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ME Channels / IMTS 2014

IMTS 2014: Chinese Machine Tool Maker Considering US Factory

 

By Bill Koenig
Senior Editor

Chinese machine tool maker SMTCL is considering whether to build a US factory, which would supply customers in North America, the company said Monday at the International Manufacturing Technology Show.

The company is studying what products it would build in the US, which in turn would determine the factory size and number of employees it would employ, Jerry McCarty, chief operating officer of SMTCL-Americas, said at an ITMS news conference.

“The ballpark number” of states being considered for the plant “is probably five,” McCarty told reporters. “Maybe somebody will surprise me.” The company has talked to officials from Michigan and California about the project, he said.

SMTCL is looking at states with skilled workers who can perform machine tool work, McCarty said. “We’re not going to assemble but assemble and build,” he said.  A new plant would employ about 100 to 150 “depending on the products.”

McCarty declined to provide a timetable for the decision. “We’re in the very early stages,” he said. “We’ve got to decide what products we’re going to build.” The factory, if built, would not export beyond North America, he said.

SMTCL’s study of a U.S. production site is an indication the country is competitive with China, McCarty said. “IMTS is…about jobs coming back to the United States from China.”

SMTCL also said it’s moving to standardize products and customer service in North America, McCarty said. Customers “can be assured they’ll get the same configuration of machines” in the region, he said.


Published Date : 9/8/2014

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