March 10 (prw) -- Taiwanese auxiliary equipment maker Shini Plastics Technologies is finishing a $18.7m expansion of its factories in China and India, as it seeks to reverse the hit it suffered in the financial crisis and tap into growth in some emerging economies.
The Taipei-based company said in a March 6 interview at the Taipei Plas show in Taipei that it has doubled capacity in the last year with new plants in Shanghai and India, and expansions of existing facilities in south China and Taipei.
The costly expansion came as the global recession dried up its markets last year, sending sales down 30% to about US$48m. But the firm says economic growth in emerging markets is now expected to push sales this year back up to what it was in 2008, or about US$68m.
The company, which spent most of its 41-year history as a private label maker of plastics equipment for companies in Canada, Japan and Europe before launching its own brands in 2003, aims to be a ⌠one-stop shop for plastics auxiliaries, said general manager Aki Wu.
It claims to be the largest maker of plastic auxiliaries in China, and employs about 1,300 in factories in mainland China, Taiwan and India.
Shini launched its automation department in early 2009 and has developed robots ≈ including three and five axis server-controlled models ≈ to add to its line of granulators, dryers, chillers and other auxiliaries. The company believes the robots will be a key driver of growth this year, Wu said.
Wu said most of its growth in 2010 is expected to come from emerging markets such as Brazil, India, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. He said if its new 3,000-square-metre Indian plant, in Mumbai, goes well, the company may seek to put a similar factory in Brazil.
That comes as Wu said he is ⌠a little bit worried about the company's markets in mainland China, on fears that the housing bubble will pop this year and slow its economy.
⌠If it did happen, the bad situation will probably only continue for not over one year, he said. ⌠We believe China will recover quickly because the country's government will take action, he said.
China's market actually shrank for the company last year, but Wu said he still expects solid growth there over the next three to five years.
About 50% of the company's products are exported, with about 30% of that going to Japan and developed economies in Europe. Sales in Europe dropped at least 50% last year and are only now slowly starting to recover, Wu said.
Wu said the company began its transition from making private label equipment for other manufacturers to its own brand in 2003, and has seen sales rise steadily. It hired Japanese consultants to help it increase product quality and put in place better internal information systems to boost efficiency, Wu said.
Its expansion is entirely self-financed, with profits from operations paying for the new factories, leaving the company better able to weather the financial crisis, Wu said.
Before 2003, the firm built private-label equipment for Canadian firm Hamilton Avtec and others in Japan, the United Kingdom and Taiwan.