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Medical growth prompts GW to double size of China facility

By: Steve Toloken

June 4, 2014

U.S. injection molder GW Plastics said it is more than doubling the size of its factory in China, moving to a larger facility early next year.

Bethel, Vt.-based GW said it will relocate its existing operations in Dongguan, Guangdong province, to a 125,000-square-foot building in the same industrial park as its current factory, to make room for continued growth.

“As a private company we are not going to share any dollar amounts [of the investment] but this is large step for us, we will be going from 50,000 square feet to 125,000 square feet,” said Benjamin Bouchard, vice president of international business and managing director of China for GW, in a June 4 email to Plastics News. “This represents our confidence in the Asia market.”

He said the company currently has 22 injection molding machines in Dongguan, and the new facility would let GW add machines and expand its range in China up to its corporate standard of 500 tons clamping force.

GW said it is seeing strong growth in medical device assembly in Dongguan.

“We are currently about 75 percent health care, both at GW Dongguan and GW overall,” Bouchard said. “[Dongguan] is a [U.S. Food and Drug Admistration]-registered medical device manufacturer and we are supplying complete medical devices in high volume to both Europe and the U.S. We continue to see growth in both markets.”

The company’s other main market is automotive components, and it also exports those parts from Dongguan.

Bouchard said the company is seeing more interest in the local China market: “Most of our global customers are increasing their focus on the China market and we look forward to participating in that growth.”

The company employs 200 in Dongguan, and said it has grown substantially from its 2006 opening. In the past, the company said it was looking at building a facility in the Shanghai area, and Bouchard said the company remains interested but sees opportunities in Dongguan.

“We have been pleasantly surprised at the strength of the opportunities in Southern China and the export market so we have decided to expand our Dongguan footprint rather than add a Shanghai plant at this time,” he said.

GW also is expanding its mold making capabilities in Dongguan to build molds for presses of up to 500 tons.

GW has manufacturing facilities in Vermont, Texas, and Arizona, and in Querétaro, Mexico and Dongguan.