Mold-Masters spends $20M to expand China hot-runner plant

By Michael Lauzon
Correspondent

Published: January 27, 2012 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Molds/Tooling

GEORGETOWN, ONTARIO (Updated Jan. 28, 8:30 p.m. ET) — Fast-growing markets In Asia have prompted Mold-Masters Ltd.to recently complete a $20 million expansion of its Kunshan, China, hot runner plant.

The firm added 68,000 square feet and a range of machinery including CNC lathes and mills at the site established in 2005. The plant now exceeds 160,000 square feet and the expansion was officially opened with a ribbon cutting in late 2011.

“We want to align our manufacturing footprint similar to our sales footprint,” Mold-Masters President and CEO Bill Barker said in a Jan. 27 telephone interview. “Asia is our fastest growing market.”

“China is a demanding market,” Barker explained. Suppliers need to respond quickly, adapt rapidly, provide innovation and partner with customers. Often a supplier must provide products unique to the Asian market.

The Kunshan plant supplies China and other Asian markets, which now comprise 40 percent of Mold-Masters’ sales. When Mold-Masters’ current owner, 3I Group plc of London, acquired the hot runner major in 2007, Asia represented 25 percent of Mold-Masters’ business.

Barker pointed to mobile phones, automotive and packaging among the main drivers for China’s growing thirst for plastics processing equipment.

China had 60 percent of world capacity to make mobile phones in 2010, Barker estimated. Vehicle sales in China grew to 18.5 million units last year and continue to rise dramatically. Packaging tracks GDP growth which in China is in the high single digits per year, Barker added. Medical markets also are swelling rapidly as China’s consumers increasingly want new disposable, sterile technologies. Caps and closures molding is one area gaining from the evolution of China’s medical market.

Barker estimated hot runners are installed on about 20 percent of China’s injection molding capacity and that fraction is projected to double in the next few years as more molders abandon conventional cold runner systems.

Mold-Masters, based in Georgetown, Ontario, employs 450 at the Kunshan plant and another 250 throughout Asia. Barker said his firm’s management has been key to its success in Asia. Ling An-Heid, president of Mold-Masters Asia, is a 22-year veteran of the company and led Mold-Master’s entry into production in China.

Barker has been heading up Mold-Masters for about a year. He previously was group executive director at packaging giant Rexam plc of London. At Mold-Masters he replaced Jonathon Fischer who stepped down in September 2010.

“If you don’t have a China strategy, you don’t have a global strategy,” Barker concluded.


Comments

Mold-Masters spends $20M to expand China hot-runner plant

By Michael Lauzon
Correspondent

Published: January 27, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Speaker: Many issues can affect multi-cavity molds

October 1, 2014 2:02 pm ET

There are several conditions necessary across all cavities of a multi-cavity mold to ensure that all parts are produced the same. These include...    More

Image

Extreme Tool uses remote Michigan location to attract younger workers

September 30, 2014 3:47 pm ET

“I'm not saying there's anything wrong with being an old guy like me. But I do believe in the power of youth and reinvesting in training. The...    More

Image

Ewikon, Gammaflux form private-label partnership

September 23, 2014 2:47 pm ET

German hot runner manufacturer Ewikon GmbH is forming a private-label partnership with Gammaflux LP, Ewikon announced at a Technology Day held Sept....    More

Image

Chinese mold makers say they don't worry about reshoring trends

September 23, 2014 12:05 pm ET

Reshoring may be a hot topic in U.S. manufacturing circles, but the mid-level and small players putting in appearances at this year's AsiaMold in...    More

Image

Hong Kong's TK eyes expansion, may buy Nypro Tool operation

September 19, 2014 2:49 pm ET

Hong Kong-based mold maker and plastics processor TK Group (Holdings) Ltd. said it's reached a tentative agreement to buy a tooling factory in Shenzhe...    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 million dollar plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our industry analysis highlights macro industry trends and micro trends faced by companies that do business in Mexico. The report also provides key industry statistics and forecasts to anticipate future industry expansion.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Injection Molders Market Report & Ranking 2014

This special package contains our 132-page 2014 Market Report on the Injection Molding segment and our exclusive 2014 RANKINGS database of 500+ Injection Molders for a discounted package price.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events