Lossburg, Germany — Injection molding machine builder Arburg GmbH opened a prototype center in Shanghai and equipped it with four Freeformer brand machines to produce benchmark parts using additive manufacturing.
The facility, which opened in March as part of a medical seminar, gives existing and prospective customers the chance to see the component quality and performance that the Arburg Plastic Freeforming system offers before they buy the machine.
Arburg is experiencing growing demand for Freeformers to produce functional components from original materials, according to Gerhard Böhm, managing director of sales and service.
"The new Arburg Prototyping Center in Shanghai is enabling us to expand our ... expertise strategically and respond specifically to the local needs of the Chinese market. Our Arburg China team now has a faster, more focused and highly practical way of helping potential Freeformer customers meet their requirements," Böhm said in a news release.
The Shanghai facility gives Arburg a dedicated prototyping center in Asia in addition to its headquarters in Europe and Rocky Hill, Conn. The Shanghai center has four machines — two 200-3X and 300-3X Freeformers — that are used primarily for processing and assessing materials from Chinese suppliers.
Demand from the medical technology and packaging industries is particularly high, according to Arburg officials.
To help prospective customers get more familiar with the technology, the company also offers Freeformer training courses so they can work with the machine themselves at the site.
The new Arburg Prototyping Center will serve customers from China only at first, but the company plans to add more machines and staff to offer the service to all of Asia.