International engagement occupies a strategically important position at KNOLL. Bit by bit, the company's own branch offices have been and will be established in the most important key markets. Because KNOLL products are in increasing demand on the Chinese market, this Swabian family-owned company opened its own branch office in Shanghai in November 2018.
KNOLL China Machinery Co., Ltd., which has its headquarters in the Songjiang quarter, is a joint venture with a long-term Chinese partner. It is conceived as an assembly plant in order to make systems for conveying and filtering chips and cooling lubricant for the Asian market. The first filters assembled on-site were presented in April at CIMT 2019 in Beijing – "for the first time in KNOLL's own trade show booth," as Roland Längle, Business Development Manager at KNOLL emphasizes. "A successful appearance, one at which we succeeded in awakening great interest among European machine tool OEMs who have been producing in China for a while already."
Previously, these companies, which are among KNOLL's regular customers in Germany, ordered the cooling lubricant systems they needed primarily from local suppliers. "Legal and structural reasons were essentially responsible for this," explains Längle. He emphasizes: "This should change in the future. For with our China plant, we are a local supplier that delivers all systems in 100% KNOLL quality."
Defined core components such as the top of the filter are imported from Germany. For other parts, for example the large-volume tank of a filter system, the people responsible look for local production partners who must fulfill strict conditions. Längle points out that "each supplier must be subjected to a qualification, which ensures that the end customer will not notice any difference between these components and those from Germany. Our goal is to be close to the customer and to win customers over with high-quality equipment and maximum delivery reliability on the Asian market."