Roland opens factory in Thailand
Roland DG Corporation of Japan, a leading manufacturer of wide-format inkjet printers for sign and display markets, is turning its new factory in Thailand into its worldwide export hub.
The new facility will lessen risks from earthquake and tsunami at home and ensure smooth supply chain. The strong yen also influenced the new investment.
Located in Sinsakhon Printing City & Industrial Estate Phase 2, the factory is the first outside Japan. The factory’s floor level is 190cm above sea level to ensure no impacts from future floods. With initial investment of Bt200 million, it will initially begin manufacturing the RE-640/RA-640, a wide-format inkjet printer. With excellent staff and automated systems, the production quality is designed to match what was achieved in Japan. Starting mass production in October 2012, the first export was shipped to Japan, India, South Africa and Europe on October 27. The production of other printer models, such as the metallic printer VS series, is expected to be transferred from Japan to Thailand in the middle of this year. The company is planning to produce 3,700 units in 2013, and reach maximum capacity of more than 5,000 units in 2014.
"As the economic expansion in developing countries including Asia is expected to grow further in the mid to long term, we decided to establish a production base in Thailand so as to plan and manufacture products which meet the demand of developing countries. It was Thailand's good infrastructure and logistics, plus the availability of skilled labor, which made Thailand a very attractive destination for us. But more importantly, it was the presence of strong supporting industry network established through the efforts of the Thai government to attract companies to the region, and the investment incentives from The Thai Board of Investment (BOI) that made Thailand the location of choice for our global expansion," said Masahiro Tomioka, president of Roland DG Corporation, Japan.
In the near future, it is expected that the factory will not only handle manufacturing and procurement functions, but also assume planning and design functions.
"By setting up a manufacturing factory in Thailand, Roland is now able to produce affordable products that meet the increasing demand for inkjet printers in the growing market including Asia. Today, almost all components to support production here are imported from Japan. The company is aiming to increase the local supply rate to 30% of the necessary components by the end of 2013, and more in the near future. Some of our Japanese suppliers are also planning to establish manufacturing facilities in Thailand. This will further increase our local production capability," said Akira Suzaki, president of Roland Digital Group (Thailand) Ltd.
Roland DG markets its innovative products and services in 133 countries through a network of partnering companies. This includes 9 subsidiaries and master distributors, including SVOA Plc, with which Roland has had a relationship for more than 25 years. As one of Thailand's leading computer IT system developers, SVOA represents Roland not only in Thailand, but also in Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos.