Chinese injection machine building behemoth marks 50th anniversary with record sales

Any hints of a slowdown in industrial production in China were not evident at Chinese injection machine manufacturer Haitian International, which reported record revenue and machines delivered in 2016. Amid a volatile market, revenue grew by 10.4% to over RMB8.1 billion (around $1.2 billion), with domestic sales in fact up 14% year-on-year compared to a 3% rise in export sales. Unit sales grew from 25,778 injection machines in 2015 to 29,538 in 2016 (14.6% growth).

Haitian’s Franz: Chinese processors are increasingly turning to local sources for their machinery.

Speaking to the press at the recent Chinaplas show in Guangzhou, Helmar Franz, who recently retired from his position as chief strategy officer at the firm but remains as an advisor, noted that outstanding progress made in increasing the sales of all-electric injection machines over the past year. Haitian sold 1893 all-electric Zhafir machines in 2016, receiving 3000 orders over the course of the year. The machines are built in China and Germany and offered in clamping forces of up to 1380 tonnes. Haitian also increased sales of its large two-platen Jupiter injection machines from 429 units in 2015 to 595 units last year.

In terms of export markets, Europe has emerged as the firm’s largest, accounting for 30.9% of revenue in 2016 and outpacing the contribution of Southeast Asia (29.7%) and North America (17.2%).

Looking ahead, Zhang Jianming, Executive Director and CEO of Haitian International, said, “Since the second half of 2016, the Chinese government has implemented a number of policies, including ‘Stable Growth, Reduce Overcapacity,’ to strengthen investment confidence among local customers. New investment in the ‘real economy’ is becoming more active and this trend continued into early 2017 and orders from customers have substantially exceeded our expectation.” He added, “The records achieved in 2016 proved that our business strategies are successful and we will continue to adhere to the principles of customer demand as guidance and implement ‘application-oriented’ in our marketing strategy.”

Zhang adds that the company is cautiously optimistic on the path to recovery for the global economy. “Meanwhile, we are also well prepared for the challenges in international markets by further implementing local manufacturing in different regions such as Germany, India, Vietnam and other key markets.”

The Chinese plastics processing sector increasingly sources its machinery requirements from local vendors according to official statistics. In 2016, 85% of plastics processing machinery by value was sourced locally compared with 82% in the previous year. Machinery imports into China have declined proportionally and in absolute terms over the past six years. Since 2012, injection machine imports have in fact declined from $872 million to $533 million in 2016. Part of this decline can be attributed, however, to increased local production of machinery by foreign companies.

Among the machines on show at the Haitian booth at Chinaplas was a high-performance edition of the company’s Mars Series small hydraulic machines, which was developed based on the original MAII series but with an overall upgrade in performance and extended scope for application. The MA2799II/759p molded spoons in a 32-cavity tool from polypropylene in a cycle time of 8 seconds.

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