Japanese auxiliary equipment maker Matsui Manufacturing Co. Ltd. is planning to double the size of its factory in Zhangjiagang, China, in response to growing demand both within China and for export.
The Tokyo-based company plans to spend 400,000,000 yen ($3.73 million) to open the new 136,700-square-foot factory in April, where it will be able to boost production capacity by at least 50 percent and expand the workforce at its Zhangjiagang Changcheng Matsui Machinery Co. Ltd. subsidiary to 200, from about 160.
Company officials said the firm will make its regular line of products in Zhangjiagang, while reserving production of its more automated models for its Shanghai and Japanese facilities.
The expanded factory will make dryers, conveyers, mold temperature controllers and blenders, but not granulators, which will continue to be made in other locations, said Josephine Chen, a member of the firm's marketing division.
Chen spoke during a news event July 24 in Tokyo to preview developments at Japan's International Plastic Fair, to be held Nov. 7-11 in Tokyo.
The company is seeing growth in Chinese markets for automotive and home appliances, with activities in China still in the early stage and smaller than its Japanese operations, said General Manager Hiromichi Tsuda.
Chen told reporters the company also is looking for a manufacturing site in India, after setting up Matsui Technologies India as a sales and service office in New Delhi in 2006. Matsui also is looking at setting up Indian sales and service offices in Chennai, Bangalore and Pune so it can serve the four main automaking centers in India.
Matsui set up a similar office in Moscow last year with Plastautomatic, and in São Paulo, Brazil this year. It also plans an office in St. Petersburg, Russia, to work with European, American, Korean and Japanese automakers expanding there.
Chen said the company was among the first of the small and medium-sized equipment makers in Japan to focus heavily on exports, starting in the mid-1980s.
The company in May sued rival Japanese auxiliary equipment firm Kawata Mfg. Co. Ltd. of Osaka, alleging that Kawata violated a Matsui patent by making Kawata's low-speed granulator G-Master KG series. Kawata officials did not respond to a request for comment.
U.S. unit gets new HQ
In related news, Matsui's U.S. operation, Matsui America Inc., has moved from Elk Grove Village, Ill., to a new headquarters in nearby Hanover Park, Ill. Elk Grove Village was the auxiliary equipment supplier's home city for more than 20 years.
At 38,000 square feet, the new building is about the same size as the old one. But Matsui America designed and built the headquarters in Hanover Park, which it owns, so it has a much better layout than the former, leased building in Elk Grove Village, according to Greg Lewis, general manager and national sales manager.
Matsui America and its 20 employees moved into the new operation in May.
Matsui America sells granulators, dryers, mold temperature controllers and material conveying equipment.
Matsui Manufacturing opened a U.S. operation in 1986, housed in a small building in Elk Grove Village. The company moved to a larger building in 1995. The new headquarters has a showroom, something the old building lacked, Lewis added.