D-M-E Co. has opened a warehouse and logistics center in China that will allow it to get its mold-making components to toolmakers faster and more cheaply.
The Madison Heights, Mich.-based company has had a sales office in Hong Kong for 20 years, but with the launch of its wholly owned subsidiary, D-M-E Trading Co. Ltd. in Shenzhen, the company will be able to respond more quickly to customers in China, said President Dave Lawrence.
The site is an important move for D-M-E as more and more mold makers have set up operations in China.
``Our customers have been looking for a resource that can support them everywhere in the world,'' he said.
The site will not have direct manufacturing in China, but D-M-E's presence there will allow it to avoid import expenses that can account for as much as 30 percent of part costs. And with a warehouse of standard parts, the company can get its components to customers in as little as half the time, compared with shipping them from sites outside China, he said.
Some parts even could be shipped the same day, Lawrence said.
The company opted to establish its own subsidiary in China, rather than partnering with an existing firm. That decision meant that it took D-M-E longer to open, Lawrence said, but also gives it more control and exclusivity for its products.
The China location - in combination with a D-M-E site in India - also will give the firm greater flexibility to meet demands from customers throughout Southeast Asia, he said.
The Shenzhen site is launching with 15-20 employees and a range of standard mold bases and components, including ejector pins, water couplings, bushings, interlocks and slide retainers. Once it is established, the company plans to expand its offerings to a wider range of engineered parts, including hot-runner systems.