The demand for used injection machines currently exceeds its supply. The challenges for injection machinery manufacturers are many, from political to technological changes taking place in various markets to the increasing penetration of Asian brands in European markets.
The injection machinery industry is the largest within the plastics machinery market. One out of every three companies that process plastics has an injection machine in their facilities. Typically, injection machines have an average life of 10 to 20 years, this varies upon countries and company strategies. For example, in Germany companies change their injectors on average every 10 years, while in Spain they do it every 14 years.
Choosing the right machinery is an important decision for any processor, and the final choice is determined by different factors such as budget, final product quality, timing and production strategy. European brands are still the most trusted for producing technical parts which require higher precision levels and quality, this is the case of high tonnage injection machinery in the automotive sector. However, for the manufacture of products where elite technology is not required, for example for small parts in the household sector, Asian machinery is strongly entering European factories.
The purchase and sale of used injection machinery is agile and fast compared to the purchase and sale of other types of used machinery. Nowadays, the demand for used injectors exceeds the supply, and machines in good condition sell quickly. One week is the average time it takes an injector between 25 and 300 tons to find a new owner. Most of these injectors are relocated near their factory of origin, where transport costs are minimal. Within Europe, the central European market is the most active.
Selling time is longer for large tonnage injectors because they need special permits and transport is much more complex and costly. Even so, supply for injectors larger than 400 tons has been scarce for months. There is also a lack of used injection machines of more than 1000 tons. In 2017, 8 to 10 large injection machines came out on average for sale every year, whereas now 1 or 2 today. These type of injectors are usually sold internationally, this is where companies such as MachinePoint add high value to the transaction because they offer the experience and services required for disassembling and transporting.
The penetration of Asian brands in traditionally European markets and companies is spectacular, they have already started to enter into large corporations in the automotive sector too. Among the Asian brands Toyo stands out with its electric injectors up to 1300 tons, and they are seeing great acceptance. Haitian and Bole, both Chinese brands, have invested in developing factories in Europe, Germany and Poland respectively, where they finish assembly and customization of their machinery. Their machinery prices when new are similar to a European-branded used injector, making them very attractive. In addition to its price competitiveness, the short delivery times are a great competitive advantage and are a challenge for European sellers of both new and used injectors. Previously, companies used to turn to the used market when they required short delivery times, but now, with delivery times of 1 week, Asian machinery is in direct competition with the used injector market. Buyers tend to opt for used equipment when they have a high preference for a brand or their end customer demands it. The most demanded used injectors brands are Engel and Krauss Maffei, the preferred models being Engel Duo and Krauss Maffei CX.