The intention is clear: Haitian International wishes not only to consolidate its sustained market leadership in plastic injection-molding machines but also to expand it in the medium term. The company is pursuing this goal through a two-pronged strategy geared towards providing advantages for the customer: fully-electric designs for the small and medium-sized ranges of clamping force; in tandem with this, the expansion of space-saving double-platen technology, with the innovative Mars drive technology offered as standard.
The course has been set, and with the construction of matching manufacturing plants, Haitian International has already created facts: in Chun Xiao near Ningbo, China, a new plant with a total surface area of 300,000 m² is currently under construction for the production of fully-electric machines of up to 5,500 kN. The beginning of 2014 will see the start of operations. The Chun Xiao plant has a capacity designed to deliver up to 10,000 machines per year in the final phase. Very nearby one of the most important suppliers, Haitian Drive Systems, has also built a new plant, which will then very soon be able to supply special drive systems for the fully-electric machines in large quantities. In fact, new employees are currently being hired, trained, and qualified. In addition, experienced employees from other plants are in the process of being selected. Besides production, a large tract of land has been earmarked for administration and offices. Later, the R&D, the application technology, and other production-related functions will follow.
Another plant, Tung Tu Lu II, is under construction in Yanshan/Ningbo, with a production area of about 150,000 m². Production here will focus on the Jupiter II Series and other large machines, with the start of operations planned for the end of 2014.
Customer orientation is the focus of all planning
“In Chun Xiao, we will build fully-electric machines that meet even more precisely the requirements for applications in the small and middle range of clamping forces. And whenever we at Haitian International take on new challenges, our objective will also always be to become one of the largest and most important companies in that field,” says Professor h.c. Dipl.-Ing. Helmar Franz, Chief Strategy Officer and board member of Haitian International Ltd. “Over the past few years, we have analyzed in detail the global markets and trends and drawn important conclusions. Our development teams in China and Germany are highly motivated to convert the various needs into efficient machine solutions. Moreover, our highly speci-fic solutions, such as for example our development of the Mercury Series, that have brought us to the fore.”
Fully electric is the future
According to an internal customer survey, by concentrating on fully-electric solutions, Haitian has its finger firmly on the pulse of their requirements. Energy efficiency, precision, rapid return on investment (ROI), and more room to maneuver because of lower unit costs were the requirements most frequently mentioned for the machines of the future.
Tom Fikkert, owner of Acodeq, a traditional plastic processing operation with 13 machines (hydraulic until now) in the Netherlands, has owned a 1900 kN Venus machine for a full year now and he reports: “Low energy costs and a low-noise work environment are my points. In my opinion, the fully-electric technologies solve these without any compromise. It’s just the case that they were too expensive to procure until now. The attractive price of the Venus machine means that I continue to stay competitive in terms of unit costs.”
Vincens Schulte, managing director of the Bavarian moldmaking company Schulte GmbH, has had a 1,000 kN Mercury machine standing in his Tech Center since Summer 2013. “As a moldmaker, we need machines with a higher degree of flexibility and dynamic performance. Because of the Mercury’s extremely small installation footprint, in future we can run more molds in the smallest of spaces. Fully-electric technology saves a whole lot of energy, which means that we can have the machines run simultaneously despite limited power supply cords. For us, the future is fully-electric. That’s for sure.”
Expanding and intensifying R&D
In parallel with the assembly of the new plants in Ningbo, we have significantly increased the resources of our own R&D. The design team’s agenda includes developing more drive combinations and solutions for processing innovative composites as well as expanding existing series to include highly profitable economy versions. “From the customer’s point of view, there is no real efficiency until the desired machine quality, a low purchase price, and big savings in energy and resources are all combined. It’s the combination of these three factors that makes Haitian so successful” says Professor Franz, while noting the close cooperation between Haitian International’s R&D experts and plastics processors all over the world. “We want to continue along this path and pursue it still further.”
As an excellent example of the power of innovation that comes from intensive cooperation between developers and customers, Mr. Franz points to the significant leaps made in the quality of the machines from Generation I to Generation II. Because, in my opinion, the true value of innovation is revealed firstly in achieving cost efficiency for the user, which means, “technology to the point”. We want to continue along this path and pursue it still further while developing and strengthening the importance of injection-molding technology in the plastics processing industry.”