Orlando, Fla. — Making its NPE debut under its joint Chinese and U.S. name at NPE2018 in Orlando, May 7-11, Yizumi-HPM Corp. is touting its tech know-how, including foaming technology that slashes energy use and cycle time.
The company also announced at NPE that it plans to expand its North American technical center in Iberia, Ohio.
The company opened the 22,000-square-foot technical center seven months ago and now plans to add additional space.
“The addition of 15,000 square feet of manufacturing space is designed to meet the expanded demands of the company’s growing business in large-tonnage injection molding and die casting machines,” said John Beary, president of Yizumi-HPM Corp.
The company has started engineering studies and architectural work with a target of beginning construction in early 2019.
The investment also will include a 75-ton crane. The expanded facility will house sales, manufacturing and other administrative services. It will also accommodate more room for machine development and customer trials.
The Ohio company, a unit of China’s Guangdong Yizumi Precision Machinery Co. Ltd., is demonstrated its FoamPro technology, developed with Wilmington, Mass.-based MuCell foaming system supplier Trexel Inc.
FoamPro reduces part weight by 20 percent, halves clamping force and cuts cycle times by 30 percent or more, thanks to using an aluminum instead of a steel mold, said Hans Wobbe, chief strategy officer for Guangdong Yizumi.
While such technology is not new to the North American market, Yizumi said it wanted to bring it to NPE2018 to show the company’s technical development, particularly to the North American auto and home appliance industries.
Guangdong Yizumi, one of China’s biggest manufacturers of injection molding machines, acquired the intellectual property of bankrupt Marion, Ohio-based machine maker HPM in 2011. HPM and Yizumi exhibited at NPE in 2012 and 2015, but only under the HPM name.
Yizumi-HPM’s sales leaped 114 percent last year, the company says.
Speaking at a media day last month before the ChinaPlas show in Shanghai, Wobbe underscored the Shunde, Guangdong province-based company’s technology development.
“If you produce the machine only, you miss the knowledge of the entire process,” Wobbe said. “We will focus on total systems and total machine sales.”
At its NPE2018 booth, the company is running FoamPro on a Yizumi-HPM DP-N series two-platen injection molding machine to produce briefcases with gloss, matte, leather, fabric and fiber-particle finish in a 49-second cycle.
Also at the booth, a Yizumi-HPM A5-N servo injection molding machine will feature the Linde Group’s gas-assisted injection molding process that controls resin flow, increases precision and cuts materials consumption and cooling time.
The company also announced at NPE that Bill Flickinger will retire on Oct. 30 after a 50-year career in plastics.
Flickinger has worked directly for or had an association with HPM since 1968. He retired as president of Yizumi-HPM in February 2016.
He will continue part time as vice president until October.
“This allows me to attend one more NPE exhibition and NADCA Die Casting Show,” he said.
Expansion in China
Yizumi plans to open a 215,000-square-foot R&D center next year in Wusha, China, near its headquarters. Last year, it opened a modest technical research center at RWTH University in Aachen, Germany, the site of the prestigious Institute of Plastics Processing (IKV).
As part of its technical development, Yizumi hired Wobbe, a former Engel Holding GmbH chief strategy officer, as its chief strategy officer in 2016. Wobbe had also worked at Aachen’s Institute of Plastics Processing.
At ChinaPlas, Yizumi announced that it has invested in Prince & Weiss’s Environmental Plastic Innovation Center in Eupen, Belgium.
Other Yizumi research interests include multicomponent molding, thin-walled molding and liquid-silicone-rubber molding.
With orders up sharply in recent years, Yizumi announced at ChinaPlas it plans to expand its annual production capacity to 4 billion yuan ($630 million).
“Our annual target is to grow 25 percent globally in our injection molding machine sales,” said James Zhang, general manager of the injection molding machine division.
Construction has begun on a 615,000-square-foot expansion of its plant in Wusha, near corporate headquarters in Shunde.
Wusha’s 250,000-square-foot phase 1 began production in 2016. Currently, it makes electric injection molding machines and high-speed packaging systems, which include both machines and molds. Yizumi said it’s steadily ramping up production.
When completed next year, production capacity of the Wusha plant will be about 2.2 billion yuan ($350 million).
In other production news, Yizumi plans to move production of two-platen machines to its Wujiang factory by midyear. When the move is complete, the plant will be able to manufacture 500 million yuan ($79 million) in two-platen machines and 200 million yuan ($32 million) in robotic equipment annually.
Yizumi said it also plans to produce 200 to 250 injection molding machines at its India plant, which began operation in June 2017.
In October, Yizumi-HPM opened its 250,000-square-foot, $1.8 million headquarters in Iberia. The facility supports technical sales and service.
In nearby Marion, Yizumi-HPM is leasing the former HPM Remanufacturing building to rebuild and refurbish machines and handle big new machines from China.
Yizumi-HPM has 20 full-time staff, including four engineers.
Founded in 1877 to make apple presses, HPM later became one of the first U.S. makers of injection molding machines. It also made die-casting machines and sheet extrusion lines. It went bankrupt and shuttered its Mount Gilead, Ohio, factory in 2009.
In 2016, Yizumi’s global sales grew 21.3 percent to 1.443 billion yuan ($228 million). Exports for the year totaled 270 million yuan ($43 million), up 36.9 percent from the previous year. Key export markets are Turkey, South Korea and Southeast Asia.
R&D expenditures for the year were 81.5 million yuan ($12.9 million).
Founded in 2002, Yizumi went public in 2015, with its shares listed on the Shenzhen and Shanghai exchanges. The company also makes die casting and rubber injection machines.