NINGBO, CHINA — To the raucous accompaniment of fireworks, traditional Chinese lion dancers and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, injection machine maker Demag Plastics Machinery (Ningbo) Co. Ltd. officially opened its new 26,460-square-meter plant in this lush city on China's central coast.
The 191-employee plant will make hydraulic machines with clamping forces of 50 to 150 tons of clamping force. The plant has a top capacity of 1,200 to 1,500 machines per year.
About 8,000 Demag machines are in use in China. Since 1950, Demag has sold more than 100,000 injection molding machines worldwide.
The plant is Demag Ningbo's fourth since entering the Chinese market with a 3,000-square-meter facility in 1998. Subsequent plants occupied 6,000 and then 12,000 square meters.
“On average, we open a new plant every four years and three months," observed Demag Ningbo CEO Stephan Greif.
China buys about half the world's injection molding machines, Greif said. “The market is becoming richer and more interested in [high-tech] solutions,” said the 26-year Demag veteran.
Construction on the new plant started in June 2014. On hand for the ceremony were representatives from Demag Ningbo automation partners, including Kronach, Germany-based M.A.i GmbH & Co. KG; Rankweil, Austria-based Technische Informationssysteme GmbH; and Machines Pagès of Foncine-le-Haut, France.
Demag has no plans to move beyond what Greif dubs its “core competency” — making injection molding machinery — but is increasingly partnering with specialist companies to deliver turnkey solutions.