Hong Kong´s Akei eyeing Seattle for facility
By Angie DeRosa
PLASTICS NEWS STAFF
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (July 4, 2006) — Akei Plastic-Machine Mfy. Ltd. plans to have a parts and service facility in Seattle, Washington, by August as it builds its business in North America.
The blow molding machinery maker, based in Hong Kong, will settle on a site in downtown Seattle, said Simon Tam, managing director of Akei Holdings Co. Ltd., in a June 21 interview.
“I have a couple places that I’m having people look at,” he said. “After NPE, I’m going back to confirm where it’s actually going to be.”
Akei originally planned to locate the facility in the Chicago area, but Tam said he’s really focused on developing the West Coast market.
“Chicago is still a candidate,” Tam said, “but it’s a secondary candidate.”
The firm will grow beyond its own branded blow molding equipment into original equipment manufacturer machines.
“Our strongest capacity is in machinery,” Tam said. “But we don’t have to necessarily manufacture our own brand. Our brand will have its place in the market. We can help other suppliers to do their machines.”
The firm’s strongest market is China, where it operates a 24-hour showroom to promote its equipment.
“Iran is a great country for us,” Tam said of surprise growth markets that also include Pakistan, Morocco and Egypt. “We didn’t forecast anything in those countries.”
The leads during Akei’s third day of NPE were strongest from international markets, Tam said. Regions included India, South Africa, North Africa and Southeast Asia.
The company has built a small long-stroke blow molding machine for single-serve beverages. That market is poised for best growth in North America, according to several blow molding machinery officials interviewed during the show.
Tam said Akei’s new machine will have a 70-millimeter extruder with a stroke of 460.
“We’re commissioning it right now,” Tam said. The machine also will be able to do in-mold labeling.