New production location: EMAG expands to China
04/29/2013 - Oliver Hagenlocher
For the German machine tools industry, China continues to be the most important export market. According to the German Machine Tool Builders' Association, imports from Germany to China increased by a total of 13 percent in 2012. However, the market will change in the future. Competition within China is increasing. By adding a production facility in the Chinese city of Jintan, the EMAG Group will gain a stronger edge in this market. In addition, the mechanical engineering company is developing machines that are specially tailored to the Asian market. EMAG's German locations will also benefit from this strategy.
Over a decade ago, the EMAG Group established a presence in Asia, with sales and service professionals at eleven different branches. This network has been gradually expanded. Local EMAG specialists know the market and the specific requirements in China, India, South Korea or Japan. EMAG is now taking the next step: the Group's first Chinese production facility is being built in Jintan and will be completed by the end of 2013. The foundation has already been poured, and the production facilities are being built. "We want to turn EMAG into an international machine tool manufacturer in the coming years", says Dieter Kollmar, CMO of EMAG Holding GmbH. "In the past, we were highly focused on Germany and Europe. We mainly sold special-purpose machines in Asia. This focus is now changing".
Focus on quantities and quality
Obviously, this is not just about establishing a production centre in China. The company's strategy reaches far beyond this. Tailored machine concepts will be developed for the Asian market. The existing VL 2 and VT 2 machines will lead the way. These machines are designed for automated machining of chuck and shaft components and offer excellent value for money. EMAG is currently developing manually loaded turning machines, which feature a main spindle at the bottom, and that meet similar criteria. "There is a huge market in Asia for these types of machines that use only one application technology and are specially configured for local requirements", says Dieter Kollmar. Handling is another important issue for China and the Asian market. EMAG's new turning centres are very easy to operate and also highly flexible because they allow for both manual loading and automated use. "All of these solutions ensure maximum productivity for our Asian customers," says Dieter Kollmar.
German locations will also benefit
Decision-makers at EMAG are certain that the whole Group will benefit from the new site. For example, German engineers and technicians at the Salach location will develop new machines for Asia. "EMAG is currently manufacturing about 870 machines per year. This number will increase considerably over the next five years. "We're aiming for an increase at all locations" says Dieter Kollmar. However, the European market will remain important for the whole company. The EMAG Group has a large share of the European production machinery market. The company plans to maintain this excellent position and build on it where possible. At the same time, however, the specialists at EMAG are putting a slightly different emphasis on their development activities, as evidenced by the development of products like the fully automated VLC or VTC series. "We plan to continue developing these high-tech solutions and will obviously sell them in China, South Korea or India, if necessary. However, we need additional solutions in these markets. With our global development and production network as well as tailored solutions for every market, we're perfectly positioned for the future," says Dieter Kollmar, summing up.