British technical component molder Hi-Technology Group has set up a new injection molding plant in Kosice, Slovakia - its first production unit outside the United Kingdom.
A group subsidiary, Hi-Technology Mouldings Slovakia sro, took a long-term lease on a 21,600-square-foot plant.
Hi-Technology of Waterlooville, England, a molder of low- to medium-volume parts, assemblies and finished products for sectors including medical, defense, marine, aerospace and health and safety, was prompted to expand by customers operating in central Europe.
The Kosice plant started with six injection presses, including 39- and 55-ton machines from Arburg and Demag.
The company intends to bring the facility to full capacity by installing 24 more injection molding machines from 39-441 tons during the next 18 months, according to Hi-Technology's operations director, Richard Brown.
``We are currently in discussion with three suppliers with a decision due in four to six weeks,'' he said.
The Slovak facility's initial equipment also includes three Manumold injection presses.
Brown explained that the plant is molding components for a customer in the leisure marine sector.
The decision to set up in Slovakia followed a study of suitable production locations across Europe.
Key factors in choosing Kosice include its geographical situation, national economic stability and the availability of a highly skilled workforce, according to Hi-Technology.
Initial contracts being handled by the Slovak plant include work on components for a marine sector client and new business to supply medical moldings.
``Initially, we will employ 25 people on one shift and will increase this to a two-shift operation very quickly,'' said group operations director Richard Brown.
He expects the plant to employ 50 later this year.
In Britain, Hi-Technology Group employs 150 and operates 23 injection presses, 18 Demags and five Arburgs ranging from 39-276 tons, as well as eight Manumold machines.