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6/8/2018 | 2 MINUTE READ

Chen Hsong Makes New Push in U.S. Market for Injection Machines

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With two new lines of energy-efficient presses and a new sales-representative firm, Chen Hsong Group of Hong Kong is putting new emphasis on the U.S. market for injection molding machines.

I heard about this new effort first-hand at NPE2018 in Orlando, Fla., earlier this month, where I sat down with C.K. Chiang, president-manufacturing, and with Erik Eggen and Ken Heyse, partners in CH-America, Torrington, Conn., a new firm that has been representing Chen Hsong for almost a year.

Chen Hsong is the second-largest maker of injection machines in the world. It builds around 15,000 presses annually, selling one every 10 minutes, on average. Still, as Mr. Chiang conceded, the company has been somewhat slow in penetrating the U.S. molding market. “The U.S. customer is very demanding in terms of price, service and technology,” he said. Chen Hsong has over 200 machines in this country, and also builds large hydraulic two-platen presses for the the former Mitsubishi (MHI) injection machine business, now owned by Ube Industries. Chen Hsong has built around 100 of those machines, 1000 tons and up, and the current production rate is about 20 annually.

As it celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, Chen Hsong Group feels the time is right to make a stronger bid to penetrate the American market. “The used machine market is very tight,” said Chiang, “and most of them are 20 to 25 years old, low in energy efficiency, and it’s hard to get spare parts.”

To spearhead the new push, Chen Hsong has developed two new lines of machines, which are built in China, like the rest of the company’s production. “We are trying to lift the standard of Chinese machines. We have gained experience in Europe, where we doubled our sales last year to around 100 machines, or $4.5 million.”

Eggen and Heyse emphasized how the two new machine series shown at NPE are tailored specifically for the U.S. market. These are the Supermaster two-platen machines from 700 to 6500 metric tons (770 to 7150 U.S. tons) and the Jetmaster MK6 toggles from 88 to 668 m.t. (97 to 736 U.S. tons). Additional sizes are available to 1600 m.t. (1763 U.S.). Both are servohydraulic driven for energy efficiency.

“This is better technology than from other Asian suppliers,” said Eggen. “These machines have state-of-the-art hydraulics with components from Bosch Rexroth, Yuken, etc. Theyd have more advanced lubrication and more user-friendly controls—from Beckhoff for the two-platens and from BNR for the toggles. There are other features for the U.S. market, like SPI platen layouts, provision for extra mold cores, and we offer integrated hot runners and valve gates.” He also points to the care devoted to “small details” like wire runs, lubrication piping runs, and shielding.

“We’re especially excited about the two-platen line,” said Heyse. “They’re modular, with 14 clamp sizes and 29 injection units that you can mix and match. They have clamp speeds up to 700 mm/sec, which is almost unheard-of for this style of machine. Dry-cycle speed is 7 sec. And special adaptive controls continually optimize the cycle to run faster.” He notes that in the last three years, Chen Hsong has built three 7150-tonners for producers of agricultural bins and septic tanks in Australia and Israel.

The toggle presses, aimed at general-purpose molding, have a new toggle design that’s said to be faster and more durable. The unique, circular cast platens are said said to have less deflection than standard designs. Dry-cycle time is 2.5 sec standard and 1.5 sec for the “Speed” version.

Chiang revealed that Chen Hsong is developing a line of all-electric machines. They will be tested first in China and may make their Western debut at next year’s K 2019 show in Düsseldorf.