SANTA CLARA, CALIF. — Packaging suppliers in northern California and Southeast Asia have formed a partnership to speed up production starts on high-volume molding projects, particularly in thermoforming.
Merrill's Packaging Inc. of Burlingame, Calif., and Texchem Pack sdn.bhd of Penang, Malaysia, established the relationship in July and promoted the arrangement jointly at the Diskcon '97 convention, held Sept. 23-25 in San Jose, Calif.
The firms both supply packaging to customers in the semiconductor, computer, disk drive and medical industries.
``In the United States, we will design the package, manufacture tooling, manufacture packaging and [the customer] will sign off,'' Brian Meltzner, Merrill's sales manager, said Sept. 16 at Interphex West in Santa Clara.
Jobs requiring the ``expertise of high-volume manufacturing in the Far East'' will move to a Texchem location in Malaysia, Singapore or, beginning in 1998's first quarter, Thailand.
``We will make a duplicate set of, and transfer, the tooling to our business partner,'' Meltzner said.
Texchem's group of 24 firms has capabilities in injection molding and expanded polystyrene foam as well as thermoforming.
``Instead of having to go to each [Asian] facility to qualify new packaging and qualify suppliers [and] deal with design issues, now they will be able to come to one place and have that person provide the designs, tooling [and] the processes,'' Meltzner said.
``We have a partner who has that level of sophistication. We get approved domestically, transfer documentation and approved molds, and the whole start-up process happens so much quicker.''
Merrill's employs 110, occupies 80,000 square feet and supplies packaging for medical, electronic, computer and food applications. The company was established in 1961 and expanded to a new facility in 1995.