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China expert addresses world's hottest machine market at PMMI conference

Xiaoguang Hou from B&R Industrial Automation will share his knowledge of the packaging machinery market in China with PMMI members at September’s annual meeting.

PMMI's annual meeting will feature an export conference on doing business in China.
PMMI's annual meeting will feature an export conference on doing business in China.

For packaging machinery users and builders, China has presented somewhat of an enigma. The recession has only created a speed bump in demand for packaging machinery there, as more of the world’s consumer goods continue to be produced in China and the surrounding region.

How are packagers sorting out the good from the bad among Chinese machinery?

How can North American and European packaging machinery OEMs participate in the market?

What is the market potential?

How critical are introductions by established domestic players?

What machinery characteristics can western builders leverage to sell in China?

How are European OEMs succeeding in China?

Is it better for packaging machine builders to compete or cooperate with Chinese OEMs?

Find out at PMMI’s premier member event

These will be among the topics addressed by Xiaoguang Hou at an export conference to be held September 15 at the nearly sold-out, members-only PMMI annual meeting in Greenville, SC. Packaging Machinery Manufacturers’ Institute members can still register to attend after logging in at, which will achieve record attendance.

This is PMMI’s premier event outside of PACK EXPO itself. The annual meeting attracts executive management of packaging machinery providers with an agenda that steers their global strategies. Topics range from social media to exports to retaining human capital to economic forecasting.

Hou is international sales manager for China at B&R Industrial Automation, a PMMI supplier member and global supplier of packaging automation technology operating in China, as well as Japan, South Korea, North America, eastern Europe, India and Latin America. The company operates several locations in China.

Export expertise, born of necessity

The company’s export focus is not only strategic, it’s necessary. With a population of only 8 million, B&R’s domestic market of Austria could not support its billion-dollar growth strategy.

This necessity is the mother of not only invention but proven export performance – a track record not lost on U.S. and Canadian packaging machine builders and multinational food, beverage, consumer products and pharmaceutical makers.

At the PMMI MarketTrends conference in June, B&R’s John Kowal presented a litany of services that B&R has performed for European and North American OEMs to help them establish customers and OEM partners in China. Xiaoguang Hou is the key manager organizing these services and will be available throughout the annual meeting to consult with PMMI members.

Chinese packaging machinery comes to North America

Some packagers have quietly uncovered quality Chinese OEMs to equip their Chinese and even North American production facilities. But fewer North American OEMs have ventured to China due to the cost and perceived uncertainty of establishing a presence there. Xiaoguang Hou has practical advice to offer machine builders regarding their concerns.

Hou and Kowal are part of B&R Industrial Automation’s recently formed global packaging technology group, along with Maurizio Tarozzi in B&R’s packaging automation center in Bologna, Italy. They are offering to connect machine builders around the world with potential partners in the packaging, converting, and food, beverage and pharma processing industries.

Those unable to attend the conference are invited to contact Hou, Kowal or Tarozzi directly by the email links in this article.

Open architecture opens export markets

The company’s decision to open its safety protocol to use by any and all industrial network providers also simplifies entry to the Asian market, where Ethernet based protocols such as POWERLINK, CC Link, Profinet and EtherNet/IP have followings.

openSAFETY is the open safety protocol, recently approved as an IEC standard, which the company has developed to avert a new ‘fieldbus wars’ surrounding safety networks.

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