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Optimizing Supply Chains to Improve Financial Performance

  Originally Published MDDI March 2006 OUTSOURCING NEWS   Sherrie Conroy  

OUTSOURCING NEWS

GW Plastic's facility in Guangdong will serve the company's customers in China.
GW Plastics Inc. (Bethel, VT) has purchased a controlling interest in WCH, a mold builder and injection molder headquartered in Guangdong, China. The highly automated facility has an initial footprint of 15,000 sq ft that will be expanded to 40,000 sq ft in the near future. The new company has been renamed GW Plastics Guangdong.

“GW Plastics has a strong commitment to standardization of its facilities, using the same machines to ensure that our process is consistent,” said Brenan Riehl, president and CEO. Riehl spoke at a press conference at MD&M West in February. “GW Plastics Guangdong will share the high standardization in equipment, operating practices, and quality systems—including ISO 9001:2000 and TS 16949 certifications—that are hallmarks of all GW Plastics plants,” he said.

Riehl said GW Plastics started looking for a China-based company about three years ago that it could “quickly transform to the GW image.” WCH, which was founded in 1997 by Lide Zeng, had been a key supplier to GW Plastics for precision molds used in the production of close-tolerance parts for the healthcare and industrial markets. Zeng and his management team will be retained to run the GW Guangdong operation. The unit currently employs about 100 people. GW Plastics will provide training to current employees.

“We're very excited to be part of GW Plastics' global expansion efforts,” said Zeng in a press release about the acquisition. “With a current annual capacity of more than 100 molds, GW Plastics Guangdong will serve as a key growth platform in China and greater Asia for precision mold building, molding, and assembly.”

As part of the GW Plastics' market strategy, the company is locating its facilities close to its customers, explained Riehl. “As our customers' businesses have grown to other parts of the world, we have seen the need to follow closely to optimize their supply chain,” explained Riehl. The Guangdong facility will serve GW Plastics customers based in China.

Riehl said the China facility would focus on assembly and contact manufacturing. Growth plans include offering subassembly and packaging to customers, said Riehl. The company will provide unprecedented high-precision tooling and molding capabilities to regional customers. “This operation, with its high degree of automation and low-cost labor, will provide a competitive advantage to our customers worldwide,” said Riehl.

The acquisition of WCH is an important global initiative for the company, Riehl noted. “We acquired two companies within the last year, and we intend to pursue the same technical excellence to better serve our customers in those countries.” In addition to GW Plastics Guangdong, GW Plastics recently opened a new, state-of-the-art production facility in Querétaro, Mexico. The 52,000-sq-ft plant is located two hours northwest of Mexico City and will meet the increasing demand for high-precision molding and assembly in one of the fastest-growing industrial regions of Mexico.

GW Plastics is a closely held Fortune 1000 company that focuses on the automotive and healthcare markets. The company develops close-tolerance, high-precision molds and assemblies using in-house tooling. The company has plants in Utah, Arizona, and Texas, as well as one in Mexico and the new facility in China.

Copyright ©2006 Medical Device & Diagnostic Industry
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