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Trexel Inc., the exclusive provider of MuCell Microcellular Foam injection molding technology has significantly increased its presence in the Japanese market by creating Trexel Japan Co. Ltd. in a joint venture with Matsui Manufacturing Co. Ltd. The operation, based in Tokyo, started September 1, 2013, and is led by Hisashi Tsugawa, president, who has over 20 years of management experience in the Japanese injection molding industry, including management responsibilities at GE Plastics Japan.

Clare Goldsberry

October 8, 2013

2 Min Read
Trexel’s MuCell technology enhances presence in Japanese market

Steve Braig, president and CEO at Trexel (www.trexel.com), told PlasticsToday that the company has had independent representation in Japan for about 13 years, through an individual who owned a trading company. “He had no technical resources and relied on partners like JSW and Nissei to provide the technical assistance,” Braig explained. “We needed to incrase or technical support capabilities so time came for us to make a change and to get serious about the Japanese market.”

Braig developed a relationship with Matsui, a leading manufacturer of industrial drying and pneumatic conveying equipment in Japan, and was invited to join Matsui’s “The Association of Green Molding Solutions," a global alliance of sustainable injection molding suppliers formed in 2011.

“The Green Molding Association is a group of companies offering seminars and symposiums throughout Asia, and promoting a more sustainable platform for plastics processing,” Braig explained. “Matsui has developed more energy-saving dryers and auxiliary equipment, and is sincere about doing something for the common good. Ultimately, that led to the two companies to enter into conversation about a joint venture.”

Braig pointed out that Japan’s unique business practices require attention from a partner to help guide Trexel through the Japanese business structure. Matsui will provide some of the administrative infrastructure, while Trexel is building its own engineering and sales organization, Trexel Japan Co. Ltd., to better service and support the existing and growing customer base of process engineers in Japan.

The newly created subsidiary allows Trexel, which has a majority stake in the venture, further penetration into the Japanese market, specifically with the automotive OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers – who can reap the same lightweighting benefits as those in North America and Europe. “Japan is a very promising market for our technology,” said Braig. “The growing demand for reduced costs and sustainability, along with the drive to lower vehicle weight, allow the advantages of our MuCell process to stand apart. We see great opportunity with the Japanese automotive sector.”

Braig told PlasticsToday that while the automotive industry is and has been a primary market over the past several years, the company also promotes molding processing improvements in almost all injection molding applications that do not require aesthetic surface finishes. He points out that the office machine/business equipment market is a very good market for Trexel.

“OEMs such as Canon, which is our largest customer worldwide from a user standpoint, like the MuCell technology for interior parts such as paper guides, printer cartridges and other components that require greater dimensional stability and stress-free parts,” he said. “We want to continue to leverage the benefits of MuCell technology, beyond those of lightweighting, to other companies.”

About the Author(s)

Clare Goldsberry

Until she retired in September 2021, Clare Goldsberry reported on the plastics industry for more than 30 years. In addition to the 10,000+ articles she has written, by her own estimation, she is the author of several books, including The Business of Injection Molding: How to succeed as a custom molder and Purchasing Injection Molds: A buyers guide. Goldsberry is a member of the Plastics Pioneers Association. She reflected on her long career in "Time to Say Good-Bye."

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