In Chunxiao, near Ningbo in China, Haitian is currently constructing a new 120,000 m² plant for the production of fully electric injection molding machines. Inauguration is planned for the beginning of 2014. Another plant is planned in Yanshan/Ningbo with a production area of 150,000 m² for large-size injection molding machines. These are additional core elements to consolidate Haitian Internationals’s claim to its leadership position as the largest manufacturer of injection-molding machines in the world.
So far, Haitian International has sold an average of 25,000 to 30,000 machines per year, with some 5,000 machines being exported to about 80 countries. The goal is to create basics to raise production efficiency in China through modern processes and expand its own vertical manufacturing capacity. The management sees this as crucial groundwork for thoroughly optimizing the company’s production efficiency. “To create efficient solutions for the customer, it always begins at home. Only when you have exhausted all possibilities within your own manufacturing process can you talk about real efficiency and offer an optimal price/performance ratio to customers” says Prof. h. c. Dipl.-Ing. Helmar Franz, member of the board of Haitian International Ltd. As a consequence, both new plants in Ningbo will be designed and built according to the principles of lean production in China. “Building competitive machines requires as much flexibility as possible with extensive minimization of costs. This inevitably results in purchase prices that give the customers sufficient leeway to produce efficiently themselves.”
Lean production with efficient vertical manufacturing
The design work lies in the reliable hands of Fang Jianting, the plant manager of the eleventh and so far the largest Haitian International plant. All factory departments in that plant are highly organized according to function, from logistics to module-based assembly, right down to the transfer frequency for small parts. Fang Jianting says: “The flexibility of our production line has become significantly greater, and even more importantly, the quality of assembly is built in right from the start, since we track possible problems immediately and can eliminate them at the source.” Currently, there are 380 employees in a production area of 120,000 m², producing on average 200-250 machines per week with clamping forces from 250 to 1,000 tons.
R&D: More capacity for new technologies
Along with the construction of the new factories, Haitian International is increasing R&D resources significantly. The engineering team’s to-do list includes the development of additional drive combinations and solutions for processing innovative composite materials, plus the expansion of existing machine models with high-efficiency economy versions. “From the customer’s perspective there is true efficiency only if the desired machine quality is combined with a low purchase price and big savings in energy and resources. It is the combination of these three factors that makes Haitian so successful” says Professor Franz, pointing to the close co-operation between Haitian International’s R&D experts and plastics processors worldwide. “We want to continue along this path and broaden it.” Franz calls the “significant qualitative leaps from the first to the second generation of machines” a prime example of the power to innovate that comes from intensive co-operation between researchers and customers. For example, the Jupiter II Series with two-platen technology was optimized in conjunction with customers in the automotive industry, with a dramatic focus on their demands. The optimization in terms of stability, dynamics, and precision are tremendous. Energy-saving servo-hydraulic drives are now generally standard in the Jupiter II. Beginning 2014, the current clamping force categories from 12,000 up to 66,000 kN will be supplemented by three more smaller sizes.
When updating the Venus II Series, emphasis was placed primarily on speed and efficiency. These Venus machines have motors for higher injection speeds up of to 350 mm/s that have been developed in-house. The Venus II is now also available with clamping forces of 3,000, 3,600, 4,500, and 5,500 kN. Up to eight injection units are offered for each clamping force.
World-wide network is connected more closely
Just as it pays constant attention to communications with customers, partners and users, Haitian is also continuously expanding and professionalizing its global network and is creating further opportunities to win over customers with on-site views of its machines. In May 2013, Haitian opened a new technology center in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, and in June 2013 this was followed by the relocation of the headquarters in Russia to a completely new building in Moscow, with showroom, tech center, and office. In addition, a subsidiary was established in South Africa. Communication between all business units of the Haitian Group is to be coordinated in future from the new headquarters in Ningbo, whose construction phase will be finalized in October, 2013.