HPM—one of the storied names in American injection molding machinery — re-emerged this week at NPE2012 in Orlando, FL under the ownership of a Chinese company.
Yong Li, product development manager for HPM North America (Marion, OH) told me that the 220-metric ton machine on display at the show is based on an HPM hydraulic design.
Yizumi Precision Machinery Co., Foshan. China, bought the HPM name and intellectual property at a bankruptcy auction last year. Bill Flickinger, a former president of HPM, is the president of HPM North America.
Features of the HPM “new generation series” injection molding machines include:
- Newly designed screw and barrel,
- Proportional back pressure control,
- Servo hydraulic system (Yuken & Mitsubishi),
- Dual cylinder injection unit,
- Five-point linkage toggle system, and
- Speed and position control of core and ejection motion.
Except for the toggle, that doesn’t sound like my grandfather’s injection molding machine, but Yizumi—which hopes to go public soon—bought the HPM name and drawings with American standards. Machine sizes (in metric tons of clamp force) listed in the company’s literature are: 80, 110, 140, 180, 220, 320, 400, 480, 650, 800 and 1100.
Li said that production of machines (or at least assembly) may return to Ohio at some point.
HPM started operations in 1877 and made its first injection molding machine in 1937. Its employment peaked at slightly above 1,000 in the 1960s. Those were the salad days for U.S. injection molding machinery production when there were at least six active producers. Companies like HPM failed to keep pace with foreign competitors with more modern plants and machine designs. Today, two companies make injection molding machinery in the U.S.: Milacron in Ohio and Engel (an Austrian company) in Pennsylvania. Husky makes injection molding machinery in Canada. Yizuma, a ten-year-old company, was looking for a way to penetrate the North American market. It’s one of the smaller Chinese injection machine builders.