TRUMPF has broken ground for a new production building in Taicang that will bring the three existing production operations into one facility starting in July 2009. In addition to combining machine tool and operating table production, the company will also include its model job shop for sheet metal parts in the facility, which will employ about 200 workers.
TRUMPF has been doing business in China for many years with sales and service offices in 12 locations along with several production facilities.
"This consistent and gradual expansion of our operation reflects our philosophy of a continual and reliable commitment to the Chinese market," emphasized Peter Leibinger, vice-chairman of the TRUMPF Managing Board, on the occasion of the groundbreaking in Taicang.
In addition to production, TRUMPF's new 10,000-sq-m (107,640 sq-ft) facility will house a training center, showroom, a laser application center, as well as logistics. The overall volume of the investment in Taicang will amount to 15 million Euros ($22.5 million). The industrial city, located 50km north of Shanghai, is nicknamed "little Swabia" because TRUMPF is not the only southern German company with operations there.
Since January 2008, TRUMPF has been producing the TruLaser 3030 laser flatbed machine in Taicang in rented buildings. Core components are shipped from Europe. The laser machines are produced exclusively for the Chinese market. In 2005, TRUMPF began the production of the Merkur operating table, a basic model of the OR table series. The production facility for high quality sheet metal components with a showroom and an application center was established in 2000.
The job shop has given the company a unique look into the needs of its Chinese customers and their application processes – starting with the quality of the local raw materials, the purity of the processing gases supplied, the qualifications of the machine operators, and even the market prices and the competition. As a result of its success in China, TRUMPF will open another job shop this July 2008 in southern Chinese town of Dongguan.
In accordance with the company's global product strategy, the products manufactured in Taicang match the high quality of those produced in Germany.
"Expanding local production allows us to be better prepared to meet the requirements of our Chinese customers," explains Peter Höcklin, President TRUMPF China. Shorter delivery times and better customer service are important advantages that are created by expanding the Taicang facility. Additional benefits are training service technicians on site and having spare parts available locally.
Overall, TRUMPF currently has 180 employees in China. Sales in the last five years have risen considerably, by an average of 40 percent annually. For fiscal year 2007/2008, which ends on June 30, the company is expecting sales of about 70 million Euros (105 million US dollars).