Carolina Precision Plastics LLC has opened the doors to its new Suzhou, China-based plant, a joint venture with Singapore's Fischer Tech Ltd.
The 30,000-square-foot manufacturing facility, under the name CPP-Fischer, marks Carolina Precision's first opening outside of the United States, and is aimed at better serving U.S.-based companies, said Carolina Chief Executive Officer Brian Tauber.
Carolina Precision had been planning to open a China facility for awhile, Tauber said. The Asheboro, N.C.-based company offers product molding, assembly and decorating in markets including cosmetics, pens and markers, automotive and industrial. The firm used to be a direct competitor of Fischer Tech.
``I got to know them initially as a competitor,'' Tauber said.
``Eventually a friend of mine went to work for them and I became familiar with the company.'' Tauber also became friends with Fischer Tech CEO Peter Tan. ``It was a good start and a good reference to begin a relationship,'' he said.
Fischer Tech specializes in molding and decorating consumer and health-care products, and automotive and computer peripherals.
The Singapore company already has manufacturing sites in China, Malaysia and Thailand. Fischer Tech's decorating technology, such as laser etching and in-mold decorating, and full tool-building capabilities will add to the services Carolina Precision offers in the United States.
Fischer Tech has assumed much of the day-to-day manufacturing responsibilities at the Suzhou plant, Tauber said.
``We're really chasing our markets and we're really working on the sales and marketing and providing manufacturing support,'' he said. ``Right now really the focus is our current customers.''
Many of Carolina Precision's U.S.-based customers already are sourcing out of China, Tauber said.
The size of the Suzhou facility gives the venture room to expand. Even so, Tauber expects it to outgrow its plant within two or three years.
``There are plenty of options for where we could go in the next few years,'' he said.