Niigata starts first full year as part of Haitian portfolio

Jan. 8, 2024
Injection molding machine maker now fully owned by Haitian International Holdings; meanwhile, U.S. supplier looks forward to stronger sales over last year.

By Karen Hanna 

After a challenging year, the GM of the U.S. supplier of Niigata injection molding machines (IMMs) said he’s looking forward to better results in 2024.

Meanwhile, the Niigata, Japan-based manufacturer of the IMMs is starting its first full year under the ownership of Haitian International Holdings Ltd.

Steve Cunningham, GM of Niigata Machine Techno USA, also known as Niigata USA, is hopeful that the supplier of all-electrics will move more IMMs this year. 

“2023 for us was not a great year,” he said. “So, we welcome 2024 and say, ‘OK, let’s put 2023 behind us and move on.’ ” 

While some machinery makers have expressed optimism about their 2023 results, Cunningham cited economic issues and conflicts elsewhere in the world as headwinds throughout the industry. This year’s coming elections also could spell uncertainty. 

“The economy is what drove us,” he said. “I mean, interest rates went up ... two wars that have broken out. Uncertainty is always the killer of business. ... I had many, many customers tell me, ‘Cash is king, and we’re hanging onto our cash.’ And for machine salesmen, that’s the last thing you want to hear."

Incorporated in the U.S., Niigata USA is entirely separate from both Xiaogang, China-based Haitian and the company that makes the IMMs it supplies. That company — called Niigata Machine Co. (NMC) Inc. in the wake of its March 2023 acquisition by longtime partner Haitian — is looking forward to moving construction of IMMs with clamping forces over 200 tons from a leased building to a new building next year.

Last year, it completed renovation of the facility where it builds injection molding machines with clamping forces of 150 tons or less, said Cunningham, who described results of the plant construction projects as “beautiful.”

According to a Google Translate translation of an announcement posted last year on NMC’s website, NMC has gained “the development power of China’s overwhelming market orientation.” It states, “In 2023, 128 years after our founding in Niigata City in 1895, we were reborn as Niigata Kikai Company Ltd. In order to disseminate the experience and technology we have cultivated over many years more globally, we will restart as a group company of China’s Haitian International Holdings, the world’s No. 1 manufacturer of injection molding machines.” 

“Kikai,” Cunningham said, means “machinery” in Japanese, thus making company’s name, Niigata Machinery Co. 

As part of the acquisition, Haitian separated Niigata’s injection molding division from its machine tool division.

Haitian and the company now known as NMC have worked together since 2017, when Haitian began supplying frames and platens to NMC. 

“They supply us some components, then we bring them to Japan, and then we assemble the machine there with all Japanese drives and motors and amps and all of that,” Cunningham said. 

NMC currently offers IMMs with a maximum clamping force of 500 tons, but plans to eventually build machines with twice that capacity, according to Cunningham.  


Niigata Machine Techno USA Inc., Elk Grove Village, Ill., 630-283-5880,  

About the Author

Karen Hanna | Senior Staff Reporter

Senior Staff Reporter Karen Hanna covers injection molding, molds and tooling, processors, workforce and other topics, and writes features including In Other Words and Problem Solved for Plastics Machinery & Manufacturing, Plastics Recycling and The Journal of Blow Molding. She has more than 15 years of experience in daily and magazine journalism.