Koplas 2015: Haitian targets Korea as next market to conquer; Korean OEMs turn to special applications

Haitian's Korean affiliate is on a growth drive in South Korea, competing head-to-head with local players including LS Mtron and Woojin PLAIMM. Last year, the injection molding machine builder sold 470 machines in South Korea through Haitian Korea Co., Ltd. (Bucheon) and Representative Director Lainus Lee says it is targeting shipments of 800 machines in 2015.

To back up this objective, Haitian Korea has a team of 27 service engineers on call 24-7 as well as a large warehouse in central Korea (the city of Jecheon) with machines in stock. The Jecheon site also houses an R&D center.

Haitian Korea Representative Director Lainus Lee: "Targeting machines sales of 800 units this year."

"Our hybrid Mars series has been selling well in Korea," notes Lee, "but moving forward we plan to increase sales of our [Zhafir] Venus all-electric machines." This would put Haitian on a collision course with Japanese machine builders, who have traditionally dominated the all-electric sector in Korea, and Lee concedes that overcoming incumbent players will be a major challenge. "South Korean processors still have this image of Chinese all-electrics lacking quality, so we have to change this perception," he says.

The image of Haitian does appear to be changing in the Korean market, according to Lee. “In the past you could say that most of our customers were smaller molders, but now you’ll find our machines installed at major auto and electronics companies such as Hyundai, Kia, Samsung and LG and their suppliers.”

First impressions of Koplas suggest that Korean injection machine OEMs are aware of the impending threat of increased competition from China—Haitian wasn't the only Chinese OEM present at Koplas in Seoul. With Chinese OEMs potentially capturing a greater share of the commodity market in Korea, their Korean counterparts are actively pursuing valued-added fields, as evidenced by their new offerings at the show. PlasticsToday will report about these in the coming days, including a liquid silicone rubber (LSR) machine, a bulk molding compound (BMC) machine, a multi-layer packaging (cup) machine, a high-speed closure molding machine, a metal injection molding machine, and a machine back-molding thermoplastic composite sheet. Stay tuned!

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