Canadian hot-runner maker Mold-Masters Ltd. (Booth N5133) is investing US$20 million in equipment at its 108,000-square-foot plant in Kunshan, China, which just opened in March. The machines will be installed by fall, President Jonathon Fischer said at NPE.
``We will double the current headcount in China from 150 to 300 by the end of 2007,'' Fischer said. The goal is to serve the Chinese market with locally manufactured hot-runner systems.
``We would like to at least retain the existing customers and look for further growth in the local market,'' he said.
The company's current breakdown of sales, by region, is 35 percent in North America, 35 percent in Europe and 20 percent in Asia, where China represents half of the sales.
But the map will be amended in three years. Fischer expects to see equal 25 percent shares from North America, Europe, China, and the rest of the world.
``Our growth in China has been 100 percent, year by year,'' he said. About 70 percent of the customers are foreign-invested enterprises and 30 percent are Chinese local processors.
Mold-Masters is targeting the telecommunications, packaging and personal-care, appliance and houseware, and automotive (including large parts and under-the-hood components) markets in China. It is in direct competition with Husky and South Korean firm Yudo, both of which localized production in China earlier. Husky built a plant in Shanghai in 2004 and one in Shenzhen last year. Yudo started production in Dongguan in 2002.
Fischer said Chinese local hot-runner makers perform well in South China, but are not in direct competition with Mold-Masters.
Mold-Masters also is opening a training center in Kunshan by the end of summer, to train new workers and upgrade the skills of existing employees.
``Success in China is dictated by your willingness to delve into the market as deeply as possible, accepting cultural differences, diversities and the intense requirements. By accepting challenges, international companies cannot only prosper and flourish, but can actually bring back to North America and to Europe new-thought processes that can improve their competitive nature in their home market,'' Fischer said.
He said the company claims 25-30 percent of the global hot-runner market.