CHICAGO (June 27, 3:15 p.m. EDT) — Started as an injection mold maker about two decades ago, Wellmei Holding Co. Ltd. now ships finished products to Las Vegas — slot machines.
“You can find our slot machines, over 10 models, in JCPenney and Kohl's too,” said Stephen Wong, general manager of ATP-Wellmei (HK) Co. Ltd. The Hong Kong-based company boasts that it is one of the largest slot machine producers in the world.
Also for the U.S. market, the company makes Echelon-brand cash boxes, AT&T-brand telephones and Wet-Stop wearable alarms for Scotts Valley, Calif., based Palco Labs Inc.
Wong said customers want more than just molds or molded parts. “More and more customers expect us to do the assembly work as well, not just tooling and molding,” he said at NPE 2006, held June 19-23 in Chicago.
The 4,600-employee firm has eight related subsidiaries and a total of 645,000 square feet of manufacturing space in Dongguan and Kunshan.
Wellmei formed a joint venture last June with Radnor, Pa.-based injection molder Applied Tech Products Inc., with a 49 percent equity position.
Major end markets include consumer and industrial products, optical, medical and electronics.
“We are starting the automotive business, especially because of the rapid growth of the auto industry in China,” Wong said.
The company supplies in-mold-labeled touch panels to Chinese appliance giant Haier Group. “Our technicians have regular training at Haier,” he said.
“We realize the importance of integrating Western management principles to our operations,” Wong added. The company organizes seminars in which experts from the University of North Virginia in Manassas, Va., teach internal communication and team-building management.
Sales in North America and Germany combined represent 15 percent of the firm's global sales, which stood at HK$600 million (US$77.3 million) in 2005. The primary markets remain Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong.