DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY (Oct. 24, 6:10 p.m. EDT) — For Thailand machinery maker Labtech Engineering Co. Ltd., thinking small means getting bigger.
The Bangkok-based firm plans to triple its manufacturing capacity this year, as its business making small, laboratory-scale versions of plastics equipment grows.
The firm is relocating in December to a 59,000-square-foot headquarters building and factory 16 miles from its Bangkok facility, where it will be adding more tooling equipment, computer numerically controlled milling and lathing machines and assembly space, said President Peter Jurgensen.
“We really need this expansion,” he said. “We have long lead times.”
He spoke at K 2007 in Dusseldorf, at Labtech's booth (Hall 7.2, D27).
Jurgensen said the firm, which currently has capacity to make about 300 machines a year, is seeing growth in its core market selling to masterbatch firms and also from new markets such as research and development equipment for multilayer blown film extrusion.
The company, for example, recently delivered a three-layer line and has an order for a five-layer line, he said.
Labtech employs 110 at its Thai factory. It plans to add more people, but will ramp up production slowly because it needs to train those new hires.
According to Jurgensen, Labtech's equipment costs about half as much as its competitors, which are mainly European firms.
An emigrant from Sweden who operated and sold masterbatch firms in his home country and Thailand, Jurgensen opened Labtech 20 years ago.
Labtech first exhibited its equipment at the K show in 1998.
At this year's K show, the firm introduced several new pieces of equipment, including its LF-250 compact film blowing line with a digital inspection system, and a new design of its LFT34-GP filter test machine with an on-board computer.