Another molder signs up to sell Chinese injection molding machines
Injection molders primarily sell machine time, with some dabbling in part sales via proprietary products, but how about molders selling molding machines?
Last week at Plastec West in Anaheim, the industry witnessed another entrant into that final group, with Ken Parker, president of Ohio-based injection molder Tech-Way Industries Inc. (Franklin), using the show to launch Tech Bole USA, the exclusive North American distributor of the Ningbo, China based injection molding machine manufacturer Ningbo Shuangma Machinery Industry Co., Ltd.
“If an injection molder is going to recommend a molding machine,” Parker said at his booth in Anaheim, “we want to make sure it is the right one. Tech Bole is recommended by a molder for molders.”
At NPE 2012, Guangzhou based injection molding machine maker, Borche Machinery Co. Ltd. launched U.S. sales with representation from Hamilton, Ontario injection molder Plastics Plus. In both instances, buying machines from the Chinese suppliers led to a new business opportunity. Last November in this space, we noted the influx of Chinese machines to North America, with domestic Chinese suppliers hoping to follow in the export success of companies like Chen Hsong and Haitian. Haitian, of course, partnered with Absolute Machinery, also of Ohio, back in 2006 to help it penetrate the North American market.
Parker, who is a Buckeye state molder of 50 years, noted that representatives of Absolute Haitian got wind of Tech Bole’s plans as Plastec West opened. Tech Bole’s sales manager, Robert Jergens, who had only been on the job for two weeks when the exhibition kicked off, had spent roughly the last nine years with Premier Equipment Sales, which reps Haitian, among others, in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and West Virginia.
“[Tech Bole machines] are lower cost, but we also add value,” Jergens said. Specifically, Jergens said Tech Bole offers wider tie bar spacing than other Chinese machine manufacturers due to the design of the clamp system. The 130-ton machine in Tech Bole’s booth, a 120EK from the EK series of hybrid machines, had tie bar spacing of 18 by 16 inches, with a platen size of 26 by 24 inches. Parker noted that the machine’s unique toggle design positions the locking mechanism directly behind the mold, helping it combat platen deflection.
The company is headed to Orlando this week and the Society of the Plastics Industry’s Space Draw for NPE 2015. Parker said Tech Bole USA had sold four machines prior to the show, with two of those headed to Tech-Way itself. Deals were reportedly in the works in Anaheim, and, according to Parker, there are also some cooperative projects to develop parts that will eventually run on Bole machines.
The company plans on maintaining sales, service, and inventory in Dayton, Ohio, with efforts underway to build out a service network on the East and West coasts. At this time, only the hybrid line is available, but Shuangma is developing fully electric series.