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4/25/2016 | 1 MINUTE READ

Engel Boosts Injection Molding Machine Manufacturing Capacity in Shanghai

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Only four years after doubling the capacity of its large-press mold machine manufacturing business in Shanghai, Engel is once again expanding the site, adding another CNC hall for platen fabrication, as well as office space.

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Gero Willmeroth, president of sales and service for Engel Machinery (Shanghai) Co. Ltd. announced the investment at the Chinaplas Media Day event one day prior to the show’s opening. The company is adding another building to support manufacturing and administration, with 1600-m2 of additional production space, including a new heavy duty machining center for platen manufacturing, and another 450-m2 of office space. To be completed by April 2017, the addition, including machinery, constitutes an investment of $9.2 million (60 million yuan).

The growing sales figures and plans for expansion might run counter to narratives of China’s slow down, and while Willmeroth noted there is a “new normal” for the country, he said it’s actually a positive for the company.

“This ‘new normal’ means we have to realize that 10% or bigger growth rates are over,” Willmeroth said. “Now it’s more in the range of 6 to 7%, and Engel sees that as more healthy. The economy is not shrinking it’s just growing at a slower pace, and this creates new opportunities, especially for companies like Engel. When the economy slows, people focus on productivity, strengthening competitive advantage.” That focus benefits Engel, Willmeroth said, by prompting investment in higher end equipment and more system sales, including automation.

Three Decades in Asia
Engel and Chinaplas mark a 30th anniversary in 2016, as the 30th edition of the Asian plastics event coincides with three decades of direct operations in Asia for the Austrian maker of injection molding machines and automation. In 1986, Engel opened its own subsidiary with four employees in Hong Kong to serve Asia. Today it has an extensive presence in the region, including the building of machines in China and South Korea, with the geography accounting for nearly 25% of the company’s global sales revenue, with 85% of of that turnover coming from its own local production. In 2012, Engel generated more than Euro 100 million Euro revenue in Asia for the first time. In terms of employees, those first four in Hong Kong have become more than 500 employees in China alone.

Since opening in 2005, Engel’s Shanghai machine production plant has expanded twice. In 2012, it also doubled production at its Pyungtaek City, South Korea factory for small and medium clamping force machines.