The Austrian elastomer injection moulding machinery maker Maplan is well on the way to opening a new €4.5m product assembly hall, part of a plant expansion project at Malacky in Slovakia.
A formal hall topping-out ceremony was staged at the site, north of the Slovak capital Bratislava, this week and Kottingbrunn, Austria-based Maplan is due to open the plant extension at the end of March.
Since 2015, the machinery supplier has been manufacturing control cabinets at Malacky industrial park and currently employs a Slovakia workforce of around 20 at the plant.
Maplan intends to extend pre-production work at the 30,000m2 Slovak site and to start component assembly. From April 2018, it plans to begin the production of metal parts and prefabricated hydraulics as well as turning out assemblies.
Construction of the €20m Malacky expansion, where Maplan plans to create another 50 jobs, began last August. The company already has a 3,500m2 workshop and a 400m2 office building on the site where Maplan has potential for further growth.
Malacky site was originally chosen for its ideal location in respect of local infrastructure and situation between Bratislava and Vienna.
Components and assemblies already pre manufactured at Malacky plant were destined to prime machinery production for the Asian market launched at a Maplan plant in China from last September.
That was when Maplan launched production at its new 4,000m2 plant in Wujin near Shanghai, China. Two main machine types: vertical machines of 250 tonnes and up to 400 tonnes were initially manufactured at the facility as the new Asian offshoot took immediate orders for five machines for 2018, Maplan said last year.
The new operation, launched to enable Maplan to offer European quality alongside the region’s service and speedy delivery, has an annual capacity of 200 machines per year.
In 2016, Maplan inaugurated a production plant at its brand new group headquarters site in Kottingbrunn, Austria after moving work from nearby at Ternitz. Last year, the group reported a switch from individual manufacturing to line production in the new plant has enabled it to double annual production capacity to over 500 machines and to reduce throughput times by almost a third.