JIEYANG, China—Guangdong Greatoo Molds Inc. will spend about $12 million this year to double the size of its 1 million-sq.-ft. tire mold-making complex and add equipment to increase its capacity significantly.
Greatoo is adding two plants to its manufacturing, research and administrative complex—which includes two factories encompassing 861,000 square feet and a science technology facility—in Jieyang.
The additions will result in the creation of about 200 jobs. The company—which recently began to provide tire mold construction services to the North American market through its agent, Peachtree City, Ga.-based OEM Suppliers China—employs more than 920, nearly three-fourths of whom are involved in manufacturing or support.
It is building a 750,000-sq.-ft. factory to house a new machining workshop with more than 100 machining centers, and a 320,000-sq.-ft. plant to serve as a casting foundry that will feature equipment capable of producing more than 100 new aluminum molds per month, said Hong Zebin, Greatoo´s international business manager.
Construction is expected to be completed later this year, probably in the fourth quarter.
The Jieyang-based company, which produces tire molds for original equipment manufacturers, also is importing several machining centers and inspection equipment from companies in a number of countries—including Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Japan and South Korea—to give the firm more advanced aluminum casting technology, according to Hong.
The expansion will boost production volumes and improve the firm´s casting technologies, specifically to meet the increased demands of international tire manufacturers, he said.
The popularity and increasing market demand in China and other Asian countries for the company´s molds set the stage for the growth, Hong said.
The company figures it has about 40 percent of the market in China, but "it is unknown how much share Greatoo has in Asia and the rest of the world," he noted.
"Based on the long-term competition strategy and the great improvement of mold quality, Greatoo decided to expand its production to meet large demands of tire manufacturers and offer them better molds and service," said Chen Qing Xiang, vice general manager and senior engineer at the Jieyang site.
The additions immediately will increase annual production to 3,500 mold and container sets from 2,500 per year. And the company anticipates it will need at least that many sets in the future.
"Today Greatoo is a leading tire mold manufacturer in China (and) its mold quality is being improved daily," according to Hong. "Many international tire companies, such as Goodyear, Pirelli and Continental, have begun to seek mold suppliers in China, so I believe the demand from these tire companies will be very large."
He said Greatoo, which was founded in 1992, has a competitive advantage over mold suppliers in Europe, South Korea, Japan and North America. "My goal is to see in the near future most of the international tire manufacturers ordering molds from Greatoo."
The company services more than 50 tire manufacturers in China, including Aeolus Tire Co. Ltd., GiTi Tire Co. Ltd., South China Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd., Shangdong Chengshan Group Co. Ltd. and Guizhou Tire Co. Ltd.
It has a number of other customers worldwide, including Pirelli S.p.A. in Italy, Goodyear-Dunlop in Europe, Apollo Tyres Ltd. in India and Goodyear in the U.S.
OEM Suppliers, a division of SouthCom Group Inc., has a good opportunity to expand Greatoo´s business in North America, especially tire mold container sets, which include a variety of drum and bladder molds, according to Ernie Evans, vice president of OEM Suppliers. He anticipates the firm will make significant headway in the U.S. once it has established itself in the market.