SHANGHAI (April 19, 2:10 p.m. ET) — Japanese press maker Toyo Machinery and Metal Co. Ltd. is broadening the tonnage range of the injection molding machines it makes in Changshu, China.
Starting this summer, Toyo will make presses from 50 to 280 tons in Changshu, up from 230 tons, said Morishita Toru, general manager of Toyo's Shanghai branch. He spoke to Plastics News through an interpreter at Chinaplas 2012.
Chinese customers are showing a stronger demand for high-precision machines and are willing to pay a premium for that, Toru said. He sees that tend in all end markets, including electronics, automotive and medical. Toyo makes presses in the range of 15 to 850 tons in Japan.
Toyo established its first overseas production base in Changshu in 2007 and now makes about 70 machines per month. The facility is running at full capacity and “will need an expansion,” Toru said, without disclosing specific details. He said the timing of the expansion depends on a number of factors, including the supply of key precision parts from Japan.
More than 90 percent of the machines made in Changshu are sold and operated in China, but Toru also sees potential to grow export as well. One Japanese customer first ordered more than a dozen of Changshu-made Toyo machines for its China operation, he said, and the company decided later to purchase the same machines for its molding factory in Japan.
Japanese press makers – such as Toshiba, JSW, and Nissei — have been localizing their machinery production in China, which helps to increases their price competitiveness and responsiveness to the market.
Toyo also announced in an April 17 news release that it will cooperate with Ube Machinery Corp. Ltd. to produce die-casting machines in China. The machines will be marketed under their respective brands.