Clovis, Calif.-based VEM Group has moved into its own tooling and molding facility in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, after sharing a factory with German injection molder Mecalit GmbH Kunststoffverarbeitung as part of a joint venture.
The name of the operation also was changed from VEM Bulgaria to VEM Europe.
"Due to the share takeover and the expansion from both companies, VEM Europe moved to another building in January 2021, in the same town, Plovdiv, with 17,000 square feet," VEM President Marc Weinmann said in an email.
The operation will grow again soon in Bulgaria's second largest city and cultural center, he added.
"VEM Europe is currently acquiring own land [150,000 square feet] and will build our own building with 30,000-40,000 square feet since we are seeing huge growth. This operation should open in summer 2022," Weinmann said.
VEM Europe provides injection mold tool fabrication and design services as well as mold maintenance and repairs. The operation is equipped with Arburg presses for testing and production runs and other equipment from German, Swiss and Japanese manufacturers.
"We still do many mold tests and have production in our JV partner factory," Weinmann added.
VEM Group offers similar services and clean room injection molding for customers in the medical device, automotive, and consumer goods markets at five operations in China, India, Thailand and Mexico in addition to Bulgaria.
VEM Group, previously called VEM Tooling Ltd., opened its first factory in Shenzhen, China, in 2003. However, customers now want to source molds closer to home. The Plovdiv sites are helping VEM ramp up to meet needs in Europe.
"We opened in Bulgaria in order to provide those customers with local manufacturing at the best price point," Weinmann said. "Our advantage is that VEM is a U.S.-owned company led by a highly experienced international management and engineering team. Combine that with best-in-class equipment and rigorous quality and VEM can deliver solutions to the toughest tooling and molding challenges."