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Absolute Haitian opens new Ohio technical center

Parma, OH—In the midst of their best year ever, the three owners of Absolute Haitian faced a decision: rent a bigger space in the key Midwest market of Ohio or buy a building and put down more permanent roots.

Parma, OH—In the midst of their best year ever, the three owners of Absolute Haitian faced a decision: rent a bigger space in the key Midwest market of Ohio or buy a building and put down more permanent roots.

Nate Smith, Mike Ortolano, and Glenn Frohring who collectively own Absolute Haitian, the exclusive sales and service partner in the U.S. and Canada for China's Ningbo Haitian Machinery Co. Ltd., decided to buy and on May 10 they hosted an open house for customers, industry dignitaries, trade press, Haitian executives, vendor partners, and their own sales team, which conducted a meeting prior to the event.

Absolute Haitian open house
Helmar Franz
Absolute Haitian Parma, OH inventory
Absolute Haitian Parma, OH training center
From Top: Absolute Haitian held an open house at its new Parma, OH technical center on May 9; Professor Helmar Franz, part of Haitian's executive team, offered a presentation; the new site offers expanded space for parts inventory; Absolute Haitian included a training center for customers and employees at the new operation.

"A lease has the flexibility to pick up and move, but we felt this was a space that we wouldn't move from," Frohring told PlasticsToday. "If we have to move, it will because we don't have enough room, and that would be a good problem."

Absolute Haitian is headquartered in Worcester, MA, where Ortolano and Smith work, running two 25,000-sq-ft plants that in addition to Haitian machine sales, support the trio's other two businesses: Absolute Green Energy and Absolute Machinery.

Frohring worked from Ohio, where the Absolute Haitian business had previously rented a 6000-sq-ft space in Solon. Now the company owns a 20,000-sq-ft building in Parma, OH, that will house machine stock, training, and extensive parts inventory, with 3000-sq-ft of office space and 17,000-sq-ft of warehouse.

Frohring declined to reveal the total amount invested in what had been a metal stamping operation, but in addition to purchasing the site, the building was completely repainted, inside and out, with all new energy efficient lighting put in, new flooring, and the addition of state-of-the-art training center, including a Hitachi StarBoard interactive white board. Power was upgraded to 480 volts and even landscaping was considered, with approximately 30 trees removed.

Taking the next step
The company started on the path to the new building in 2011, when the ownership decided it was time to "take the next step", according to Frohring, with regards to aftermarket sales and service. At that time, they hired Randy Wendling, a veteran of and former colleague at Van Dorn Demag, where he was the service manager for a decade.

Since the move to the new building, Wendling has worked to expand the company's onsite inventory of spare parts so that today customers can get same-day delivery for 90% of their orders. Total inventory rose from 800,000 individual components to 1.3 million. "If we don't have it, we will add it," Wendling said, noting that if a part isn't in Ohio, most can be delivered within two days from Haitian in China.

During the open house, the company had four machines in stock, but could hold up to 12 to 15, depending on their size, according to Wendling. Two machines, including a Mars MA 10000 8400 and Saturn SA 3800 2230 had been sold, with the Saturn headed to custom molder West Michigan, which also has a Mars series machine on order.

A global perspective
The event included a presentation on the global plastics market from Professor Helmar Franz, Chief Strategy Officer for Haitian International. Franz, a former Demag employee who has lived in China for the last eight years as part of Haitian's executive team, noted that it had been eight years since he was in northeast Ohio, a region he traveled to every 6 weeks when he was part of Demag Plastics Group's leadership team.

Franz stressed that his company's presence in the U.S., via Absolute Haitian, is reflective of Haitian's global vision, with footprints in all its key markets. One slide pictured four world maps, each with a different region at the center, reflecting how depending on where people live, their vision of the planet's epicenter shifts.

"It is important to acknowledge this," Franz said. "In Asia, America, Europe—people see the world differently. It doesn't mean anyone is wrong. This is why we have the plant here; American people know best what Americans need."

Mars and Venus in view
During the event, three molding machines were in operation: two Haitian Mars servo-hydraulic presses and a Zhafir Venus all-electric machine.

A Haitian MA 7000/5000, with 787 tons of clamp force and a 91.7-oz shot size, ran an 8-cavity tool making a polypropylene plumbing component supplied by Oatey Co. Plumbing Supplies. The total part weight was 3.65 oz. with each individual part weighing in at .50 oz. The mold utilized a FastHeat 12-zone hot runner controller, with parts removed by a Sepro Success 33 robot. The chillers, material blender, grinder, mold thermolators and material dryer came from Conair, while robot guarding and ancillary supplies were from Molders Choice, which is co-located in the Ohio Technical Center.

A Haitian MA 1600/410, with 180 tons clamp force and 5.5-oz shot, ran a 4-cavity brush head tool on loan from Venture Plastics. The total part weight, including runner, was .90 oz, with individual brush heads coming in at .20 oz. The material loader system was supplied by Conair, with a Precision Cut Fab parts chute and Molders Choice ancillaries.

A Zhafir VE 3000/1400 all-electric, with 337 tons of clamp force and 27.6-oz shot size, used a two-cavity tool to injection mold 1.95 oz thin-wall containers. Molders Choice provided the hot runner system, with a Conair material blender and loader and a TeMp Sensor from MD Plastics. Developed by Michael Durina, the TeMP technology reportedly provides a more precise reading for the transfer from fill to hold compared to traditional position or time readings. The melt temperature sensor is positioned between the machine's nozzle tip and nozzle, and since it is tangential to the nozzle body hole, MD says it does not impede material flow or affect pressure. It communicates with the machine to indicate when the mold is filled, allowing a more precise transition from fill to pack and hold.

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