GUANGZHOU, CHINA — Battenfeld-Cincinnati Extrusion Systems Ltd. unveiled new products, growth plans as well as new management at Chinaplas.
Toni Bernards now is CEO of the company's Chinese subsidiary as well as head of global sourcing. And Bruce Lamont is chief operating officer of the Chinese subsidiary, Battenfeld-Cincinnati (Foshan) Extrusion Systems Ltd.
Until February, Bernards was general manager of Milacron's Chinese subsidiary, Milacron Plastics Machinery (Jiangyin) Co. Ltd., near Shanghai. He had worked there for more than eight years before moving back south to the Pearl River Delta in March.
At a group interview at Chinaplas, he said Battenfeld-Cincinnati aims to grow 10-15 percent in China this year.
In order to achieve that, the company is rolling out new products for its LeanEx extruders. The series started in 2009 with a 63-millimeter model and has since expanded to 160mm and 250mm. Battenfeld-Cincinnati added a 400mm model at Chinaplas in Guangzhou in May and said it was going to introduce a 600mm line by June.
The LeanEx series is designed for customers who need a low cost line for small, standard pipe applications. They are offered in a basic package with limited options, a smaller control panel and power control system, as well as locally sourced screws, barrels, motor and drive. The pipe heads are from the standard Battenfeld-Cincinnati Helix series.
“The market situation is becoming more difficult as overall growth rates in China decrease,” Bernards said, “However, last year, 75 percent of our customers ordering with us were new customers that chose our machines for their quality and long lifetime.”
He said the company has set a good basis to continue to improve products and services for customers in China and other parts of the global market.
Mark Feng, group vice president of sales for the Asia Pacific, said the lines made in Foshan are gaining strong momentum in Asia to export markets such as Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia as well as Japan. Feng previously served as general manager and sales director for Battenfeld-Cincinnati China.
Domestically, Feng said he sees growth in particular from pipe and profile makers in Zhejiang, Shandong, Hebei, Tianjin, Sichuan and Guangdong. The company is doubling its sales force in China to tap that potential.
“We have two targets this year, to increase the engineering capacity and sales team in China,” Bernards said.
The executives said they were “very confident” about the growth target, “From what we've seen so far, good order intake, projects… there's quite a lot of activities.”