Prent Opens New Facilities in China and Denmark

Right on the heels of one another, Prent Corporation is opening two new global facilities, further enhancing its presence in the world packaging marketplace.

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Prent Corporation thermoforms custom packaging for the medical, electronics and consumer industries.

This month in Shanghai, Prent China moved into a new, much larger and modern facility. The company's first European facility is slated to open in Denmark right after the Holidays.

INTRODUCING THE NEW PRENT CHINA

Prent China was a victim of its own success. After five years of extraordinary growth, it simply out-grew its old facility in Shanghai. But this month it moved into a sparkling new building—twice as large as the previous one—with plenty of room for expansion.

The new facility is a full service, high tech thermoforming operation. Its capabilities include sales, product design, thermoforming, production control, secondary operations, as well as just-in-time delivery.

"Since Prent entered the China market five years ago, we've experienced fantastic growth," according to Joseph T. Pregont, Prent President and CEO. The new facility, located within a secure private compound, will accommodate future growth. It currently employs 300.

"This new building is truly a modern facility designed and constructed according to Class 8 Clean Room standards and is fully compliant with all medical requirements. It is ISO 9001 certified plus," he adds, "we will implement ISO 14000 in 2010."

The building is divided into three Class 8 Clean Rooms. "Customer response to our new facility has been excellent," reports BJ Nielsen, Prent Asia President, who oversees Prent's operations in Eurasia. "They've expressed satisfaction with our modern facilities, advanced production capabilities and internal controls.

"Although the economic downturn in the past year has not affected the demand in China for medical and consumer electronics packaging, we have seen costs become an increasingly important factor in our customers' business decisions," he continues.

"We expect the Chinese economy will continue to perform well. In the next 10 years, we believe China will experience a significantly higher growth rate than North America or Europe. At Prent China, we anticipate modest yearly growth from our already substantial consumer electronics business. Within our core medical business, we expect sales in the next five years to double at minimum, as more global medical device manufacturers move into China," says Nielsen.

"When we first opened our facility in China five years ago, we were a very small player. Today," he says, "we are perceived as the leading, high quality thermoformer in China.

"Because of our global capabilities and our reputation for professional, high quality, reliable services, Prent China is predominately serving major global corporations. However, we also serve some China customers who also demand quality and reliability," according to Nielsen.

He credits the company's rapid growth in China to the hard work of teams at Prent China, Prent Malaysia and Prent Janesville.

"Kuan Kean Hooi, Prent China General Manager, and his highly skilled team have been intensely committed to learning, growing and meeting our customers' requirements over the past five years," says Nielsen.

But he also praises the well-established Prent Malaysia staff as well as the Janesville staff for their outstanding job of providing ongoing support and training to Prent China which allowed them to grow so rapidly in such a short period.


PRENT DENMARK ENHANCES COMPANY'S EUROPEAN PRESENCE

After months of construction, Prent's plan to open a European thermoforming facility to serve the European operations of its large global medical customers is coming true. Prent Denmark is slated to open January 4, 2010.

"This is our first thermoforming facility in Europe and we believe it will further enhance our global presence in the medical thermoform market. We have a number of existing European customers who have been awaiting its opening," says Joseph T. Pregont, Prent President and CEO.

"The new building is state-of-the art and energy efficient. It will house our newest thermoformers with sophisticated robotics inside Class 8 Clean Rooms," continues Pregont.

"The development of Prent Denmark—like our other global expansion initiatives—has been through organic growth, not acquisition growth," he points out. "This growth has been generated entirely within our own organization. Consequently we design our facilities to all be identical. Each contains identical all Prent-designed and manufactured thermoforming equipment and software systems. Therefore, our procedures and processes are all the same around the world. This not only gives us maximum control over the entire thermoforming process, but ensures maximum consistency for our customers around the world."

The facility is designed to be a full-service thermoforming center. When it opens, it will have product design capabilities and quality assurance, in addition to thermoformers. "As demand grows we will add tool engineering, tool building and secondary operations," reports Peter Bay, Managing Director of Prent Denmark.

Prent purchased just over six acres of land for the site to allow for capacity expansion.

"Although many European manufacturing sectors have been hard hit by the world economic crisis, the medical device market has not been hurt as bad as other markets," says Bay.

"Fortunately, going into this market, we have a good reputation amongst our existing global medical customers with European facilities. We will start slow and build our business. But without a doubt, if I look five years out, Prent will be one of the main players in the European medical packaging market," predicts Bay.
Prent Denmark will initially employ 20-25 people, but Bay believes employment within five years could reach 100 people or more.

Peter Bay, Danish engineer and plastics specialist, is Managing Director of Prent-Denmark. Bay has been working the past 15 years in the plastic industry.

With a population of 25,000, Holbaek is a coastal Danish city in the Greater Copenhagen area. Situated on the banks of the Holbaek Fjord, and just 35 miles from Copenhagen, it is a thriving commercial and industrial center.
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