Ube Machinery Inc. is planning a 21,500-square-foot expansion at its headquarters and machinery assembling facility in Ann Arbor, Mich., to increase its product lineup and boost sales.
President Ichiro Motoki declined to say how much the injection molding machinery maker is investing in the expansion, but said it will double the annual capacity for assembling mid- to large-size injection molding machines with clamping forces of 720-3,000 tons, including two-platen servo hydraulic, servo hydraulic toggle and all-electric machines.
"We will also make use of the expansion for quicker delivery to our [U.S.] customers," Motoki said in a Feb. 6 email interview.
The current 73,600-square-foot facility assembles Ube brand all-electric and servo hydraulic injection molding machines as well as machines under the U-MHI Platech Co. Ltd. name. U-MHI Platech was launched in January 2017, following parent company Ube Machinery Corp. Ltd.'s acquisition of an 85 percent share of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Plastic Technology Co. Ltd.
"Ube has been engaged in North American injection molding machine sales activities mainly for electric motors, but through the integration with [U-MHI Platech], two-platen hydraulic servo machines 600 tons or more are occupying 70 percent of the market," Motoki said of the growth for mid- to large-size presses.
Construction work for the expansion started in January and is scheduled to be completed in September. The Ann Arbor facility has 55 employees, but Motoki said the company is considering hiring additional employees.
Ube has been assembling and installing injection molding machines up to 3,300 tons in Ann Arbor since 1996.