Wittmann Battenfeld to Make Injection Molding Machines in China

The Austrian headquartered supplier of injection molding machines, robotics and auxiliaries is planning a 2017 expansion that will add the manufacture of presses in China.

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Wittmann was an early adopter of China-based manufacturing for the local market, initially setting up production in the country in 2005, with the opening of Wittmann Robot (Kunshan) Co. Ltd. Since that time operations have been expanded three times, broadening the scope of products made in China. Today, in addition to robots, the company offers the market local manufacturing of its Tempro temperature control units, Drymax dryers, and its granulators.

In the future, injection molding machines can be added to that list according to Jonathan Ching, managing director Wittmann Battenfeld (Shanghai) Co. Ltd., speaking at Chinaplas 2015 in Guangzhou. Ching said the company has enough land at its Kunshan facility to double from its existing 12,000 sq m if necessary.

At this point in time, the company is still determining which clamp forces it will produce in China, but at least initially it is leaning towards smaller machines in the 80 to 180 ton range, as these are the most popular in the electronics and phone components the company currently derives business in. Ching said that at present, the Kunshan facility has 120 employees working three shifts, with Wittmann Battenfeld employing 200 across China.

Ching estimated that with new sales and legacy Battenfeld installations, Wittmann Battenfeld probably has around 2000 injection molding machines currently running in China. Its top-selling products in the country remain robotics and automation cells, with Ching describing that segment as the company’s “core business” in China. Since it entered China, Wittmann has established three branches and nine offices total in 13 years.

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