CHICAGO (June 28, 4:25 p.m. EDT) — Singapore molder Fong Shen Mould and Precision Engineering Pte. Ltd. is making significant investments, building a second plant at its headquarters and planning a facility in Thailand to serve that country's burgeoning automotive market.
The company is investing US$10 million in a 60,000-square-foot molding and tool-building factory in Singapore to house 10 injection presses, assembly operations and US$2 million to $3 million in mold building equipment. The company plans to open it in September 2007.
After that, Fong Shen plans to build a smaller US$2 million plant in northern Thailand, with about 20 presses and mold-making equipment, and then will consider putting a manufacturing plant in Vietnam, said Managing Director P.L. Leow. The Thai plant will have 80 employees.
The firm, which attended NPE 2006 in Chicago, is trying to find niche markets that are more demanding and that require higher-end manufacturing, like a process it's developed to make surface panels and lenses without weld lines for car stereos and other electronic applications, he said.
Fong Shen spent about US $800,000 to develop the weld-line free technology, and is part of the company's push to develop technologies that set it apart from lower cost molders in China and India, Leow said.
“The demand is there for all these niche markets, [but] the suppliers for the niche markets are very few,'' he said.
The company, which does about US $10 million in annual sales, does about 25 percent of its business with the panels without weld lines, and about 20 percent with tri-material molding, he said. It also supplies industrial and electronics and computer firms.
Fong Shen currently has 15 injection presses, mainly from Japan, and 80 employees.