Engel to launch Asia-specific subsidiary at Chinaplas
Some nine years after breaking ground on its own press manufacturing site in China, Engel is reaffirming its faith in the Chinese injection molding market with the launch of a new operation, and brand, intended to serve what it calls the "large commodity applications segment."
Wintec Engel Machinery Co. Ltd. is based in Changzhou and described by Engel as a 100%-owned subsidiary that will start machine production from a brand-new production plant this summer. Operated separately from Engel’s existing Asian business, including machine manufacture in Korea and Shanghai, Wintec will offer what Engel calls "relatively standardized machines with a limited range of options."
Contacted for details, Engel’s Group Marketing Director Gerd Liebig said the company would address Wintec during Engel’s press conference at next week’s Chinaplas, saying only that the new subsidiary is "100% owned by Engel and will focus on the Asian market."
Almost three decades in China
Engel’s presence in the broader Chinese market goes back to 1986, when it formed a trading company in Hong Kong. By May 2005, it had broken ground on a large-press manufacturing site outside Shanghai, and by the spring of 2012, it had more than doubled that 18,000 m2 facility, boosting its annual machine capacity to 250 presses with tonnage ranges from 350 to 3200.
In recent years, Engel has stressed that the Chinese appetite for injection molding machines is weakening, with years of 50,000-plus machines delivered likely to give way to a figure closer to 40,000.
In that scenario, the company billed itself as fulfilling the growing demand for higher-end machines, a segment it saw as still expanding, while the commodity press market would shrink.
With Wintec, it appears to be aiming for a sweet spot within the press-buying market of shops that want higher performance but not higher cost. Engel called China the core market for Wintec, but said machines made there could be exported throughout Asia, including Korea, Taiwan, and India.
In a release, Peter Auinger, who assumes management of Wintec, leaving his post for Engel in Mexico, said the new business will achieve a competitive price and short delivery time by reducing press modularity and options.
2-platen press supplier?
There are existing companies in the Chinese and Taiwanese markets that use the Wintec name, including a machine tool manufacturer and a supplier of mold components, but at this time, they appear to be unrelated to this venture. Engel has not said whether or not it is partnering with another company to start the new business.
Wintec Engel will have its own booth at Chinaplas, and while the company declined to divulge its initial product offerings, its exhibitor listing seemed to reinforce that targeting of large commodity products, noting the company supplies 2-platen injection molding machines.