Düsseldorf, Germany — Chinese injection press manufacturer Tederic Machinery Co. Ltd. plans to open a U.S. headquarters in the Cleveland area, as Tederic moves to become an international brand.
This fall, the company hired machinery veteran Tony Firth as vice president of sales and marketing for Tederic North America Inc. One of his first tasks: Find a suitable building in the 20,000- to 30,000-square-foot range in a good central location in the Midwest, the main U.S. region for injection press sales.
Interviewed at Tederic's booth during K 2019, Firth said he is looking in the Twinsburg area and Cleveland.
"We want to be within reasonable driving distance for potential customers in mid-Michigan, Indiana and the Midwest," he said.
Good access to the automotive market is important, since Tederic is known for its big machines. Firth said the company, which operates its own foundry, builds around 200 presses each year with clamping forces of 2,000 tons and larger.
Plans call for inventory, spare parts and service, and a future showroom in the Ohio location.
Tederic owner and Chairman Terry Zheng said the company has sold presses in North America for the last 12 years through a distributor in Palmetto, Fla. Zheng said Tederic has sold about 200 injection presses, most of them in the United States but a handful sold to Canada.
Firth said the Florida location will continue to handle Tederic machinery.
"We're serious about this," Firth said in at K 2019. "We've already started the process of recruiting a sales network. So far we've signed Labelle Industries."
Labelle, of El Paso, Texas, will represent Tederic from Mississippi west to the southern counties of California and the maquiladora area in northern Mexico.
The market area for Tederic North America will include the United States, Canada and the maquiladoras. Sales to Mexico will be deals made with multinational companies based north of the border, Firth said.
Tederic Machinery has two factories in Hangzhou, China: a 350,000-square-foot injection press plant and a 500,000-square-foot plant that includes a foundry to make large castings for platens and other parts. Tederic also has a factory in India.
Firth recounted a conversation when he visited Zheng in China: "I asked Terry when I was there, 'Why'd you get into the foundry business?' And he said to me, 'Have you tried to buy castings in China?' He said the only way to get the quality was to do it himself."
Tederic also developed its own frame welding technology, Zheng said.
"We're very vertically integrated when it comes to the machine. There's very little that we subcontract out," Firth said.
Firth's background includes executive positions at Negri Bossi North America and Sandretto USA.
Tederic already sells in many other regions besides its native China, including Europe, South America, South Africa, Brazil, India and South Korea. The press maker runs centers for sales, service and training in South Korea, Mexico, Brazil and India, in New Delhi.
Tederic has big ambitions, and the United States plays a key role, Zheng said.
"We would like to become an international brand. An international company. We are going to become 'global Tederic.' And the USA is such an important market for all over the world, for all of the global companies," he said.
The company's K show exhibit featured several machines, including one with a center-rotating platen for multimaterial molding. The company makes all-electric presses. "And also, Tederic has a very good solution for packaging and medical," Zheng said. And a very good solution for auto parts, with a two-platen machine and a multicomponent machine."
Seeking faster growth, Zheng said, he is looking for a potential joint venture or investment in a European injection press maker. Tederic hopes to compete with German and Japanese injection molding machines in the future, he said.
"We're not only focusing on sales for international. We're also focusing on the R&D," Zheng said.