Chinese Machinery Makers Look to Export Markets
While much attention has been focused on the amount of tyres being produced in China in general and the rapid growth of the most professional Chinese tyre manufacturers, the machinery companies that supply them have kept their similarly meteoric rise somewhat beneath the radar. But while the tyre mould and machinery making companies have managed to avoid the limelight so far, some market observers argue that their growing influence should not be ignored.
After meeting with the company at Reifen China 2009, Tyres & Accessories profiled the development of mould maker Guangdong Greatoo, initially pointing out the trend that continues to see premium and developing manufacturers alike switch their mould production towards producers in China. Now, following another opportunity to meet with Chinese mould and machinery makers on their own turf, T&A presents the opportunity to find out a little more about some of the key companies.
Putting research and develoment at the forefront – Mesnac
In the last decade the Chinese tyre industry – and therefore the companies that supply it – has developed very fast, particularly regarding radial technology. The diameter size, range of compounds required and sheer volume of production taking place in China has required massive amounts of time, energy and finances to be ploughed into research and development. One machinery maker that has made this a priority has been Qingdao Mesnac Co., Ltd.
The company was established in April 2000 with a registered capital of 53.235 million yuan and specialises in supplying the tyre trade. The firm puts information technology at the core of what it does and as such has been recognised as a “Backbone Software Producer” by the State.
In fact the company’s goal is be recognized as a globally leading supplier with regard to all of the products it suppliers – including software system for the management and control of tyre plants, mixer feeding equipment and chemical auto-dosing and weighing systems and more.
The firm already exports to dozens of countries including to customers in Europe, which has been dominated by suppliers situation within the continent, and Asia. The irony is that Asian companies see buying European produced tyre manufacturing machinery as a badge of honour, there is increasing evidence that European and global tyre manufacturers are opting to source at least some of their tyre moulds or what you might call secondary tyre equipment from companies like Mesnac in the People’s Republic. Some of Mesnac’s latest products include an intelligent all-steel radial tyre building system and an automatic steel cord cutting/splicing machinery – both of which are described as offering a “good market prospect and sparkl[ing] development future.”
Mesnac’s approach to development is based on a philosophy of partnership with the local technology university, which supplies financial backing as well as a steady stream of quality research and well-trained man power. One obvious business benefit of this approach is that Mesnac’s research and development department is part funded by the its partner university. As a result of this approach, Mesnac has achieved CMM3 international certification for software enterprise and ISO 9001:2000 Quality System Certification, amongst other accreditations.
However as important as Mesnac prioritisation of research and development is, the company has also aligned itself with well-known firms such as Matador, Konstrukta and Farrel. It also sources components from some of the leaders in the world of industrial automation such as Rockwell, Siemens, Mitsubishi and SMC.
Leading products include the company’s small chemical batching technology (which reportedly boasts market share of up to 80 per cent in some localities) and mixer feeding systems are amongst Mesnac’s most successful products. And outside of China, one area of real success has been in India where the company grown into the position of holding 70 per cent market share in the tyre factor material feeding system segment.
In addition to China and India Mesnac also exports its machinery to markets such as Iran, Malaysia and Vietname where factories owned by the some of the world’s largest tyre suppliers are customers.
Mesnac’s success can also be seen in its financial performance. The business was listed in 2006 and saw sales grow 50 per cent in full year financial results for 2009. When T&A interview executives in November 2010 year-to-date sales for 2010 were around 30 per cent up on the previous 12 months. This is significant because between 3 and 5 per cent of sales (or about 1.3 to 1.5 billion yuan) is reinvested into the research and development department that has been so critical to Mesnac’s growth up till now.