SHANGHAI, China (April 24) — GLS Corp. will open a compounding plant in Suzhou, China, in June, marking the first time the firm has produced material outside the U.S.
McHenry, Ill.-based GLS will make a variety of thermoplastic elastomer compounds in an 80,000-square-foot plant in Suzhou. The materials will be used in consumer products, medical goods, housewares and other applications.
The announcement was made during Chinaplas 2006 in Shanghai.
"We´ve been selling into the Asia-Pacific region for more than a decade," said GLS Marketing Director Walt Ripple. "Our volume growth is such that we need manufacturing capacity there. This will be a global plant, not just serving China, but the whole region."
The new facility — GLS Thermoplastic Alloys (Suzhou) Co. Ltd. — is a wholly owned subsidiary of GLS parent Great Lakes Synergy Corp. The Suzhou location will shorten lead times for GLS in the region and allow for consistency of production.
Ripple declined to provide production, cost or employee details for the new plant but said sales growth in China for the overall TPE market has been "in double digits" in recent years. Previously, GLS had supplied the region from its original production site in McHenry.