China calling: Multivac invests in new production company as Asian consumerism booms
13 Mar 2019 --- Multivac has signed an investment agreement to establish a new production company in Taicang, China. The new production facility will enable Multivac to react to the requirements of customers in China with “even greater speed and focus.” The production of packaging machines and their peripheral components is planned for the new site. The start of production is planned for the end of 2019.
In addition to manufacturing, the Taicang facility will also have development and design departments. Steven Shen, who has worked for Multivac since 2012, most recently as Technical Manager for the Multivac sales company in China, is taking over the management of the new company on 1 March 2019.
Emerging markets, such as China, are continuously undergoing economic, social and environmental shifts – and rapidly. Finding ways to address the needs of a growing and quickly urbanizing population, while limiting food losses and waste, are becoming key priorities for the global packaging industry and is spurring further investment in such regions.
“We are very pleased, that the Multivac Group has opted for China as the place to expand its production capacity,” says the future CEO of the new production company. “This means that we can support our customers even better. Employing highly qualified personnel, we will produce on this site a range of machines in various output categories and for different functions within the packaging procedure, all of them produced to the Multivac quality standard.”
“China is a significant market for us,” adds Guido Spix, Director and Group Chief Operating Officer and Chief Technical Officer, Multivac. “This makes the establishment of a local production facility a logical step and a further stage in expanding our global production and sales network. Our objective is to achieve shorter delivery times for our customers and to be able to respond even more rapidly to the needs of local customers.”
A production hall and office area of around 4,300 square meters in total have been rented for the new production company. Thermoforming packaging machines, traysealers, chamber machines, peripheral components and spare parts are all due to be manufactured in the new factory for the Chinese market.
The start of production is planned for the end of 2019. In addition to this, a local R&D department will be set up on the site, so that it will be possible to react in a more targeted way to the development needs of regional customers. It is expected that in the next three years up to 100 jobs will be created at the Taicang site.
Multivac China was founded in 2008. Today, Multivac in Greater China has a comprehensive sales and service network with around 80 employees. The main office is located in Shanghai, and there are subsidiaries in Beijing, Wuhan, Hong kong and Taiwan. A state-of-the-art Training and Application Center has been set up in Shanghai and there is also one in Beijing which specializes in meat processing.
“There’s a lot of market growth in Asia and consumer demand is holding up very well,” packaging expert Neil Farmer tells PackagingInsights. “The Chinese economy is going through a challenging time – partly because of the trade wars with the US – but it is still achieving great growth and I see no reason to believe that consumer demand and growth will be anything but positive over the next five years.”
In another notable example of Asian expansion, SIG recently opened a new Tech Centre close to its packaging plant in Suzhou, China, which will bring a “new dimension” in supporting customers with the development and implementation of new product concepts and market-ready packaging solutions in Asia. In the 17,500 square meter building, a team of SIG experts will develop and manufacture filling technology, conduct filling tests for customers and offer training.
In addition to the planned factory in China, Multivac has twelve additional production sites in Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Finland and the US, as well as more than 80 sales and service companies worldwide.
By Joshua Poole
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