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Growing Sze Pak looks to transition to medical

By: Nina Ying Sun

April 17, 2012

ORLANDO, FLA. (April 17, 11 a.m. ET) — Sze Pak Industrial (Hong Kong) Ltd., a contract manufacturer that exports 80 percent of its products, reported growing sales in the first quarter and said it is targeting the medical market. The company has also been investing in automation at its factory in Wuxi in response to the rising labor costs on the mainland.

The Hong Kong-based company said it brought on two new customers in the first quarter, Whirlpool and Canon, said Ray Yip, chief marketing officer for Europe and Americas.

The appliances business has shown healthy growth in the first quarter, up 50 percent compared with last year, he said, thanks in part to the recovery of the U.S. economy. One of the high-growth products is a mini toner-cartridge for printers, part of the sustainability trend in the industry.

However, Szepak also reported a 40 percent decline in notebook battery business. “Tablets have gained so much popularity that notebooks are losing a lot of market share.”

The first-time NPE exhibitor said it’s trying to grow medical business in the U.S. “We are capable of high-precision molding in dust-free conditions,” Yip said, “which makes us a good candidate to transition into medical.”

The company has designed and developed an insulin syringe on its own. “This is our first self-developed product. We hope to open the door to medical manufacturing through this,” Yip said.

With labor costs creeping up in China in recent years, the company invested $2 million in 2011 to set up a fully automated workshop for electronic parts at the Wuxi factory, where it has more than 150 injection molding machines.

The Wuxi factory has about 425,000 square feet of manufacturing space. The headcount has dropped from 1,200 in 2010 to 1,100 in 2011 and will slide to 1,000 this year.

Sales dropped from $55.3 million in 2010 to $39.5 million in 2011, but are forecasted to climb back up to $55.3 million in 2012.