South Korean machinery and technology
Upbeat mood for industry At the Koplas show, held March 30 to April 3, in Seoul, South Korea, injection moulding machinery manufacturers reported higher sales last year, mainly to OEM manufacturers of electronic and automotive products. The show, this year, had 314 exhibitors from 21 countries with 23,000 visitors, which was slightly down from the 25,000 visitors at the 2008 show. LED focus at the show It was recently reported that consumer electronics giant Samsung Electronics is aiming to quadruple sales of its LEDbacklit flat panel televisions to 10 million units this year. This should bode well for suppliers of LED lead frames that are injection moulded in nylon, PPA or a glass fibrereinforced LCP. Deputy General Manager of Marketing and Sales at Engel Machinery Korea, Wang Jin-Man, said, “Since the industry has switched to LED light emmitance, we expect a high demand for this type of application.” The Austrian machinery maker was displaying a 60 tonne vertical servo-hydraulic insert moulding machine with the capability of moulding 128 lead frames in one shot. It had a 80 injection unit, while auxiliary equipment included a strip-feed unit from VT Korea and Yudo-Star robotics for runner removal. Produced in Austria previously, the model is now made at the Seoul facility. “We have sold the displayed exhibit to a local customer and will view the success of this machine before exporting it to China,” said Wang, adding that t h e c o m p a n y i s Engel’s insert moulding machine comes with a targeting sales of rotary table and a handling station for parts 100 machines for removal LED applications this year. While Dongshin Hydraulic debuted its ProLED65, a 65 tonne press for the LED market, Japanese supplier Sodick Plustech, which is represented in South Korea by True Trading, displayed its TR4 vertical press that is available in 96, 128 and 256 cavitities. According to Kim Seoun-Ju, Director of the Machine Department, the company has chalked up to 100 orders for this type of machine in the first quarter of 2010 alone. In tooling, Yudo was showing an ultra slim nozzle for LED lead frames, catering to cavities of 128, 256 and 384 and boasting a 20% cycle time reduction.
Giving the Japanese a run for their money With LS Cable, said to be the country’s largest machine maker, not participating this year, its closest competitor Woojin Selex made the best of the show. It showed the TE all-electric series that has been upgraded with a full package of motion control systems from Austrian B&R to meet the CE specifications, according to Jong Hyuck You, Overseas Business Manager. “We were using Japanese servomotors and pumps in the electric machines previously but due to higher costs had switched to local systems,” he said, adding that due to heightened competition the company decided to use the European machine control, servopumps and servo drives. It was also displaying the new THS hybrid model. It is priced 2030% cheaper than the At Woojin Selex’s booth BASF was showing its self-colouring system for PS Japanese hybrid models, material said Jong. Meanwhile, Dongshin Hydraulics had a hybrid theme for its exhibits. Its ProCon model uses hydraulic servomotor pumps and boasts a response time of 20 milliseconds. “This machine is targeted at the production of connectors, a market previously dominated by the Japanese,” said Executive VicePresident Phillip Kim, adding that some units had already been sold to Samsung suppliers. “The machine cost is 35% lower, compared to Japanese models.”
The green-tied Phillip Kim of Dongshin Hydraulic was promoting energy savings at the company’s booth with all the five exhibits shown of the hybrid variety
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Another hybrid model, ProPet 380, caters to small outputs in the PET industry, compared to the higher cavity machines supplied by the US and Swiss machine makers. “It is available in 24 or 32 cavities and caters to outputs of 3 million/month,” said Kim. But Kim also emphasised that the company is focusing more on special projects to move away from standard machine production. “We’re working with white goods manufacturers LG and Hyundai on the in-line compounding/moulding of long glass fibres with PP for washing machine drums. Though the initial machine cost will be high, the payback can be in a year, due to the 15-25% lower usage of resins,” he said. Domestic market pushes sales along Last year, despite its dependence on exports and the collapse of the global trade, South Korea had a healthy growth, aided partly by its resilient domestic market, astute economic management and stimulus packages. Meanwhile, the country’s chaebol or family-owned industrial conglomerates, which are tightly connected with the government and their suppliers, helped to prop up the export markets. Even though exports slid, the country’s big names, Samsung Electronics and Hyundai Motors, seized market shares from competitors in Japan, Europe and the US, helped by the country’s lower currency and entry into emerging markets. Samsung’s profits this year are forecast at US$10 billion and its sales at US$130 billion, making it the largest technology company, a position previously held by Hewlett-Packard. Given this, most of the machine makers are in an upbeat mood, presenting better figures, with sales dominated by the domestic market. “We had a growth of 20% last year, compared to 2008,” said Jong of Woojin Selex, adding that by the second quarter of this year it will have “too many orders to handle”. The Incheon-based company has also been busy expanding its markets. “Over the past year, we have set up sales offices in Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, India and Poland. Our export share also went up from 15% in 2008 to 25% last year.” Still relying on the domestic market, Engel is also seeing increased demand from China, where it also has a production facility for large tonnage machines. “Last year, was difficult as our export markets declined but the domestic market helped us to get through,” said Wang, adding that the demand was pushed by the higher output of consumer electronic products and mobile phones. It produced 380 machines last year, compared to the 400-450 it normally produces, but with the optimistic outlook, it expects to produce 400 machines this year. Dongshin Hydraulics said 70% of its business came from the domestic market last year with sales now having attained economic crisis levels. The company expects a turnover of US$45 million this year, said Kim. “Our main export markets are the US and Russia and these are picking up. We are also increasing our share in Africa and Southeast Asia,” he added, noting the recent sale of a 2,000 tonne machine Sunwoo’s Kim Young Don says in Malaysia to pallet maker Intraco. this year, 40% of the machine “Last year, business was not so good, but sales will come from the export from September to December it improved,” markets while the rest will be domestically orientated said Kim Young Don Executive Director of Sunwoo Heavy Industries, which markets its machines as Imposta. It was exhibiting an ultra high-speed (up to 2,000 mm/second) PNS140 model for connectors and a HS series with a speed of up to 500 mm/second for thinwall moulding. “This year, we expect a growth of 30% and higher sales from our export markets in Russia, Poland, Africa and Asia,” he added. ◆ 4 I n j e c t i o n M o u l d i n g A s ia • M A Y 2 0 1 0