KOTTINGBRUNN, Austria—Rubber molding machine maker Maplan GmbH is establishing new manufacturing facilities in China and Slovakia, officials said May 31 when opening a two-day customer event at the company's manufacturing base in Kottingbrunn.
The expansion moves are part of the family-owned Austrian company's strategy to grow turnover from $45 million today to around $80 million by 2021, according to CEO Wolfgang Meyer.
This summer, Maplan will begin production of injection machines in China—its first ever moulding-machine manufacturing operation outside of Austria, according to Meyer.
The 35,000-sq.-ft. unit, located at a rented industrial facility in Wujin, will be operated by an independent subsidiary, Maplan (Changzhou) Rubber Machinery Co. Ltd. The location is about 50 miles northwest of Shanghai, where Maplan has an established service base.
The Wujin facility will produce machines to European factory specifications but adapted for the Chinese market. Starting with an initial output of 10-15 machines, Meyer said the site has a potential to produce up to 200 machines per year. Investment there, so far, stands at just over $2.2 million.
In Slovakia, meanwhile, Maplan has invested $9 million to build a factory for the manufacture of machined-metal and electrical components. Production of these parts and modules has been largely outsourced up to now.
The 37,600-sq.-ft. workshop facility in Malacky, near Bratislava, offers lower-cost, skilled labor than in Austria. It also offers the logistical advantage of its location, roughly 80 miles away from Kottingbrunn, Meyer said. The unit is due to open in the first quarter of 2018.
Maplan's capacity has more than doubled to around 300 rubber molding machines since 2011. The increase largley is due to the company's $13.5-million relocation to its new home base, from nearby Ternitz about a year ago.