Watlow expands in China; Singapore cites global manufacturing trends, Asian nation trade agreement

Watlow's expansion in China and news from Singapore about additional investments in Asia highlight manufacturing growth in that region. Reflecting its effort to better serve customers that currently have a presence in China, Watlow has opened a new manufacturing plant in that country. The new Shanghai facility, which celebrated its grand opening Oct.

12/01/2006


Watlow's expansion in China and news from Singapore about additional investments in Asia highlight manufacturing growth in that region.

Reflecting its effort to better serve customers that currently have a presence in China, Watlow has opened a new manufacturing plant in that country. The new Shanghai facility, which celebrated its grand opening Oct. 31, will manufacture tubular heaters. Watlow is a designer and manufacturer of heaters, controllers, and temperature sensors.

In other news about the exploding growth in Asia: Efforts by manufacturing to continue growing its businesses in Asia were underscored by Ko Kheng Hwa, managing director, Singapore Economic Development Board (SEDB). Hwa made the comments at Rockwell Automation's Manufacturing Perspectives media event held in October, in Baltimore, the day before Automation Fair. Hwa told journalists that manufacturing has been shifting locations, but more recent among global trends has been migration of supply chains: U.S. to Mexico; Europe to Eastern Europe; Japan to Asia, Oceana, and Singapore. Europe also has migrated some to the U.S. and to Asia, he noted, adding, making that work requires companies to more closely integrate systems and manage assets over a global network. U.S. widened its lead in high-technology manufacturing, Hwa said, and Singapore and Asia as a whole (except Japan) have increased their share, while the European group of 15 has declined.

With China expanding as "factory to the world," there's been an emergence of a Pan-Asian manufacturing network, driven by costs and by companies seeking to leverage competitive advantages, diversify risks by spreading manufacturing across multiple areas in the region, especially into areas such as Singapore, said Hwa.

ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) free trade agreement, due in 2015, he added, will augment the concept of a huge common market with an integrated production base, incorporating 550 million people with private consumption comparable to Coastal China, Japan, or India. The 10 ASEAN countries are, according to the Hwa-cited McKinsey study, are: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

www.watlow.com

www.mckinsey.com

www.rockwellautomation.com

www.sedb.com





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