Sino-Rubber Machinery Co. Ltd. will invest $15 million to build a tire machinery plant, set to open early next year near Shanghai, China.
The factory will be operated by a joint venture called SinoArp, according to David Chen, president of Sino-Rubber Machinery.
He discussed the project at the International Tire Exhibition and Conference, held Sept. 12-14 in Akron.
Chen said the facility-to be located about 35 miles west of the Shanghai airport-will encompass about 113,400 square feet during the first phase of the project and employ 120. If business goes well, the parcel of land the company purchased will allow for two additional phases of construction.
Initial production will be of the company's tire curing presses, which Sino-Rubber has made in its current factory in Suzhou, China. The company was founded in 1958 and employs more than 1,000 at its main site.
Most of Sino-Rubber's current output is sold to domestic Chinese tire manufacturers, but output at the new facility will be aimed at foreign-owned firms setting up tire production in China.
``More and more top tire companies are coming into China, investing in China and building tire factories in China,'' Chen said. ``Their requirements are much higher than most of the domestic Chinese tire companies. Our purpose is to meet this high-end market in the industry.''
Though tire curing presses are the firm's main product, the new plant will be set up to handle manufacturing of other tire machinery as well, he said. The company is doing some market research to see if demand warrants the firm branching out into these new areas.
Sino-Rubber Machinery was one of 12 exhibitors at the first-ever China Pavilion at ITEC, which is sponsored by Rubber & Plastics News.