Roland DG Corporation of Japan, a manufacturer of wide-format inkjet printers for sign and display markets, opened its first manufacturing plant outside its home country in Samut Sakhon, Thailand, a coastal city south of Bankok. The facility located at Sinsakhon Printing City and Industrial Estate will serve as the worldwide export hub for the group.
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, the company said. Construction on the Thai factory started last January with an initial investment of 200 million Thai Baht dollars. As of the latest exchange rate one Thai Baht equals .03 US dollars.
Masahiro Tomioka, President of Roland DG Corporation, Japan, said: “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 that made Thailand the location of choice for our global expansion,” he added.
While Thailand experienced disastrous flooding two years ago, the damage incurred from the earthquake and tsunami that same year in Japan disrupted the supply chain, and even affected the procurement of parts for our products, the company said. Establishing manufacturing and procurement functions overseas has merit from the viewpoint of cost and increasing price competitiveness, as well as holds merit on the point of risk reduction. Akira Suzaki, President of Roland Digital Group Thailand Ltd. said the Thai factory manufactures the RE-640/RA-640, a wide-format inkjet printer. 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.