Osaka, Japan-based mold maker and prototyper Arrk Corp. has been on a buying spree in South Korea and is preparing to beef up its presence in Southeast Asia.
The company has added three Korean mold shops to its fold in the past six months, gaining about 300 employees and at least US$30 million in sales, much of it in mold making, said Tony Moran, vice president of Arrk Product Development Group in San Diego, the company's U.S. unit.
Worldwide, Arrk has about $170 million in tooling-related sales, which it believes makes it the world's largest mold maker. That figure mainly comprises traditional injection mold making, but includes some die casting and reaction injection molding.
The most recent purchase, of Woo Jeon Precision Co. Ltd. in Seoul, was completed March 19.
Woo Jeon specializes in tooling and injection molding for the consumer electronics and information technology markets. The firm employs about 175.
In December, Arrk bought Inchon-based Dong Ju Industrial Co. Ltd., a supplier of tooling and injection molding for the automotive market. It employs about 75.
Arrk began the latest Korean acquisitions by purchasing Son Sung Shin Co. Ltd. - a 50-person tool shop that specializes in consumer electronics, office equipment and appliances - in November. It previously had a much smaller Korean presence, with its Arrk Korea subsidiary.
``Korea has a very strong toolmaking industry and the shops we purchased offered Arrk world-class capabilities and additional capacity,'' Moran said.
Moran said the firm also is looking to expand into Southeast Asia and has announced expansions in other areas recently.
Its Taiwanese prototyping unit and its Arrk Sol Plus injection molding unit both set up operations in Shanghai, China, in November. Arrk also opened a small prototyping operation in Barcelona, Spain, in January.