MAUMEE, Ohio—Sanyu USA Inc. didn't go far, but it has relocated its offices and opened a long-awaited showroom.
Still based in Maumee, the distributor of rubber processing equipment moved into a nearby space that features a demonstration area that houses Sanyu's latest injection molding machine and a Moriyama brand mixer and twin-taper extruder.
The Jan. 17 opening of the facility marks the first time in 10 years that Moriyama equipment has been shown in the U.S. Sanyu said the showroom will reduce the need for North American rubber processors to travel to Amagasaki, Japan, where the brand of machines is built by Nihon Spindle Manufacturing Co. Ltd., to test materials for their products.
"In this test center, we are able to mix and pre-form rubber materials and promote our latest technology to customers," said Shigeto Saiuchi, director of Nihon's Moriyama division, at a ribbon-cutting event for the Maumee site.
The technology includes a Moriyama seven-liter tilt mixer, which Nihon says has a unique rotor design that improves dispersion and cooling. The process also can reduce mixing cycle time and steps.
The showroom features a Moriyama extruder (2TR-75A), which works the material through a die to produce strips, sheets, slabs or pellets.
Nihon said it plans to increase production capacity for Moriyama tilt-style rubber mixers by 60 percent when construction of a $20 million, 53,000-sq.-ft. plant is completed in Amagasaki.
Moriyama had a U.S. showroom until 2009, when it closed amidst the Great Recession. A year later, Sanyu began representing the Japanese machine maker. Economic stimulus programs, such as the Car Allowance Rebate System—a.k.a. cash for clunkers—helped turn sales around for the auto market, Sanyu USA Vice President Mark Beaver said at the opening.
The $3 billion federal program gave consumers incentives to trade in gas guzzling cars for cleaner, more fuel efficient vehicles.
"It was a tough time but we knew they're a good company and would be a good fit for us," Beaver said of Nihon. "With the cash for clunkers promotion, there was a little pick up, and then things really got started. Projects that had been put off—like new machinery and machinery modifications—came back so automotive recovered pretty fast."
Sanyu USA's largest market is automotive, with sales driven by demand for production of windshield wipers, hoses, engine mounts, bushings and dampers.