SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL — Expanding service staff and helping Brazilian clients find competitive financing overseas should help KraussMaffei Group boost sales this year in an increasingly competitive plastics machinery market, the local chief executive officer said at Feiplastic in São Paulo.
KraussMaffei Group do Brasil, which took shape in October 2011 to combine local operations of KraussMaffei, Netstal and KraussMaffei Berstorff, has helped strengthen the group's service reputation and strategy for the market, said Klaus Jell, CEO of the Brazilian group.
The group currently has 14 service technicians spread throughout Brazil in key cities near customers, up from nine in 2011 prior to the umbrella company being formed, and plans to add at least one more in the northeast this year, Jell said.
KraussMaffei Group do Brasil, like many high-quality European manufacturers selling in Brazil, has faced growing competition over the past two years from lower-priced Asian imports and Brazilian machines that are eligible for low-interest loans from the National Development Bank (BNDES).
The company responded to this within the past year by offering cross-border financing through a partnership with Deutsche Leasing do Brasil, a new Brazil-based affiliate of German public bank Deutsche Sparkassen.
"With this financing partnership, we are now able to offer our customers loans from Europe with interest rates much lower than they would find at Brazilian private banks," Jell said.
In extrusion, KraussMaffei views Brazilian demand as a never-ending source of growth potential in the construction PVC piping sector, said Bruno M. Sommer, extrusion manager for Latin America.
"We have the leading position in this pipes segment in South America, and more and more production capacity will be demanded in the future," said Sommer, adding that a similar plastic roofing segment is emerging in Brazil.
KraussMaffei debuted its new GX series of injection molding machinery in Brazil during the fair and featured the GX 500-3000, with more compact and rapid clamping force than any line prior, and the company's "blue power" energy efficiency features.
Injection molding machine manufacturer Netstal launched its newest model in Brazil from its ELION line, the 3200-2000 featuring 320 tons of clamping force, as the company's most cost-effective and energy efficient unit for beverage bottle closures. The model's clamping force is 100 percent electric, offering energy savings of up to 50 percent over non-electric competitors, said Italo Zavaglia, Netstal division manager. In early 2014, the company expects to launch the ELION 4200 in Brazil.