Laguna Hills, Calif. — Corrugated hose and tubing manufacturer Smooth-Bor Plastics has established a Malaysia plant, is increasing its Laguna Hills operations and is offering a newly developed continuous-positive-airway-pressure tubing to existing customers.
CEO and Chief Technology Officer Eric Carlson and Steve Caiozzo, president and chief financial officer, talked about the changes with Plastics News in the company's Laguna Hills headquarters.
"Everything the company is doing with regards to automation, Malaysia, Laguna Hills factory upgrades, building out the team resources and making investments in growth initiatives is due to the overall team involvement," Carlson said. "Steve has been a major factor in this and is driving most of these efforts."
Caiozzo joined Smooth-Bor in 2016.
In southern Malaysia, Smooth-Bor took occupancy of a leased 32,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in March and has installed the first phase of its proprietary in-house-built extrusion production lines.
In June, the National Standards Authority of Ireland successfully audited the new facility under the ISO 13485:2016 standard for medical devices.
Smooth-Bor chose Malaysia for the facility to support an existing Asia Pacific market customer base — from China to New Zealand — and derive benefits of a favorable cost structure, available infrastructure and business-friendly environment.
Smooth-Bor designed the Malaysia facility with a physical size, layout and infrastructure similar to those in its Laguna Hills plant.
The site is about 19 miles from Singapore in a new gated industrial development near the Senai International Airport. Construction of the building started in 2017. In recent months, Smooth-Bor installed infrastructure including systems for a controlled operating environment with air conditioning.
Smooth-Bor expects a customer to complete an initial audit of the plant by the end of July, and the processor plans to begin ramping up production by the end of August. Capacity will increase in phases under a multi-year expansion plan.
The Malaysia plant could have the same volume as the Laguna Hills site within five years, Carlson said.