The merging of two major injection molding machine builders — Nissei Plastic Industrial Co. Ltd in Japan and Negri Bossi SpA in Italy — at the onset of the pandemic in 2020 meant embracing a lot of change to collaborate on a model launch for K 2022.
Using English as a common language and online meetings to share ideas when travel was restricted, the combined companies’ first project together resulted in the NOVA5e-T series, a new flagship model that Negri Bossi will sell to the European market.
Nissei developed the base of the all-electric machine and Negri Bossi, a subsidiary of Nissei Group, handled the external design.
Going forward, the procurements and production bases will be shared as the companies make the best of their complementary product lineups, which cover a tonnage range of 7 to 7,000 metric tons (7.7-7715 U.S. tons), and sales outlets.
The NOVA5e-T Series shows the combined strength of Nissei Group (Hall 15, B22) moving into the era of the Internet of Things.
“As a group, development capabilities have been improved, and the sales and service network has been expanded. Brand trust of Negri Bossi has been rising, and inquiries have been increasing,” Nissei officials said in an email.
The early adopters of the NOVA5e-T Series will be manufacturers in the medical and containers markets, they added.
The merged companies, which were each founded in 1947, also are close to another machine-making milestone as they mark their 75th anniversary.
“We expect to achieve the 200,000th installation around the end of first quarter or early second quarter in 2023,” Nissei officials said.
Nagano-based Nissei was founded in October 1947 by Katashi Aoki, who converted a hen house into a factory and started producing shoe horns, spoons, forks and umbrella handles. To improve product quality, he developed and built his own injection molding machine, which then became the focus of the business in 1957.
Nissei builds presses, molds, automatic molding systems and measuring equipment. The publicly traded company saw consolidated sales of $331 million (48,731 million yen) for the fiscal year ended March 2022. That’s up 17.1 percent compared to the prior year
Milan-based Negri Bossi, which was founded by M. Pietro Negri and Walter Bossi, has been focused on presses with 50 to 700 metric tons (55 to 7716 US tons) of clamp force.
The two companies’ deep roots in the plastic industry is helping the teams come together.
“Both companies are commemorating their 75th anniversaries and have rich histories as injection molding machine makers, making us easier to understand each other,” Nissei officials said. “We have web meetings regularly to also deepen mutual understanding.”
At K 2022, Nissei Group also will display an advancement related to processing polylactic acid (PLA) derived from corns and sugar canes. The biodegradable resins are considered a good prospect to replace petroleum-based plastics.
Another Nissei Group exhibit targets automotive-specific applications, including electric vehicles. The exhibit features a hybrid type vertical injection molding machine — TWX220RIII25V — that offers one of the industry’s lowest machine heights with a 2,110kN (220-ton) clamping force.
“We expect more parts will be made of plastics, and integral [modular] parts will be popular,” Nissei officials said. “Nissei offers low-floor type, mid- to large-tonnage vertical machines in the TWX Series (220-tonne and 300-tonne) that meet the molding needs for large insert-molded products.”
In addition, the company will exhibit a new micro molding machine, NEX30Ⅳ-1EN1, with 30 tonnes of clamping force for the medical and electronics markets. The press was added to the micro molding machine lineup to meet increasing demands in the North American market, Nissei officials said.
Before the pandemic, in 2019, about 15 percent of Nissei sales were to medical molders. Then COVID-19 spread around the globe and medical demand at the company surged to 39 percent of sales in 2020 followed by 31 percent in 2021.
In 2022, the company’s K show theme is “inclusive growth” with Nissei officials saying they are raising the bar for production with advanced technologies that improve factory environments and the value of plastics.