Hot-runner supplier Synventive Molding Solutions Inc. said its sales in China will nearly double the company's projected figure for this year and quadruple sales from last year. Next year, it plans to expand its newly opened Suzhou, China, facility, which will be developed into the headquarters for Asia.
The 28,000-square-foot facility in Suzhou shipped its first hot-runner system in August. With operations of milling, lathe, gun drilling and assembly, the plant produces about 40 hot-runner systems of all sizes every month.
``Most of the components are supplied from Holland, Germany and the U.S.,'' and are in stock or ordered directly, said Mark Moss, president for Asia. But the company plans to source more components in China. ``We have already started supplying some of these components [locally] and this will be ongoing for about six months.''
Yet, critical items such as valve pins and heaters will continue to be sourced from Europe and the United States until high-quality local suppliers are developed, he said.
The Peabody, Mass.-based company's main target in China is injection molded parts for the automotive market. ``We deal with multinational car manufacturers and their Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers,'' Moss said. ``These are many of the same customers that we have in Europe and the United States who are either sourcing molds in China or have molding operations in China.''
Local Chinese automakers are promising future customers, Moss said, ``as their desire for quality improves.''
Moss said half of the hot runners made in Suzhou are sold in China and the rest are exported to other Asia countries.
He said the Suzhou facility includes 18,000 square feet of manufacturing space and 10,000 square feet of offices. With a current workforce of 29, the plant expects to add six by the end of the year and double the head count next year.
Synventive has sales and service offices in Shenzhen and Ningbo, China, as well as in Singapore and India.