Avantis International Ltd., which operates molding and mold-making plants in China and Malaysia, has linked up with an electronics firm that assembles its products in Malaysia.
Avantis' Malaysian subsidiary, OvantisHightech (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd., will handle design and injection molding for Trumeter Co. Ltd.'s counting, measuring and timing instruments. Trumeter, based in Manchester, England, employs 200 at its 22,500-square-foot facility in Penang. Ovantis' 27,500-square-foot plant in Sungai Petani employs 145.
Meantime, driven by rising demand from British customers, Avantis will expand its Malaysian molding capacity with a new 45,000-square-foot plant early next year. It plans to install seven new injection presses there, giving the firm 25 total in Malaysia by March, said Avantis Chief Executive Officer Mark Bromley.
Like other European businesses, Trumeter took the major step of shifting production to Asia to downsize costs and protect its markets. It faced stiff competition, mainly from China and India.
``We woke up one day to find some of our products were being copied and offered to our U.S. distribution network at about half the cost we could produce them for,'' Trumeter Chairman Peter Weidenbaum said. His firm formed a low-cost manufacturing base in Malaysia but kept research and development in the United Kingdom.
Avantis values the latest alliance with Trumeter, not only because of the new business, but because Trumeter has an established market in North America with an office in the U.S. Avantis plans to enter that market, Bromley said, and wants to attract a U.S. partner to help it build up regional sales. A $1.5 million deal to supply PVC construction products to a North American company has been delayed, but Avantis expects to deliver the first product in October, he said.