Borch Import and Export Inc.
The Guangzhou injection press maker showcased two machines at NPE, and Chen said he is seeking agents in the U.S.
“We are ready to speed up our growth in North America, and we are ready in every way — technology, team and capital.”
Joe Tang, sales and marketing director of Guangzhou Borch, said the company's injection molding machines exceed energy-saving standards set by China's leading press makers, and offer high-precision and high-speed features. Tang touted other advantages, including cost effectiveness, and fast service and response. The firm's portfolio includes all-electric and two-platen machines.
“People walk up to our booth and ask whether the machines are on — they just couldn't believe how quiet these presses are,” Chen said.
Borch's current production capacity is at about 5,000 machines a year, a value of about 1 billion yuan (US$158.5 million). It is building a new plant in Shaoxing, China, which is expected to launch in three years, doubling Borch's manufacturing capacity.
“After the global recession, the U.S. market now is showing healthy growth,” Chen said. Manufacturers have a critical need for cost-effective equipment to take advantage of the growth opportunity.”
Chen said his market research shows that many North American injection molders are looking to replace their outdated machines that are more than 12 years old.
He said he is confident that, “with the right team,” Borch can grow its North American sales to US$100 million over the next three years. After U.S. sales reach a certain growth, the business will need to start a U.S. assembly facility, he added. “That will happen in the near future,” he said.