On 28 October, SMS Meer officially opened its first manufacturing facility in China.

Located in the Minhang District of Shanghai, the three bay factory is capable of manufacturing and repairing almost the full portfolio manufactured by SMS Meer which covers long products mills (light & heavy), seamless and welded pipes, forges, induction heating and non-ferrous processing equipment such as extrusion presses and continuous bar casting of copper.

Manufacturing started in August and several jobs are already nearing completion.

The works cost around RMB200 (€21.6M) to build and presently employs 250 engineers and staff mainly from the Chinese community. These are experienced engineers who are given on-the-job training to familiarise themselves with SMS Meer’s products.

President & CEO SMS Meer, Dr Joachim Schönbeck said he expected to see the factory expand and take on additional workers while business remains good in China. The works will also supply other Asian countries and some in the Middle East as well.

It can also undertake small jobs for its sister company SMS Siemag, but most of the capacity is needed to manufacture SMS Meer products.

SMS Meer China is a wholly owned subsidiary of the parent SMS Group. Employing mainly Chinese personnel, the aim, said Dr Schönbeck, is to have ‘German technology manufactured in China’.

SMS Meer, which employs 2400 in total, has outstanding orders worth €861M into the first 6-months of 2011, and a turnover of €1223M in 2009. In the past decade turnover has increased 25% (CAGR).