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 50-280 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, held April 18-21 in Shanghai.
Chinese customers are showing stronger demand for high-precision machines and are willing to pay a premium for that, Toru said. He said he sees that tendency in all end markets, including electronics, automotive and medical. Toyo makes presses from 15-850 tons in Japan.
Toyo established its first overseas production base in Changshu in 2007 and now makes about 70 machines per month. The facility runs at full capacity and will need to expand, Toru said, without disclosing details. He said the expansion's timing depends on factors including the supply of key precision parts from Japan.
More than 90 percent of the Changshu-made machines are sold and operated in China, but Toru said he sees the potential to grow exports as well. One Japanese customer ordered more than a dozen of Toyo's Changshu machines for its China operation, then later decided to buy the same machines for its molding factory in Japan, he said.
Japanese press makers like Toshiba, JSW and Nissei have been localizing machinery production in China, which increases their price competitiveness and responsiveness to the market.
Toyo also announced in an April 17 news release that it will cooperate with Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Ube Machinery Corp. Ltd. to produce die-casting machines in China. The machines will be marketed under their respective brands.