Custom injection molder Nypro Inc. plans to start a mold-making shop July 1 in Hong Kong, and company officials say they have stepped up efforts to put a molding plant in Shanghai.
The Hong Kong shop — a partnership with a local designer and Japanese conglomerate Mitsui & Co. — will open with 10 employees and expects to be turning out 80 molds a year.
The total initial investment in Nypro Hong Kong Ltd. will be $2.5 million, rising to $5 million in two years. Nypro said it will own about 60 percent, while the other two partners will own roughly 20 percent each.
Plans for the molding plant in Shanghai, by comparison, are much less developed, and company officials acknowledge that an effort several years ago to build there fell through.
``I don't think they have a facility [in Shanghai] picked out,'' said Nypro spokesman Al Cotton. ``Shanghai was one of a number of options — now it is the goal.''
A Shanghai plant would be Nypro's third molding facility in China, and would give Nypro a plant in the central coastal region to complement facilities along the northern and southern coasts, Cotton said. Most of China's business development is concentrated near the coast, and Shanghai is a good market, he said.
The Hong Kong mold-making plant will be Nypro's first toolmaking facility in China, and it aims to do work for Nypro plants as well as other customers, Cotton said.
The general manager will be W.Y. Tam, a local mold designer and builder, and its 10 mold makers will have more than 100 years of combined experience, the company said. Nypro previously has teamed up with its other Hong Kong partner, Mitsui, in a joint venture in Atlanta.
The plant will start with about 20,000 square feet of production space. Hong Kong has a strong community of mold builders and an active plastics community, Cotton said. Nypro expects sales of $2 million to $3 million a year initially, rising to $10 million annually in three years, Cotton said. The plant's primary end markets are likely to be health care, telecommunications and consumer products, he said.
Nypro's Asian strategy is focused on China, Southeast Asia and India, he said. The firm has eight mold-making shops, including one in Singapore, and 24 molding facilities in 10 countries.