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

Tessy investing $10 million in new plant, infrastructure

July 30, 2014 4:57 pm ET

Tessy Plastics Corp. continues to buy factory buildings in upstate New York — acquiring a 112,000-square-foot former Honeywell building in...    More

Image

One51 adding injection molder Straight to its bin molding portfolio

July 29, 2014 10:12 am ET

Dublin-based One51 plc has had its purchase of British trash bin maker Straight plc cleared by the United Kingdom's Competition and Markets Authority.    More

Image

Two medical device makers add specialty products through acquisitions

July 28, 2014 3:02 pm ET

The medical merger mania continues this summer as two more medical device manufacturers are swallowed up by bigger competitors.    More

Image

Columbine Plastics moving to new Colorado site

July 25, 2014 11:38 am ET

Custom injection molder Columbine Plastics Corp. plans to move from Boulder, Colo., to the Colorado Technical Center in Louisville, Colo.    More

Image

Metals and plastics company NN to buy Autocam in $300 million deal

July 25, 2014 10:07 am ET

A Tennessee metals and plastics company said it has agreed to acquire auto parts supplier Autocam Corp. in a deal valued at $300 million.    More

Market Reports

Pipe, Profile & Tubing Extrusion in North America 2014

U.S. demand for extruded plastics is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2014, with PVC remaining the largest segment.

Plastic pipe will post the strongest gains through 2018, continuing to take market share from competing materials in a range of markets.

Our latest market report provides in-depth analysis of current trends and their financial impact on the pipe, profile and tubing extrusion industry in North America.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

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

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

More Events