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LS Mtron Presses Ahead in North America

The South Korean injection molding machine maker is making its presence felt at NPE and in the US market.

Norbert Sparrow

May 8, 2024

3 Min Read
LS Mtron press conference at NPE2024
LS Mtron President of Sales Paul Caprio (left) and Global CEO Chai Ho Shin (center).Image: Norbert Sparrow

By any measure, LS Mtron Injection Molding Machines USA has been remarkably successful at penetrating the US market in a short amount of time. In 2018, the Korea-based company had 1.5% market share in the North American injection molding machine space. By 2023, that share had grown to 7.5%. And that pales in comparison with the company’s goal of capturing 20% of the North American market. No deadline has been set as yet. It’s a tall order, but consider this, said Paul Caprio, president of sales, at a press conference at NPE2024: LS Mtron has shown consistent growth during fallow times for the plastics industry; imagine what it can achieve under better economic conditions.

Best in show

LS Mtron is reinforcing that message of confidence on the NPE show floor, where it has tripled its footprint to 13,500 square feet and populated the space with several signature production cells. These include a 1400-ton hydraulic press molding an automotive part and a “sandwich” molder that processes virgin resin for the surface layer and recycled materials for the core. The result is a product with a quality appearance and sustainability cred.

Some of the machines are equipped with automation systems, none of which are made by LS Mtron, a point of pride for Caprio. The company prefers to rely on forward-thinking automation experts that pursue innovation, said Caprio, rather than build an in-house team that may develop tunnel vision over time.

Related:New Year Brings New Structure at LS Mtron

A claim no other machine builder can make.

LS Mtron is part of South Korean conglomerate LS Group, which employs more than 25,000 employees and has annual revenue in the neighborhood of $30 billion. LS Mtron Injection Molding Machines (LS IMM) is a division of LS Mtron, which was started in 1969 by another South Korean giant, LG Corp. Initially, LS IMM exclusively molded components for LG-branded TVs, appliances, and other products. As LG expanded across the globe, LS IMM followed and since then has installed thousands of machines across North America for automotive, appliance, and other applications. That heritage is valuable, according to Caprio, because it allows LS Mtron IMM to say that “we are molders ourselves. No other machine builder can make that claim,” said Caprio, adding that it gives the company a unique perspective on the best molding machine for a given application and an ability to communicate meaningfully with machine buyers.

The company is exhibiting in booth W1101 at NPE2024, which is running at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL, through May 10.

Expansion in Korea and Texas.

During the NPE press conference, LS Mtron Global CEO Chai Ho Shin also shared some news about the company’s recent expansions.

In South Korea, Shin announced that it is expanding injection molding machine production at a new factory in Jinju. The 15,000-square-meter (3.7 acre) facility cost approximately $12 million and began operations last month. It will produce around 50 presses each month for shipment to customers in the United States, Europe, and Korea.

In Texas, meanwhile, LS Mtron has established a dual-purpose facility in Palestine, which will serve as a demonstration center and warehouse for its injection molding machine business as well as a second US production facility for the conglomerate’s popular tractors. The company produces more than 12,000 tractors a year at its Battleboro, NC, factory; the new Texas facility will produce another 12,000, doubling the company’s US output.

There is ample space in the 210,000-square-foot facility on a 10.6-acre lot to manufacture injection molding machines, the company added, which is part of the company’s strategic plan for the United States.

About the Author(s)

Norbert Sparrow

Editor in chief of PlasticsToday since 2015, Norbert Sparrow has more than 30 years of editorial experience in business-to-business media. He studied journalism at the Centre Universitaire d'Etudes du Journalisme in Strasbourg, France, where he earned a master's degree.


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