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KraussMaffei, Toshiba sign agreement—on what, exactly, remains open

The two plastics processing machinery manufacturers are offering almost no details about the cooperation agreement they announced Feb. 18. KraussMaffei (Munich, Germany) and Toshiba Machine Co. Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan), in a press release, said only that the firms’ respective bosses, CEO Dietmar Straub at KM and President Reiji Nakajima at Toshiba, “have signed a cooperation agreement to develop leading-edge machinery for plastics processing.”
What sort of leading edge machinery? They won’t exactly say, though KraussMaffei’s head of corporate communications, Matthias Andreeson, allowed the firms both make injection molding machinery “so you can make a safe assumption” on where the partnership may lead. Indeed, both make a wide range of injection molding machinery; Toshiba has its domestic facility as well as one in China. Both are within the top five in sales of these machines, with Engel, Husky and Haitian (KM’s sales include those of Netstal). KM also manufacturers extrusion lines (including in China for the Asia/Pacific region) and reaction injection molding (RIM) equipment.
Andreeson added that the firms have projects in the works but will not discuss these until later this year. The timing of the announcement is of note as it comes less than three weeks after Japanese injection molding machine manufacturer Sumitomo confirmed it would acquire German competitor Demag Plastics Group; DPG formerly was a sister firm of KraussMaffei when both were part of the Mannesmann Plastics Group of companies. Andreeson made clear that the KraussMaffei/Toshiba timing had nothing to do with the Sumitomo/DPG news, but rather was made after the firms spent significant time in talks.—[email protected]
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