Taiwanese medical plastics processor GaleMed Corp. just finished letting the paint dry on its first factory in mainland China, and it's already planning to expand it.
The company, which claims to manufacture about 25 percent of the world's manual resuscitators, opened its 118,000-squire-foot factory in Xiamen, China, a year ago, and now plans to add another 60 percent of space and expand its manufacturing capacity within six months.
GaleMed, which specializes in respiratory-care products such as silicone masks, anesthesia masks and oxygen catheters, said the expansion is driven in part by increased business from medical-device firms in the United States, Europe and Japan.
The company, based in the Taiwanese city of Ilan, is using Xiamen to cut costs and expand into more labor-intensive work that would be too expensive to do in Taiwan.
It also wants to grow its business selling products under its own brand name in developing markets, said Charles Tzeng, greater China division director. He spoke in an Oct. 18 telephone interview.
The Xiamen plant has a total of 18 injection presses, extruders and rotary blow molding machines, and will likely add an undetermined amount of equipment in the expansion, Tzeng said. It employs about 250 now in Xiamen, and that number is projected to grow to 350.
He said the firm shifted some of the equipment from its Taiwanese factory, which had more than 20 injection presses, but it plans to add more injection machines in Taiwan and keep employment steady at about 200 as it refocuses its headquarters factory on more technologically intensive applications.
The company does about US$30 million in annual sales, with more than half of that as original equipment manufacturing for firms in the U.S. and other markets. The rest is sold under the GaleMed label in places like Asia, the Middle East and South America, he said.
GaleMed plans to stay focused on the respiratory-care niche, rather than becoming larger by expanding into other medical-device markets, and has established an office in the United States to seek out partnerships with medical-device firms, laboratories or universities to identify new products, Tzeng said. The firm has about 40 research and engineering employees, he said.
In Taiwan, the firm is employee-owned and it has included Xiamen employees in that, he said.