Düsseldorf, Germany — The Chinese manufacturer of Bole injection molding machinery has opened a U.S. headquarters in Stow, Ohio, near Akron, and hired Alfred Rak as president and CEO.
Rak said Bole Machinery Inc. began operations about a year ago in a 25,000-square-foot building. The facility has about 30 Bole injection molding presses in stock.
"The concept is we have enough machines on stock for immediate supply, immediate demands, No. 1. No. 2, we have the availability of parts needed, service and sales," Rak said in an interview at the K show at the booth of Ningbo Shuangma Machinery Industry Co. Ltd., which makes Bole-brand presses.
The company hired Rak, who has a long machinery work history in Europe and the United States, in June. Rak said a team from China had already located the U.S. headquarters in Stow. It's a good location in Ohio, a center of the plastics industry, and near the important U.S. automotive sector, he said.
Bole Machinery has five employees, including two salespeople and two service technicians, but the firm is recruiting more people in those positions, Rak said. The operation has eight exclusive sales agents, all of them east of the Mississippi River, and is looking for more to round out coverage of the country, he said.
Rak, a native of Vienna, has worked at injection press makers Battenfeld, Engel and Arburg. He was president of Kiefel Technologies Inc. in the United States and vice president of American Starlinger-Sahm Inc.
Rak said Ningo Shuangma Machinery is committed to the United States with its own headquarters facility. Bole machines have made some other attempts to crack the U.S. market that did not work out. Franklin, Ohio-based Tech-Way Industries Inc. started a business called Tech Bole USA to sell the presses in 2014. Then, in 2016, Bole North America was formed to distribute the machines, as a subsidiary of KD Capital Equipment LLC, a supplier of used plastics processing machinery and metalworking equipment in Scottsdale, Ariz.
One major feature of Bole injection molding machines is a patented central clamping toggle clamp on the EKS hybrid machines and the FE all-electrics. The clamp directs all the clamping force to the center part of the platen, while traditional toggles apply force to the four corners of the platen, which company officials said could can cause deformation of the platens.
About 80 Bole FE electric presses have been sold since they hit the market about a year and a half ago, Rak said. The U.S. operation has them in stock. Customers also can select a hybrid version that uses a hydraulic unit, enclosed in the machine base for the core pull, ejector and carriage forward.
"It makes it a unique machine, because pricewise there is no difference, whether you go with the hybrid or the fully-electric — the same price," Rak said.
The company also offers the Bole DK series of two-platen machines. Rak said the tie-bars are forged, not machined, for higher quality. The locking nuts have variable, progressive spacing of the teeth to distribute stress evenly, giving longer life for that important component, he added.
At K 2019, all three types of Bole machines were on display: a fully electric with 180 metric tons of clamping force, a 570-tonne two-platen press and a 230-tonne servo-hydraulic toggle machine.
Rak said Bole Machinery is working with Penn State Erie's plastics engineering program by participating in job fairs and discussing putting a machine plastics processing laboratory at the school in Erie, Pa.