SMTCL Considers First US Factory

SMTCL, a major machine tool manufacturer, is considering building a factory in the United States, a company official announced at IMTS, the machine tool tradeshow being held in Chicago.

Jerry McCarty, SMTCL's chief operating officer, said the company was exploring building a factory to serve the U.S., Mexico and Canada markets. He said the decision on the factory would be based on determining what machines could be built for the North American market. McCarty said SMTCL was looking at five states where there was an appropriate customer base, supplier base and workforce with machining knowledge. Two states under consideration are Michigan and California.

"We will manufacture, engineer and support our products in North America," McCarty said, adding, "I have always believed in the U.S. ability to manufacture a high-quality product and I am glad that SMTCL sees the same as well."

While McCarty said no final decision had been made on which products to produce, two possibilities were vertical machining centers and boring mills.

SMTCL is a subsidiary of SYMG, the largest machine tool manufacturer in the world. The company has annual sales of $2.9 billion and employs 18,000. It produces 80,000 machine tools annually and has more than 300 products. McCarty noted the company has 32 factories in China with 10 million square feet of manufacturing space.

McCarty also announced that SMTCL was unifying its North American operations so that customers in the U.S., Mexico or Canada would be assured of purchasing machines with the same configurations and features in each country. He said SMTCL would assure that customers could get parts within 24 hours and said machines would be stocked in all three countries.

SMTCL sells most of its machines in China but McCarty said the company's business in the U.S. was growing in areas such as aerospace.

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