By Nina Ying Sun, Plastics News
Shanghai, China -- The era of Chinese plastics machinery is arriving, and nobody can deny that. That's according to Mark Miao, who sold his Avian (Shanghai) Machinery to Sweden's Rapid Granulator last year and has since stayed in the company as the general manager.
Operated as an independent brand under the umbrella of International Plastics Equipment Group of Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania, Avian hopes to grow and become the world's largest maker of materials handling and recycling equipment.
Speaking to Plastics News at the recent Chinaplas show, Miao unveiled the latest with Avian, including launching new products, expanding manufacturing capacity in Shanghai, and extending its distribution network to the US.
The company touted its newly developed, high-energy-efficiency recycling line of post-consumer plastic waste at the show. The machine leads the industry by far, with double the capacity of similar products in the marketplace, Miao said. A total of eight units were sold during the Chinaplas show, with more than 10 million yuan ($1.46 million) in sales.
Avian was founded in 1982 in Australia. In 1997, the company transferred the entire production operation to China.
Although Rapid filed for financial reorganisation last year - blaming, in part, the cost of the Avian acquisition - Miao said the deal has proven to be quite rewarding, as Avian is reporting fast sales growth.
"Although the financial crisis affected us in early 2009, we saw domestic demand quickly pick up in the second half of the year," Miao said, "Overseas orders also have been on the rise this year, especially for high-capacity, low-energy-consumption recycling machines."
When projecting 2010 growth, Miao said, "So far this year [by mid-April], we've achieved the same amount of sales as in the entire year of 2009." He expects to more than double the annual sales from the 2009 level.
Currently, about 60 percent of the equipment Avian makes in Shanghai is shipped outside of China, while the remaining 40 percent filling domestic needs. Miao anticipates both exports and domestic sales to increase at similarly fast paces.
Adding to the capacity at its existing 25 000-sq.m facility, the company is constructing a 28 000-sq.m Phase II project, which will be completed by June 2011.
The Phase III expansion, planned to be 65 000 sq.m, will begin construction in the first quarter of 2011 and finish by June 2012.
The number of employees will also increase from currently 250 to more than 800, he added.
Meantime, Avian is officially launching its sales/distribution branch in the US in May, with a distribution and service centre in Halls, Tennessee.
"In just five years," Miao predicts, "China will become the leader of the global plastic machinery industry," both in the sense of market and production.
As for foreign brands that once dominated, "those who establish themselves well in China - the primary market - will win, and those who miss China will miss the future."
The Chinese manufacturers are not only expanding their scale, Miao stressed, they are also increasing their investment on R&D and upgrading their technology.
"It's been 13 years since I returned [from overseas] to China," he added, "I have been witnessing the incredible growth and development right here."