M2 Engineering AB of Stockholm, Sweden, is setting up a 22,000-square-foot factory near Chonburi, Thailand, with commercial production expected to begin in June.
The manufacturer of equipment for optical disc replication and mastering will establish the facility southeast of Bangkok in a duty-free zone about 25 miles from the soon-to-open Suvarnabhumi airport.
Initially, the factory will employ 50 and should fulfill a significant portion of M2 production requirements. Currently, an M2 office in Bangkok employs engineers and administrators.
Economics are driving the investment. ``Disc producers are demanding that the cost of equipment be reduced to match their investment capabilities,'' Carl Langenskiold, M2 president and chief executive officer, said in a news release.
M2 also manufactures laser-beam recorders in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, and machine parts and custom integration components for recordable-disc production equipment in Singapore.
The company has strengthened its relationship with Toyo Machinery & Metal Co. Ltd. of Akashi, Japan. Soon, M2 will offer a full range of Toyo machines incorporating M2 specifications and design. The initial development began in early 2004 and involved an all-electric Toyo 55-ton injection molding machine for replicating DVDs as part of M2's SQ200 system.
The M2-Toyo collaboration extends to making components such as mold-temperature controllers and take-out robots.