Düsseldorf, Germany — For Chinese injection machine maker Haitian International Holdings Ltd., one of the keys for K 2016 is flexibility.
In an Oct. 21 news conference at K 2016 in Düsseldorf, the company unveiled a strategy it called modularization, which it said represents the evolution of its injection press design to allow more flexibility for processors in choosing how their equipment is configured.
Haitian board member Helmar Franz said it means building both its all-electric presses and servo-hydraulic models in a way that they are “regularly optimized” to allow their customers to more easily mix and match components between models.
“We will develop the all-electric machine in models, so one of these models you can combine with the model from the servo machine as it is required by the customer,” he said. “Another customer can take the clamp and combine here. Another can take the injector and put it here.”
He said the company believes the strategy will help customers find the best combination of flexibility, productivity and price for them.
Franz said modularization could help more easily build machines for countries at different levels of industrialization.
Haitian is one of the world's biggest makers of injection molding machines — measured by number of machines, it's easily the largest, making 26,000 presses in 2015 — and it sells machines worldwide.
Franz, a former top executive in the German plastics machinery industry, joined Haitian shortly before it went public in 2005 in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
At the news conference, the company reviewed its financial development since then, including tripling sales to $1.3 billion in 2015, from 2005.
Franz said the company had compounded annual growth of 11.2 percent from 2005 to 2015, with net profit growing 15.8 percent on a compounded annual basis in the same period, entirely from organic growth.
Haitian, which sells two-thirds of its machines in China's very price-sensitive market, also sought to put what was probably a more cost-conscious spin on the K show discussions of Industry 4.0, the deeper integration of information technology and manufacturing.
“With our system partners and with many of our customers, we are discussing a sensible approach to Industry 4.0, and we are weighing opportunities and possibilities, albeit with a sense of proportion,” Franz said.
“Not everything which is already technologically feasible today necessarily makes economic sense for the individual plastics processor,” he said. “Here, too, it's a matter of finding the most economic path.”
Franz also argued that China's economy, while challenging, remains a solid plastics market.
The companies having the most trouble failed to adapt quickly enough to rising costs and, in the case of some global firms, may not have anticipated how China's domestic industry would take domestic market share, he said.
“I don't see a crisis,” Franz said. “I only see a crisis for people who did not adapt to the changes.”
At the show, the company presented several machines, highlighted by what it said was the European premiere of the Venus IIp model from its Zhafir subsidiary. The machine was making an ice container with an in-mold label and featured an automated production cell.
It also showed a Zhafir Zeres series machine, a servo-electric model, making cosmetic sealing caps.
As well, its booth included a Haitian Jupiter II two-platen model producing an engine cover with a Mucell process, and one of its Haitian Mars II machines, which account for 70 percent of sales and have been the company's growth engine.