GUANGZHOU, CHINA – A year ago, KraussMaffei Group took a big step in China when it opened its expanded production space in Haiyan.
Now, the company says, it's benefitting from the investment.
“The workforce is growing dramatically fast, the business is growing dramatically fast,” said Christian Blatt, CEO of KM's China unit, Shanghai KraussMaffei Machinery Co. Ltd.
The company's owner, Toronto-based private equity firm Onex Corp., does not disclose KM's sales in China. But Blatt emphasized that China is a key and rapidly growing market for the Munich, Germany-based machinery manufacturer.
“You know the GDP growth in China last year was 7 percent. The growth we are targeting is far above that. The growth we have experienced in the past few years is far above that,” Blatt said.
KM is winning business by building machines in China that meet the same specifications as its German-made equipment, but to local specifications, with faster delivery, and at a “very attractive price level,” Blatt said.
KM now has more than 300 employees in China. That includes workers at the Haiyan plant, and also sales and service personnel spread around the country, some of them in home-based offices.
“They're close to [customers]. The organization is able to react to customer demands,” he said.
KM sells KraussMaffei and Nestal injection molding machines, plus KraussMaffei Berstorff extruders and KraussMaffein reaction injection molding equipment. Blatt said all three segments are seeing growth in China in 2015.
When the Haiyan plant opened last year, KM said it expected the plant to be fully utilized by 2017. Blatt said the company is on target to meet that goal.
Initially the company expected the plant would assemble equipment from components sourced elsewhere. Now, though, it is increasingly using local suppliers that are able to help the company provide complete systems to its customers.
The biggest announcement at Chinaplas, held May 20-23 in Guangzhou, is the extension of the company's MX series of injection presses, adding two large-tonnage sizes: 2,700 and 3,200 metric tons.
KM will show the CX press that it introduced last year at the Fakuma show in Germany, a series of small machines that boast less energy consumption and greater efficiency.