Dec 18, 2018

TOKAWA AND POCLAIN HYDRAULICS: how two experts shake up plastic injection molding machines

Plastic injection molding is a booming industry in China. Packaging, cars, computers, home appliances, cell phones and toothbrushes are in part or entirely made by injection molding machines. Not only is demand for plastic molded parts increasing as lower incomes rise, but also manufacturers keep improving the properties and capabilities of their end products, leading plastic to oust other materials. Visionary businesspeople, including S. C. Kwan, sensed the bull market and founded Tokawa in 2002, a Hong-Kong based hydraulic component distributor dedicated to plastic injection machines.


Tokawa integrates Poclain Hydraulics’ offering in 2016

Tokawa’s niche strategy has paid off over the years. Today they equip Haitian, the world leader in injection molding machinery, along with six of the top ten Chinese manufacturers, for an annual sales turnover of 120 Million Hong-Kong Dollars (15 Million US dollars). Their catalog offers heavy and medium duty hydraulic components from Kawasaki Precision Machinery, Tokyo Keiki and Settima. The latest addition to their catalog is Poclain Hydraulics, an expert like them, but in radial piston hydraulic motors. Tokawa’s extensive knowledge of the application, combined with Poclain Hydraulics’ technology expertise, enables the two of them to bring superior value-add to the OEM.

The first project that brought Tokawa and Poclain Hydraulics together consisted in a large MI250 (25,000 cc) motor for Kaiming’s injection molding machine featuring a 3600 tonne clamping force. It was first and foremost the level of professionalism and expertise of their new counterparts that convinced them to switch to Tokawa and Poclain Hydraulics.Yizumi came next; the OEM used to integrate Chinese motors, which came with affordable prices and average service. They were impressed by Poclain Hydraulics’ commitment to the project, from the first meeting to commissioning, and have since become a repeat customer.


Price, durability and quality are the primary requirements

The requirements for the application are first price, second durability. Unlike mobile machinery, the machines operate round the clock and the warranty time can go as far as three years, given that it can take up to three months to fine-tune the machine after delivery. Quality comes next, as the hydraulic system is key to ensuring that the screw turns at a constant speed and smoothly injects the molten plastic pellets into the mold. Leadtimes often add frustration to a project, as six months can go by between the time the end user orders a machine and the machine starts molding parts.

Aftersales in the near future

There are four Tokawa locations to cover the Chinese territory. The Quandong office is moving to larger premises to integrate a Poclain Hydraulics Certified Repair Center, which will start operating at the beginning of 2019 and carry out Aftersales for the Southern part of China. “What I like about Poclain Hydraulics is their culture. Their staff from China and France are very professional, with a good level of English. They respond to my calls and emails very promptly, where other suppliers take a longer time. When we go out on a customer call together, they go straight back to the office to work. As I attend the meetings and have witnessed this summer at the worldwide Distributor Meeting, I see how Senior Management respects every level of employee. At Tokawa we are very impressed by Poclain Hydraulics, and we’re learning from them” concludes S. C. Kwan, Tokawa’s GeneralManager.