Shanghai — Injection machine maker Engel Holding GmbH is investing 60 million yuan ($9.2 million) to expand capacity at its Shanghai factory, saying it sees continued growth in the higher end of the market in China.
The Schwertberg, Austria-based company announced a doubling of capacity at the Shanghai plant in 2012, and said this latest investment will enlarge machining capacity and provide more office space and room for its training programs.
“We have expansion plans in China because we are reaching again our limits, we will add another building to add more space for manufacturing,” said Gero Willmeroth, sales and service president at Engel Machinery Shanghai. “In this one we will put another heavy duty machining center for platen manufacturing.”
Willmeroth made the announcement April 24 in a news conference ahead of the Chinaplas trade fair in Shanghai, which runs from April 25-28.
Construction has started and the new machining center is scheduled to be finished by April 2017, he said.
Asia accounts for almost 25 percent of Engel's 1.23 billion euros ($1.38 billion) in total sales, or about 300 million euros ($336.5 million).
By comparison, the company said its Asia business in 2012 generated only 100 million euros in sales. China is Engel's largest market in Asia.
The company has injection machine manufacturing plants in South Korea, which also doubled capacity in 2012, and at its new Wintec subsidiary in Changzhou, China, where it has started manufacturing less expensive, more standardized molding machines aimed at the middle of China's market.
Engel's expansion comes amid some signs of softening in China's market for plastics equipment.
The German trade group VDMA said that Germany's exports of all types of plastics and rubber machinery to China fell 19 percent in 2015. Chinese industry figures show that overall market for plastics machinery in the country fell 6 percent last year, to 53.3 billion yuan ($8.2 billion).
But Willmeroth told reporters that the upper end of the injection machine market fared better.