Singapore's Univac Precision Engineering Pte. Ltd. has expanded one of its Chinese factories to make a push into that country's medical manufacturing market.
Univac in November will triple the size of its Suzhou, China, injection molding plant, adding 25 presses and building a Class 100,000 clean room, said Fritz Maier, a marketing and sales manager with the company's European operations.
Medical currently makes up about 20 percent of the firm's US$150 million in annual sales, but it has the most growth potential, he said at K 2007, held Oct. 24-31 in Dusseldorf.
``I see customers like medical device manufacturers moving to China,'' he said. ``Those companies will be localizing their supply chains.''
The expansion will give the firm 103,000 square feet of manufacturing space - triple its current size - and more than 60 injection presses and secondary operations. The firm will be adding presses with 50-280 tons of clamping force, he said.
Univac makes disposable plastic components in China, including intravenous connectors, contact lens cases and drug-delivery devices.
Most of Univac's Chinese medical-oriented manufacturing is done for foreign firms that are selling their products in China, he said.
Maier said the company's focus on mold design is a strength in the medical market, where good tool design at the beginning can make a big difference in the final manufacturing process.
The company's Chinese operations, which include a molding plant in Shanghai, are focusing on component manufacturing, while Univac's larger Malaysian manufacturing operations are moving to full contract manufacturing, Maier said.
Univac, which employs 2,000, is owned by Singapore-based contract manufacturer Venture Corp. Ltd., a US$3 billion firm. Only a small portion of Univac sales are to Venture, he said.