HO CHI MINH CITY, VIETNAM (Oct. 29, 1:05 p.m. ET) — Thai blow molding machinery maker SMC Corp. Ltd. is spending 40 million euros ($51.7 million) on an expansion that will roughly double its capacity, reflecting what it said was demand from increasing population and economic growth in Southeast Asia and other emerging markets.
The Bangkok-based company, which is Thailand's largest machinery maker and one of the largest blow molding equipment suppliers in Asia, is seeing growth in the mid-market segments that it specializes in, said Renato Lao, sales and marketing manager.
The company expects to complete the expansion of its main factory site in Kanchanaburi, Thailand, in January, he said.
The mid-market growth is coming both from customers in developed markets like Western Europe looking for lower-cost options, and from newer markets like South America and the Middle East where companies want to upgrade their production, he said.
“We are lucky that we have played in the middle market,” said Lao, in an interview at the VietnamPlas show, held Oct. 24-27 in Ho Chi Minh City. “I think we are catching up on both sides.”
The company makes about 120 extrusion blow molding and injection blow molding machines a year, and has seen its average machine sizes become larger in recent years as its customers want to produce more bottles per machine, he said.
That need for efficiency in bottle production reflects economic growth and rising consumption, and has also meant the firm has tripled revenues in the last eight years, because the bigger machines carrying a higher price tag, he said.
He declined to disclose company sales.
SMC's largest markets are still in Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia, but it is seeing more interest from the Americas and Middle East, he said.