ERJ staff report (PR)
Corbas, France / Altdorf, Germany – LWB Steinl GmbH & Co. KG of Germany, and French company REP International have formed a joint venture (JV) to manufacture, sell and service rubber injection moulding machines in China. The companies will remain competitors in all other markets.
The JV, called United Rubber & Plastic Machinery (Langfang) Ltd, will operate as a fully independent company under local management, and will manufacture machines designed exclusively for the Chinese market.
Production will be based at a new plant in Langfang, southeast of Beijing – where LWB has manufactured machines at a preliminary phase since 2009. The unit, which will have a production area of 2,500 square metres, is due to be finished by the end of 2014.
"These days it is more important to make of use of common advantages to increase the level of service to a market, rather than duplicating resources which will dissipate in ‘me-too’ competition," said Peter Steinl, managing director of LWB Steinl.
According to a joint statement, both companies “have been present in China for many years”, but “barely overlap on the market”. Among other goals, the venture is expected to counter companies supplying copied machine designs in China.
"Year after year, new machinery manufacturers in China are founded, which copy the European machinery. During a recent [Chinese exhibition] visitors could see of a number of machines that at first – or sometimes even with a second glance – look like well-known products," added the joint statement
“These are the companies to fight against, but there are arguments for the original technology – which the Chinese manufacturers recognise now, too," said Peter Steinl.
"The Chinese market is a big challenge with a big potential," added Bruno Tabar, president of REP, "we therefore rely on synergies with strong partners to generate further growth faster.
"Customers will take more advantage from a strong supplier offering a wide range of product and services. Another benefit of this co-operation both companies see, beside lower production costs, is a strong unified sales and service network throughout China."
Family-owned LWB’s portfolio includes machines with 6 to 1,200 tonne clamping force and 4.5 to 30,000 cc injection volume. The Altdorf-based maker's offerings range from vertical C-frame machines for the profile industry, vertical four-column or frame machines, up to horizontal machines pillar and C-frame clamping unit into frames, C-frame and column construction.
Corbas-based REP's injection moulding machines ranging from 7 to 2,400 tonnes clamp pressure, and 7 to 50,000 cc injection capacity, with primarily column frame design, for both horizontal and vertical lay-out.