SHANGHAI (April 20, 3:10 p.m. ET) — In order to meet higher demand for locally made machines, the KraussMaffei Group has started to make injection molding machines in its Haiyan, China, factory, which will double its production space and capabilities.
Hans Ulrich Golz, the new president of the injection molding machinery segment, said the company plans to increase injection molding activities throughout the group, while maintaining the independent market presence of the Netstal and KraussMaffei brands with clearly defined product portfolios and separately operating sales organizations.
The Haiyan plant will start construction later this month and finish by the beginning of next year, said Harald Schweizer, head of the China subsidiary. Production space will be increased to about 322,000 square feet.
KraussMaffei has been making extrusion lines in the Haiyan facility for seven years. All downstream units, such as vacuum tanks and spray baths, also are produced locally.
The first injection press made at the Haiyan site is a MX850, which the company calls a benchmark for the automotive industry. The plant will be making presses ranging from 850 to 4,000 metric tons of clamping force for the Chinese and Asian market. The MX series is specially designed for hard, continuous operation and combines short machine times with quick cycles and high molding output.
The Chinese market has changed a lot in the past decade, said Frank Peters, VP of sales. “China needs high-performance, large machines.” He noted four current market trends in China, including continued expansion of infrastructure; higher demand for food packaging, the call for more energy-efficient and automated production, and lightweight automobiles.
With an increasing orientation towards domestic growth, KraussMaffei China has been strengthening its market position.
In the Netstal business, the company said it has seen “remarkable increase” in market shares in PET perform and sealing caps and plans to build a PET lab and training Center in Haiyan to support the growth.
At Chinaplas 2012, held April 18-21 in Shanghai, the company touted its patent-pending preblow process that can be used to achieve LightBase — extra thin bottle bases. It can lead to substantial material and energy savings as well as faster cycle time.
On the Berstorff side, VP of extrusion technology Jens Liebhold said the local production enables quick delivery, competitive prices and models designed for China. Global players are investing in modern extrusion technology to manufacture premium quality products in China, he said.
The company reported high demand for PO pipe and polybutene pipe extruders.
KraussMaffei Berstorff also provides in-depth process know-how to local customers. A complete system for producing TPV profiles for the automotive industry will come on stream in the middle of 2012, the company said. The system is used by ExxonMobil in its Shanghai development center for demonstration purposes.
The KraussMaffei China operation consists of offices in Shanghai and Shenzhen as well as the Haiyan factory, with a total of more than 300 employees.