Singapore molder Forefront Medical adding China plant

By Steve Toloken
Staff Reporter / Asia Bureau Chief

Published: October 2, 2012 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Medical, Injection Molding

SHANGHAI (Oct. 2, 8 a.m. ET) — Seeing growing interest from global medical device companies in manufacturing in China, Singaporean firm Forefront Medical Technology is investing S$10 million (51.3 million Chinese yuan) in a plastics molding and extrusion facility in East China to tap into market.

The facility, in Changzhou, Jiangsu province, would include more than 30 injection presses, six extrusion lines and 200 employees when fully built out in about 18 months, company officials said in an interview at the recent Medtec China 2012 show.

“Increasingly our customers are telling us that they are kind of focused on the domestic China market, and in doing so, they would definitely need to work with partners like us with facilities that are closer their plant,” said J.S. Chong, vice president of business development.

The Changzhou factory will open in October with eight molding presses and about 40 employees, and is the company’s second in China. A facility in Xiamen, Fujian province, is focused almost exclusively on direct exporting, Chong said in an interview at Medtec, held Sept. 26-27 in Shanghai.

With the Xiamen plant and another at its headquarters in Singapore, the company has 800 employees and about 40 injection molding machines.

The firm focuses on components and complete device manufacturing for surgical, diagnostic and drug delivery products.

Niew Ker Ran, the company’s business development manager, said the area around Shanghai and Suzhou is home to manufacturing and procurement offices for many of the world’s largest pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers.

Its customers are interested in both manufacturing for the local Chinese market and in using China as an export base, said Niew.

While salaries and other costs in China are rising, Chong argues that these are trends that have not hit as hard in the medical manufacturing industry.

“If compare today to a mere five years ago, costs are definitely increasingly,” he said. “If you talk about the cost of doing business here versus the cost of doing business in [North America or Europe], the cost here is still much less.”

The company has a medical device contract manufacturing license from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and a Class 2 medical device manufacturing license from the Chinese government.

Forefront is a unit of VicPlas International Ltd., a publicly-traded company on Singapore’s stock exchange that also has a unit that manufactures plastic building products including uPVC pipe, fittings and conduits. Those sales are mostly in Singapore, Malaysia and Bangladesh, the company said.

In the fiscal year ending July 31, 2011, the last for which figures are available, VicPlas said revenues in the Forefront medical unit grew 35 percent to S$50.4 million.

Forefront accounted for 69 percent of VicPlas total revenues, with VicPlas reporting a profit of S$1.4 million (7.2 million Chinese yuan). It did not break out income for the two units.

It said its largest customer in its medical business, the Laryngeal Mask Company (Singapore) Pte. Ltd., accounted for S$44.30 million in revenue.

The company said it also saw increased business from the transfer of production lines of nasogastric and jejunostomy catheter tubes from a U.S. company and the integration of hydrophilic and antifogging coating technologies into its products.


Comments

Singapore molder Forefront Medical adding China plant

By Steve Toloken
Staff Reporter / Asia Bureau Chief

Published: October 2, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Jarden hiring for new plastics plant

December 19, 2014 1:45 pm ET

Consumer products conglomerate Jarden Corp. is hiring plastics technicians for a new operation in Erlanger, Ky.    More

Image

The return of HPM's big presses

December 19, 2014 11:47 am ET

HPM is back in big injection molding machines.    More

Image

Indian auto parts maker set to buy assets in Germany, Mexico

December 18, 2014 10:35 am ET

Indian auto parts maker Samvardhana Motherson Gropup is buying the assets of insolvent German plastics car parts producer Scherer & Trier (S&T).    More

Image

Röchling buys two UK firms

December 18, 2014 9:24 am ET

Germany's Röchling Engineering Plastics SE & Co. KG has expanded its presence in the high-performance plastics market by acquiring two British firms...    More

Image

Milacron opening Mexico technical center, considers another in Brazil

December 16, 2014 12:58 pm ET

Milacron LLC plans to officially open a new technical center in Querétaro, 140 miles northwest of Mexico City, early in 2015, and the company is consi...    More

Market Reports

Flexible Packaging Trends in North America

Our latest RESEARCH report examines trends in FLEXIBLE PACKAGING impacting the North American market including a review of economic conditions, key drivers of growth, materials pricing, M&A activity, sustainability challenges and the outlook for 2015.

Learn more

Plastics in Brazil - State of the Industry Report

This in-depth report examines the Brazilian plastics industry from a historical and geographical context. Our analysts provide insight on economic trends and forecasts, growing manufacturing sectors that utilize plastics, private investment opportunities, market environment challenges, and innovations in R&D.

Data tables and charts on producer prices, trade, plastics production and end market indicators is also included.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

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

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events