Rosti Technical Plastics officially opened its new Suzhou plant May 8, combining the company's traditional plastic molding with a fully integrated manufacturing process - a capability the company believes will help improve its competitiveness in China and abroad, said Rosti Chief Operating Officer David Knight.
``We wanted to be more than just a molder,'' Knight said. ``There are thousands of molders in China - we needed to move up the value chain.''
Farum, Denmark-based Rosti A/S invested $15 million in the 140,000-square-foot Suzhou plant, which will focus primarily on Rosti's business machine contracts. The facility provides space for storage, molding and assembly - turning out finished products, boxed and ready to go. A previously established Suzhou factory will serve automotive customers, as well as performing other molding and painting work.
The new site has been operating for three months. It replaces two smaller, rented sites, which have closed. Rosti has more than 400 employees at the two plants.
There are a number of advantages to the location, Knight said, including the city's proximity to Shanghai and the good relationship the company has cultivated with the local government. Rosti first came to China in 2001 and has been building a presence in the country aggressively. The company plans to open two more China facilities, in the north and south.
``The infrastructure is strong here,'' Knight said. ``There is good availability of talented people.''
Currently, the new Rosti plant is home to 21 Demag injection molding machines, but can accommodate 50-60, said sourcing manager Tom Boven. The building also has space available to expand the company's assembly operation.
``There is still a lot of room in here,'' Boven said. ``Our old facility was pretty much filled up and part of the objective of opening this factory was to have the capacity to expand.''
The plant originally was slated to be 108,000 square feet, but after three new contracts were signed, the company increased the size. The facility already is producing a number of business machines, including cash-counting machines, ATM subassemblies and paper-feeding modules for copy machines.