Packaging closures specialist United Caps aims to capitalise on its growing sales in Southeast Asia with plans to launch its first production plant outside Europe early next year.
The family-owned Luxembourg-based plastics processor announced it is building a new manufacturing plant at Kulim situated in Kedah state, northern Malaysia.
Initially, the new operation, due to go on stream by April 2018, will create 20 jobs in the region and turn out around 300 million closures in the first year, the company said.
“We are experiencing significant growth in Southeast Asia,” stated United Caps chief executive officer Benoît Henckes. “Localising production of our pioneering closure technologies in the Southeast Asia marketplace is the next logical step in our business expansion.”
His company conducted an extensive search before determining that the Kulim High Tech Park provided an optimum location for the new manufacturing facility. Kulim district is located close to the major Malaysian city and state of Penang.
United Caps, formerly known as Procap, already operates seven closure development and moulding plants across Western and Eastern Europe. These units are located in Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Hungary and Luxembourg.
Its latest expansion plan is in line with the company’s current development strategy of localising production in growth centres to better service customers in a region.
Following the group’s 2013 acquisition of Schoeller Cap Systems (SCS) at Schwerin in northern Germany, United Caps opened a 10,000m2 moulding site there in 2015 including two production halls, each capable of turning out 2.5 billion closures a year.
Up to last year, the group, headquartered in Wiltz, Luxembourg, has concentrated its business almost totally in Europe with 84% of its caps and closure sales focused on food and beverage packaging markets.
Overall, to date United Caps operates 198 injection moulding machines from 30 to 600 tonnes clamping force, including bi-injection technology. It also has 53 closure lining machines and runs 21 printing lines offering a range of technologies including silk screen, tampo, offset and in mould labelling.
In 2016, the firm, which has a workforce of 526, saw its annual sales increase by 7.5% to reach a net turnover of €131m.