Friedrichshafen, Germany — KraussMaffei Group GmbH is experiencing powerful momentum from China 18 months after the company was purchased by state-owned China National Chemical Corp. (ChemChina) in April 2016.
ChemChina bought the Munich-based plastics processing machinery maker for 925 million euros ($1.09 billion). Since the acquisition, KM CEO Frank Stieler said the company is seeing growth and potential in China due to its shareholders and the company's presence there.
"This year, but next year especially, we are massively investing in production sites in China," Stieler said in an Oct. 18 news conference at Fakuma.
The company's injection molding machine manufacturing plant in Haiyan, China, has doubled its production volume and is anticipating an additional increase next year. The Chinese plant produces KM's GX series two-platen hydraulic injection molding machines with clamping forces of about 400-900 metric tons as well its MX series, which offers higher clamping forces of 850-5,600 metric tons.
KM said its PX series of all-electric injection molding machines has been well-received in Germany, China and the United States, and that production capacity for 2018 will need to be doubled due to the high interest.
The company bills the PX as a "made-to-measure" press, allowing customers to mix and match clamping and injection units, tailoring the press for specific molding jobs. KM offers the PX in clamping sizes from 50-200 tons.
Hans Ulrich Golz, president of the injection molding machinery segment, said KM makes the PX in Slovakia, and he said the production expansion will happen at that factory.
Orders and sales for 2017 have increased over last year by 10 percent. As of August 2017, total sales for the group reached 860 million euros ($1.01 billion). In 2016, the company's sales were 780 million euros ($916 million).
KM attributed the growth to trends in digitalization, new technologies and services, and ongoing investments at its three Chinese locations. Since being purchased by ChemChina, KraussMaffei has grown its global workforce by about 14 percent to include more than 5,000 employees.