Bole North America is the new exclusive distributor of Chinese-made Bole injection molding presses in the United States and Canada.
Calypso Machinery LLC, which does business as Bole North America, is based in Scottsdale, Ariz. The company started in January but did not actively begin selling the Bole presses until April, company officials said. Bole North America is a subsidiary of KD Capital Equipment, a supplier of used plastics processing equipment and computer numerically controlled machining centers.
The formal kickoff came at the Plastec East/MD&M East trade show in mid-June in New York.
Scott Rains, a veteran plastics machinery salesman, is Bole North America's vice president of sales. “Our initial focus is on the Midwest, and we are actively pursuing reps,” he said.
Bole North America recently signed up a manufacturers' representative firm to cover Ohio and western Pennsylvania — D&M Hydraulic & Industrial Services in Cadiz, Ohio.
The Chinese manufacturer, Ningbo Shuangma Machinery Industry Co. Ltd., began making injection molding machines in 1998. The company redesigned its machines about five years ago. The main product is the EK Series of hybrid machines, which feature a center toggle clamp that directs all the clamping force to the center part of the platen, instead of the traditional toggle design of force applied to the four corners.
Rains said the centered clamping design is a major selling feature.
“Your force is being utilized at 100 percent, because it's directly behind the mold,” he said. “It's very efficient in distributing that clamp force.”
Rains said the design gives high precision molding. “The beauty in that toggle is that it acts very much like a hydraulic machine. All your force is centered behind your mold, and yet you have the advantage of the speed of a toggle,” he said. “It also creates a very long opening stroke.”
Bole posted $90 million in sales last year, a 30 percent rise from 2014, Ningbo Shuangma General Manager Richard Wang told Plastics News earlier this year. Half of the sales are domestic and half are exports; leading markets are South Korea, Turkey and Iran. The privately held company employs 450.
Bole North America is owned by Michael Treger, president of Treger Financial and KD Capital, both of Phoenix. Treger said he had been looking for a line of new injection presses in recent years.
“I believe there's an opportunity to introduce another affordable injection molding machine to North American markets, and one that's proven successful in multiple other markets,” Treger said.
Treger and Rains entered into discussions with Bole Machinery's parent, Ningbo Shuangma Machinery, in the fall of 2015 when the company in Ningbo, China, sought a new North American distributor to succeed Tech Bole USA, run by Franklin, Ohio-based custom injection molder Tech-Way Industries Inc.
Treger, Rains and Mark Holliday — whose company, Molders Technical Services of Norton, Ohio, is handling service for Bole North America — visited Ningbo Shuangma in China. Treger said they also visited factories in China to see Bole machines that had been running for 10 years.
Holliday acted as the technical adviser during the visits.
Bole molding machines are backed by a 24-month warranty, Rains said. They come with a large kit of spare parts. Rains said Bole presses use standard, Western components such as Rexroth valves, Parker hydraulic components and Schneider Electric components. The Bole North America presses have a Keba controller.
Rains said Bole machines meet ANSI/SPI standards, and have proper guarding and safety labeling.
Shuangma Machinery currently manufactures injection molding machines ranging in clamping force from 60 to 6,800 tons. The company has agents in 40 countries, Rains said.
The Bole EK Series has won customers at Mattel Inc., Tata Motors and LG Group. But only about 20 machines are believed to be molding parts in the United States.
Now Ningbo Shuangma is developing a two-platen machine, called the DK Series, in clamping forces of 506 to 7,644 tons.
Ningbo Shuangma Machinery is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Chenglu Group in China.