Orlando, Fla. — Daiichi Jitsugyo America, the U.S. distributor of Niigata injection presses, is now distributing injection molding machines from South Korean manufacturer LS Mtron Ltd., formerly known as LG.
DJA and LS Mtron made the agreement at NPE2018 in Orlando, May 7-11. LS Mtron and Niigata had separate exhibits in the West Building.
DJA is based in Wood Dale, Ill. Peter Gardner, vice president of sales and general manager of DJA's Plastics Machinery Division, said DJA is going to stock LS Mtron presses and handle sales, service and parts for U.S. customers. LS Mtron's U.S. headquarters in Norcross, Ga., also has machines and parts in stock, and provides service.
According to a Korean press report, LS Mtron is now poised to expand further in the machinery business, after the company sold an 80 percent stake in its automotive parts business to Cooper-Standard Holdings Inc. in a deal announced May 14. Terms of the sale were not disclosed, but the Maeil Business Newspaper, quoting industry sources, said LS Mtron plans to use proceeds to acquire additional machinery companies.
Gardner, interviewed at NPE2018, said DJA wanted to expand its U.S. offerings of injection molding machines.
Niigata Machine Techno Co. Ltd. has focused on all-electric injection molding machines. The Japanese company makes presses with clamping forces ranging from 55-950 tons. DJA stocks Niigata machines up to 500 tons in its Wood Dale facility.
LS Mtron has a broader offering of machines, building presses from 20 tons to 5,000 tons, including hybrid, all-electric and hydraulic presses.
"We want to be able to include the hydraulic, hybrid market that you can't do with Niigata, because it's all-electric," Gardner said, "and over 50 percent of the U.S. market is buying servo-hydraulic type machines. DJA wants to be able to able to fulfill our customers' needs in that regard."
LS Mtron is the largest Korean maker of injection molding machines. The company produces about 2,800 injection molding machines a year, exporting 60 percent. Its global network of subsidiaries and facilities includes the United States, Japan, China, Indonesia, Poland and Brazil. Sales were $2.1 billion in 2017.
The company began building injection molding machines in 1969, in cooperation with Toshiba Machine Co. Ltd. of Japan.
LS Mtron has long sold injection molding machines in the United States, first as the Lucky Goldstar brand in the 1970s, and more recently as LG. The machinery group changed its name to LS Mtron 10 years ago, and continued to develop new products in a newly-built plant in Jeonju, South Korea.
Bryan Park, LS Mtron's marketing manager, said it's a good fit. "DJA has been selling injection molding machines in the U.S.A. for over 35 years. We feel their well-organized team of sales and service engineers will help LS Mtron to revitalize our business in America,' Park said.
Howard Chung, general manager of the company's overseas sales, said working with DJA will help LS Mtron's goal of being in the top seven injection press makers in the world.
LS Mtron offers two-platen hybrid machines in its One Series from 550-3,600 tons. The Korean company also offers the all-electric WIZ-E Series of machines, from 20-950 tons. A servo-hydraulic, toggle-clamp WIZ-T Series runs from 100-400 tons.
LS Mtron can meet fast lead times because the company has its own casting facility, Gardner said. For example, the lead time for a 1,200-ton two-platen press is 15 weeks. All-electric presses have just an eight-week lead time, company officials said.
The Korean machinery supplier uses Keba controllers. The injection presses in the United States use Nordson Xaloy screws and barrels.
Companywide, LS Mtron makes an array of other products, including tractors, caterpillar tracks for tanks and other military vehicles, connectors and antennas for mobile phones, and ultracapacitors for storing electricity in for railroads, cars and renewable energy. LS Mtron is part of the South Korean conglomerate LS Group.
At NPE2018, LS Mtron exhibited new models, including a 1,400-ton two-platen press with a tie-bar puller, a 550-ton two-platen press and a 240-ton all-electric model equipped with Industry 4.0 features. Niigata showed five machines in Orlando, including vertical all-electrics.