Trying to decide where to locate its only U.S. facility, Yuncheng Plate Making, the world's largest manufacturer of gravure printing cylinders, had a lot to consider. In the end, it boiled down to four specific reasons, according to Henry Yao, vice president of American Yuncheng Gravure Cylinder, which is the U.S. subsidiary.
"South Carolina's representative in China knew what we needed and understood our concerns. He not only knew the market, he introduced us to many industry experts,"explained Yao. John Ling, managing director of South Carolina-Asia office which is based in Shanghai, worked closely with the company both in China and then brought them to the U.S. to visit the location.
Labor costs, which are always an issue when locating in the U.S., were lower in South Carolina, as compared to Midwestern and Eastern locations the company considered. South Carolina has no minimum labor rates, whereas most Midwestern and Eastern states do with some paying higher than minimum wages as well.
As the company is based in China, and has locations across the world, the issue of a port nearby was essential. The Port of Charleston, which daily receives cargo worth more than $150 million, made it very easy for the company to receive the containers necessary for production.
And of course the incentive package plays a role in easing the financial investment. American Yuncheng Gravure Cylinder received both tax and workforce assistance. The workforce assistance came in the form of working with the community college to provide training specific to the production process.
So in 2008 production began at the Spartanburg, S.C. facility, which is comprised of 30,000 square feet. The facility manufactures engraved printed cylinders used for packaging, decoration and textile transfers.
This was a step for a company that has a long history. The parent company was established in 1984, in Shanxi Province of China, and originally offered only photo engraving cylinders. Later, it became the first Chinese company to offer non-film engraving cylinders in the industry. In the 1980s, the company experienced dynamic growth and expanded its production capabilities to include both regular and special gravure printing cylinders for packaging, decorative finishes, textiles, and embossing applications.
It has facilities in Southeast Asia, Japan, Europe, Brazil, Africa and Mexico. In fact it was due to the success in Mexico that the company decided to build a facility in the U.S.
"The success in Mexico has continued in the U.S. and 2012 is looking to a good year for the company," said Yao.
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