"Pyroban’s sustained growth in China over the last seven years has been faster than we had expected," explains Max Goh, Regional General Manager of Pyroban Suzhou. "At the beginning of 2013, we made further investments in our facilities and staffing levels to help meet existing and anticipated domestic Chinese demand."
Max believes that there are several reasons for such high demand. "Local and international businesses are increasingly focused on their safety policies for their staff, the security of their supply chain and their brand reputation. Pyroban has also grown its market share with the operation of this Suzhou facility.
Pyroban opened its first factory in China in 2006, a state of the art 1,300 square metre facility in the Suzhou Industrial Park, around 80 miles from Shanghai. The factory was originally designed to undertake explosion proof conversions of forklift trucks and mobile equipment according to local standards.
"With recent investments, we have expanded, with double the space, and now operate a 2,600 square metre facility that has helped to increase capacity and reduce lead times. We have also improved productivity, optimised our quality control systems and reduced waste as a result."
The local fabrication capability has been increased with new machines and improved welding bays, a new paint spray booth, oven and dynamometer. More space is also available on the production line, in the warehouse and in support of other business activities, particularly for the manufacture of explosion-proof engines for the surface and underground mining industries in China.
"With these investments, we are now shipping up to 30 explosion proof trucks per month to customers across the region. This is a high number in our niche area of highly specialist engineering," he explains, suggesting that the factory now contributes to over 40% of the Pyroban Group’s total volume of forklift truck conversions.
Recent orders have included a fleet of 15 Nichiyu forklift trucks for international paint and coatings brand, Valspar, and 16 Toyota forklift trucks for Bauhinia Shanghai, another large coatings manufacturer.
Pyroban is the global market leader in explosion proof forklift conversions, supplying high risk industries world-wide including chemical, paint, food, drink, waste, coatings, cosmetics, pharmaceutical, bottled gas and logistics businesses.
"We support any forklift brand and associated dealers across China with the most technically advanced explosion proof conversions to ensure maximum uptime, lower cost of operation and provide pro-active support, training and parts supply nationwide," says Max.
Pyroban conversions in China are of the same Pyroban quality found in Europe but the design and specification usually have some differences according to the local standard GB19845-2010. Pyroban provides engineering support across the region with field service engineers employed in strategic locations close to key industrial zones.
In 2011, Pyroban opened a "Tech Centre" in Southern China to offer a fast and professional service to customers of the Pearl River Delta region and Guangdong province. The Centre is located in Huangpu Economic Development Zone, Guangzhou city and offers a complete explosion protection service with support from Pyroban Suzhou demonstrating firm commitment to the Chinese market.
Pyroban also provides a wide range of related hazardous area services including consulting and training, explosion proof equipment conversions, explosion proof components supply, maintenance, parts and services.
"We are in the business of safety and it is important as a global company, to provide a sustained local service in the local language," adds Max. "Our business model is clearly working in China."