1 Nov ΞGuangzhou, China — Chinese manufacturers of the humble plastic pipe — used to carry drinking water, irrigation water, sewage, electricity and gas — are increasingly looking globally. While China's domestic market is growing as Beijing focuses on building infrastructure, some companies in China's large domestic industry were using this fall's Canton Fair in Guangzhou to cast about for overseas business.
The rush is fueled by projections of continued growth in global plastics pipe markets. A July report from research firm Persistence Market Research Pvt. Ltd., for example, estimates that worldwide plastic pipe sales will grow from about $30 billion this year to $44 billion by 2024.
However, a hodgepodge of standards worldwide is spurring Chinese processors to follow contrasting strategies.
Different regions and countries favor slightly different internal diameters and different materials, said Alina Chen, manager at Taizhou Zhuoxin Plastics Co. Ltd.
"Some countries like [chlorinated] CPVC. Other countries like PVC," Chen said.
Under its Sam-UK brand, Taizhou Zhuoxin manufactures both pipes and pipe fittings. Unusually for a Chinese manufacturer, it sells nothing domestically.
"We do all exports," Chen said. The 11-year-old company focuses on South America and Africa, with sales offices throughout Africa. Last year, it opened a sales office and warehouse in Peru.
Sales for 2016 totaled 70 million yuan, up 20 percent from the previous year, Chen said. The company, which has 100 staff, has already bought land to build a 7,200-square-meter factory, double the size of its present one, Chen said.
"Business is good," Chen said.
Taizhou, Zhejiang province-based Yonggao Co. Ltd., the country's second-biggest pipe maker, has a factory near company headquarters dedicated to serving the international market, said Esther Tao, vice international sales director.
"Because products are different for international and domestic markets. Not just the size and standards, but the also the popular items are quite different," Tao said.
Yonggao is publicly listed on the Shenzhen stock exchange. Sales for the six months ending June 30 were 1.85 billion yuan ($280 million), up 24.4 percent from the year-before period.
But profit edged down 8.8 percent on the rising resin costs and competition, the company reported.
The company produced 452 million pounds of pipe, up 22.3 percent from the year-before period. Yonggao has seven factories across China, and claims to be China's largest exporter of plastic pipe.
Currently, the company's biggest challenge is from aggressive price-cutting from Chinese rivals, Tao said.
Exhibitors at the three-week, three-phase Canton Fair, one of the world's biggest trade shows, offer everything from clocks to industrial-strength juicers. The mega-fair typically draws about 200,000 buyers and 25,000 exhibitors.
On the equipment side, extrusion specialist Foshan City Kebeln Plastic Machinery Co. Ltd. plans to double its production capacity by building a new 17,000-square-meter factory near its current one, General Manager Conghua Gao said in a telephone interview after the fair.
The 12-year-old company will double its headcount from the current 70 when the new factory opens, Gao said.
After a moderate 5 percent increase last year, sales are up a sharp 30 percent this year due to one big order for 30 production lines, Gao reported.
One player struggling in the current environment is Shenyang-based Ginde Plastic Pipe Industry Group. Founded in 1999, Ginde has more than 10,000 workers and nine factories in China. Exports comprise about 30 percent of Ginde's sales, said Shi Haifeng, manager of overseas sales.
Key markets are Cyprus, New Zealand and Australia, Shi said. "Mongolia is our largest overseas client," he said.
But with sales off in recent years, Ginde is now in the midst of reorganizing its overseas sales effort to focus on Southeast Asia and Africa, Shi said.
China Lesso Group Holdings Ltd. the country's largest plastic pipe maker, is also eager to crack the overseas market, although exports accounted for only 3.5 percent of its first half 2017 sales of 8.977 billion yuan ($1.237 billion).
In recent years, Lesso has richly benefited from Beijing's push to upgrade infrastructure for water supplies, sewage, drainage and flood control, but its big Canton Fair booth highlighted an effort to go global. The company has a plant in Los Angeles to make pipe fittings.
31 Oct: New employees with Directors of Sleepwell International as well as Management staff of S.S.A.B. New employees with Directors of Sleepwell International as well as Management staff of S.S.A.B. “United we stand, divided we fall.” This is a guiding principle for 20 new employees of the company who will be working on renovating the whole 7,000 square meters of what used to be the Yazaki premises.
The company is now starting on building offices, wood works as well as technicians and air compressors.
One of the Directors, Tuatagaloa Aumua Leung Wai, said these are the first steps of the factory which promises jobs for many Samoans. They plan to officially open the factory some time in December.
Sleepwell International is a partnership between Sleepwell New Zealand owned by the Lutu Brothers and Samoa Stationery and Books owned by Tuatagaloa and Fiti Leung Wai.
The beginning of the renovation started with a prayer and word of encouragement by Rev. Segi Bee and Kuini Leung Wai of Worship Center and Nino Lafaele of the Assembly of God Lotopa.
Salā George Lutu encouraged the new employees that honesty is the best policy.
“This is a new beginning and we must have one heart and soul to make this work,” he said.
“You have been chosen because you have the ability and the skills to do the work and at the same time we want you to be honest.
“Being honest comes great blessings and I am looking forward to have this new beginning and to work side by side with you our Samoan community in running this factory.”
Fiti Leung Wai said that yesterday the 30th of October, 2017 will always be remembered as the date that history had been made.
“This is a special day for us as this is the first factory in Samoa,” she said. “Sometime this year we went on a trip to Fiji and we found out that there were five bed factories in Fiji but as for Samoa we have none.
“So Sleepwell International Ltd will be the first bed factory to be set up in Samoa and we want to acknowledge the Lutu Brothers for choosing S.S.A.B. to be their partners.
“The reason why we called this company Sleepwell International because for the long run we will be selling to international markets and who knows maybe we will take up the challenge with China.
“Many of the businesses within Samoa are competing on the current pull of money that is circulating within but Sleepwell International we are trying to inject new revenue from outside of Samoa.
“All the wisdom and knowledge in making good quality beds is with the Lutu Brothers and so if the beds we make are in good quality we will have more overseas market’s demand for our beds.
“This is why it is very important for you all to do the work with honesty so that we will be able to sell it internationally.
“So as the start of a new milestone we have to work together for the betterment of our people as well as our company.”
Britain’s manufacturing sector could unlock £455bn over the next decade and create thousands of jobs if it cracks the fourth industrial revolution and carves out a successful post Brexit future.
That is the conclusion of a government commissioned review on industrial digitalisation, published today and led by industry chief Jürgen Maier, the UK and Ireland boss of German engineering giant Siemens.
26 Oct: New dairy nutrition innovator, manufacturer and exporter Winston Nutritional formally enters the New Zealand market today with its sponsorship of the Infant Nutrition Council’s Feeding the Future Conference in Auckland.
Winston Nutritional will present to potential suppliers, partners, local and national government agencies and market participants about its product suite, its state-of-the-art technology, its vision for the New Zealand nutrition market and the company’s role in advancing the industry’s innovative capability.
Winston Nutritional General Manager Leon Fung, who was previously Deputy General Manager at Yashili NZ Dairy Company and directed the development of their Pokeno plant, said the company sponsorship of the conference signals that the new operation is open for business.
"Our investment in the modernisation of the manufacturing facilities at our Mt Wellington site has been substantial, as is our investment in our people," says Mr Fung. "We have state-of-the-art technology capable of processing and packaging 20,000 metric tonnes a year but without the best people in place you can’t hope to be the best and we want to be better than our peers," he says.
"We have experienced technical experts in research and development, who have a strong innovation track record and previously worked at Fonterra and Danone ," Mr Fung says. "Product development and innovation is a core function at Winston Nutritional and will help drive our expansion plans here and overseas."
The company’s research and development will also help drive innovation across the nutritional sector, he says, increasing New Zealand’s capability by raising the bar.
"I am a proud New Zealander producing innovative New Zealand nutritional products for a global audience and I want Winston Nutritional to be at the forefront of our sector as it reaches out to the rest of the world with new products and new ways of doing business," he comments.
To ensure Winston Nutritional can achieve its ambition, the company has a clear strategic vision.
"Our focus is first on quality, then teamwork and workplace culture," Mr Fung explains. "Culture and teamwork are incredibly important if you truly want to produce the highest quality nutritional products in the world and we do."
Winston Nutritional will also be looking at partnership opportunities at the Feeding the Future Conference and Mr Fung says his company has a lot to offer suppliers, producers and exporters.
"We can certainly help those companies who have a strong China focus and need guidance and assistance to better understand the commercial landscape" he says. "But it’s important to note that we have a wider market focus than just China - Winston Nutritional will be an exporter to the world."
Mr Fung says the company will be making further significant investments in the nutritional sector and there will be an announcement about additional development soon.
| Winston Nutritional release || October 26, 2017 |||
New Zealand-based heavy equipment specialist Tidd Ross Todd (TRT) has designed and manufactured a widening eight-line platform trailer for Queensland-based Mactrans Heavy Haulage.
According to TRT, the features of this trailer have been designed for Mactrans' specific haulage challenges following extensive consultation, to make the transport 70 – 120-tonne equipment more efficient.
The platform trailer has been designed for maximum manoeuvrability and load variation, using a centre spine with two widening decks that expand its width from 3350mm to 4880mm.
There is 18m of clear deck behind the neck to the inside the ramps, and 855mm lowered height for easy loading. The deck is manufactured with a positive camber and TRT’s coaming rail – which it says is the deepest of any trailer manufacturer – to help optimise load stability.
It has 64 wheels, eight spares and 16 BPW steer axles to provide the 23m trailer manoeuvrability in any direction.
The trailer also features TRT’s live hydraulic compensating “Gooseneck”, which allows the trailer to be lifted and lowered during travel, minimising damage to equipment and load.
A South Waikato ginseng producer is ready to approach potential investors to increase its production and exports with the help of funding of up to $40,000 from the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).
Maraeroa has 20 hectares of high value wild simulated Asian panax ginseng growing on the forest floor of its 5,550 hectare pine plantation. The group is looking to double the size of its ginseng plantation by raising capital and having a purpose designed processing factory built at Pureora.
Maraeroa C Incorporation is using its MPI funding to compete an investment information memorandum and business plan for potential investors.
"The economic return from ginseng will contribute to Waikato’s economic, social and cultural growth. Growing ginseng under their existing pine tree canopy has the potential to optimise Maraeroa’s return from the land for its 1,200 shareholders," says Ben Dalton, Deputy Director General, Sector Partnerships and Programmes at the Ministry for Primary Industries.
"This has been a long-term investment for Maraeroa. Growing Ginseng started out as a trial for them in 2006 and they had their first commercial harvest in 2016. The growing conditions turned out to be right for them which is exciting as Ginseng is valued at more than $400,000 per hectare," he said. Maraeroa’s funding comes from MPI’s MÄori Agribusiness fund and contributes to regional economic growth.
The Incorporation has started looking for potential investors with existing distribution channels to China. The company currently works with a small number of Chinese distributors and retailers who sell their products around New Zealand and in Hong Kong.
Maraeroa’s Chief Executive Glen Katu said increased exporting would require additional local staff to be hired for ginseng production, processing and distribution.
"We’ll need to hire more qualified and skilled local staff to handle larger product volumes and manage exports and distribution. There’s also an opportunity for further investment in research and development to expand into new ginseng product lines and build greater awareness in China about the quality of New Zealand ginseng products.
"There could be some huge long-term benefits for other forestry operators by growing ginseng. Recent studies have shown that the Central North Island forests are an ideal place to grow good quality ginseng and there is demand for wild simulated ginseng in China. We want to provide sustainable revenue for our shareholders and their families while ensuring the land is handed onto the next generation in as good, or better condition than it was received," says Mr Katu.
MPI’s MÄori Agribusiness team helps MÄori make the most of their primary sector assets from production and processing, through to exporting via tailored support.
WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 sees young contestants going for gold at the world's biggest vocational skills competition
There are competitions for 51 vocational skills at WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 this week. Can one man watch them all?
Entering the main halls at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, the task seems daunting. Not for nothing is this known as the world’s largest vocational skills competition.
It fills Adnec and then some. There are competitors as far as the eye can see, and then beyond that, even to the other side of Khaleej Al Arabi. If this is the skills Olympics, attendance is going to be a marathon rather than a sprint.
First up in the main exhibition halls is Industrial Mechanised Millwright, which is something to do with maintaining factory machinery.
We can watch the competitors at their work from the other side of barrier, but may not disturb or talk to them.
Bioa Song Chin from China is not in his enclosure, but Tatsuya Kawozoe from Japan is busy arranging sticky notes on his bench. Clearly there is more to come.
Next up is Welding. The welders live in darkened enclosures in which we peer, eyes protected, while looking for signs of life. Here’s Dylan Bloch from Australia, his face hidden by a welder’s mask, illuminated with the blue glow of his torch. The sparks are starting to fly in welding.
The contestants in Construction Metal Work also live in darkened enclosures, like nocturnal animals. Finland’s Juho Nissinen is carefully marking out his design with a metal ruler, as is Guan You Chen from Taiwan. There’s a lot of drilling and welding involved here, but not at present.
For the Manufacturing Team Challenge, competitors must make a battery powered recovery vehicle with the help of what seems include industrial quantities of Mars Bars.
In Prototype Modelling they use something called a Kunzmann Frasmachine WF 410, which also has a big role in Polymechanics and Automation.
The Kuzmann Frasmachine is particularly handy for “producing and installing parts for production machines” according to the information available.
The gold medal for Polymechanics and Automation looks to be shaping up between China, Switzerland, Taiwan, and Lichtenstein.
Moving on, we find Plastic Die Engineering, where they make stuff to make stuff. Just around the corner is the trio of CNC Turning, CNC Milling and Mechanical Engineering CAD.
The “C” in all these refers to computers and at least one of them involves robots like the demonstration model nearby assembling Rubik’s cubes.
Electronics is reassuringly about wires and flashing lights but Mechatronics sounds more like the character from a Transformers movie, even though it is actually about automated systems.
Turning the corner reveals Mobile Robotics, the first proper spectator sport at WorldSkills Abu Dhabi, with its own mini-grandstand in front of the arena where teams must move robotic vehicles around an obstacle course.
At this early stage in the competition, though, it’s mostly immobile robotics.
Industrial control seems to involve wiring up boxes with a big red “stop” button, while Electrical Installation and Refrigeration and Air Conditioning are exactly as they sound.
In Plumbing and Heating, a vocation which in my home country of Britain you take up because there is not enough money in investment banking, contestants must build a working bathroom. They have four days to finish, as opposed to four months in the UK.
Information Network Cabling involves a lot of wires and is in a dead heat with Freight Forwarding (think DHL v Aramex) as the competition least likely to threaten the Uefa Champions League as a mass spectator sport.
The most delicious part of WorldSkills Abu Dhabi is Baking, with the scent of fresh baked loaves filling the air, and Cooking, where stern-looking judges in towering touques observe those most skilled in competitive sautéing, before the dishes are served by the aspiring champion waiters of Restaurant Services.
In Patisserie and Confectionery, the talk was of the smoothness of the sugar paste and the silkiness of the chocolate ganache.
For Heavy Vehicle Maintenance there are giant road rollers to be fixed and a real Abu Dhabi Police helicopter for Aircraft Maintenance. At Car Painting, the contestants have been given a fleet of black Mercedes (“Not for painting. We’re only allowed to put marking tape on them” explained Tony from New Zealand.)
In an air conditioned tent, 20 young florists laboured on their creations, while nearby, meters of polka dot fabric was laid out for Fashion Technology.
For Hairdressing, contests cut and snip at mannequin heads, but in Beauty Therapy and Health and Social Care, real live volunteers are needed to be smeared with creams and tucked up in bed.
At the farthest flung corner, over the highway and in another tent by the water’s edge, dozens of young bricklayers are going for gold, and the Wall and Floor Tiling contests work on a design that incorporates Etihad Towers and the Sheikh Zayed Mosque.
Somewhere in between is Concrete Construction,Painting and Decorating, Plastering and Dry Wall, Joinery, Cabinet Making, Jewellery, Autobody Repair, Web Design, 3D Digital Game Design, IT Software Solutions, IT Networking, Print Media Technology, Graphic Design Technology.
And there is nothing quite like the sight of nearly 30 desert gardens, complete with palm trees, being built simultaneously under competitive conditions.
And there you have it; nearly 60 countries and 51 skills, four hours and seven kilometres later. WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017. Someone deserves a medal.
The NZITP Skills Team flew out of NZ on the 10th of October bound for the WorldSkills International Competition in Abu Dhabi this month. Thirteen young people from a variety of trades have been selected for the New Zealand Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (NZITP) Skills Team to attend the 44th WorldSkills International Competition.
This will be held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 15-18 October 2017. The 2017 NZITP Skills Team members are:
Andrew Champion – BOC Welding competitor from Feilding, employed by RCR EnergyAlex Banks – Resene Automotive & Light Industrial (RALI) Automotive Refinishing competitor from Wellington, employed by Stokes Valley Collision Repair in Lower HuttChabbethai Chia – etco Electrical Installation competitor from West Auckland, employed by Team Cabling in the North ShoreHunter Turner – Skills Plumbing and Heating competitor from Kohimarama, Auckland, employed by J&J Plumbing & Gas in South AucklandJarrod Wood – Aircraft Maintenance competitor from South Auckland, employed by Air New Zealand at the Auckland AIrportKimberley de Schot – Restaurant Service competitor from Christchurch, employed by the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) in BurnhamLogan Candy – Automotive Technology competitor from Gisborne, employed by the NZDF in Palmerston NorthLogan Sanders – etco Industrial Control competitor from Wellsford, employed by Dalton Electrical in AucklandNicholas Todd – Cooking competitor from Otago, employed by the NZDF in ChristchurchNicole Keeber – Floristry competitor from Whakatane, employed by Bouquet FloralSarah Browning – Yoobee Graphic Design Technology competitor from Nelson, employed by Adcorp in WellingtonShea Keir – Industrial Mechanic Millwright competitor from Waikato, employed by Carter Holt Harvey Woodproducts in TokoroaTodd Hamilton – Carpentry competitor from Hawkes Bay, employed by the NZDF in from Palmerston North
The NZITP Skills Team is selected from participation at the 2016 WorldSkills New Zealand National Competition and the 2016 Master Electricians Challenge, and subsequent on-going performance evaluation. They have been undergoing intensive training with the assistance of their respective employers and skill experts over the past few months.“We have a great team and participating in the WorldSkills International Competition in Abu Dhabi will be an invaluable experience for them. They have increased their work skills, but just as importantly have grown as individuals,” says Malcolm Harris, CEO of WorldSkills New Zealand.
Prior to selection, these competitors participated in international competitions in China and Australia. Hunter Turner and Sarah Browning won bronze medals in Shanghai, China; while Logan Candy and Chabb Chia received medallions of excellence.
Nicholas Todd was recently awarded Apprentice Chef of the Year at the 2017 NZ Hospitality Championships held in Auckland last month. Kimberley de Schot won six silver medals for the restaurant service competitions of the Hospitality Championships. “We are very happy with the depth of talent attending this year’s international skills competition,” says Harris. “I believe these young, talented New Zealanders will encourage others to take up skills careers and develop their skills through WorldSkills competitions.”
He adds that “We will also be supported by a delegation from NZ Industry Training Organisations and Institutes of Technology, who will attend the competition and the WorldSkills Conference, which will focus on ‘Skills Strategies for a Globalised World’, as well as take advantage of the significant networking opportunities.”
| A World Skills New Zealand release || october 16, 2017 |||
A high-tech tent hospital has improved New Zealand’s ability to save lives and give emergency health care when disasters strike at home or in the wider South-West Pacific region.
The new portable medical facility has helped the New Zealand Medical Assistance Team (NZMAT) earn World Health Organization classification as a Type 1 Mobile and Fixed Outpatients Emergency Medical Team, becoming the 13th team worldwide to achieve the standard.
“We’re thrilled to gain WHO classification because it means our team meets international standards and we’re self-sufficient to provide emergency health care for at least 100 patients per day for 14 days, whether in this country or to support our Pacific neighbours,” says Ministry of Health emergency management director Charles Blanch.
“It’s vital we are able to increase our capability for disaster responsiveness for our region because we know early treatment in disasters saves lives.”
Last month, WHO representatives visited New Zealand to put the team through its paces, making sure it could safely and efficiently deploy to a disaster zone within 72 hours.
NZMAT’s new emergency tent features a series of interconnecting sections for triage, maternity, resuscitation, a 10-stretcher observation ward, and a pharmacy. There’s also storage, and an administrative command and control area. It carries sufficient equipment and medical supplies to treat 1400 people in two weeks, including making its own drinking water from raw or salt water.
Blanch says it can be swiftly erected in 90 minutes and arranged in different configurations depending on the space available and needs. It is easy to transport and gives great flexibility for the team to respond to different emergencies in remote locations.
“The tent hospital is essentially a mobile outpatients clinic and means the team can offer triage, first aid, stabilisation, referral of severe trauma, non-trauma emergencies, and care for minor trauma injuries.”
The World Health Organization has praised the Ministry of Health and the New Zealand Government for meeting its international standards.
“We congratulate the New Zealand Medical Assistance Team on its achievements and thank them for their commitment to this quality assurance process and their future assistance to those in need after disasters and emergencies,” its verification team told the Ministry.
BackgroundNZMAT is a civilian-based emergency medical team that can be deployed to support local health services in a major emergency or disaster in New Zealand or the South-West Pacific. The team includes doctors, nurses, paramedics, allied health and non-medical members, such as logisticians and emergency managers.
It has been developed over the last 6 years following the Samoan 2009 tsunami, and to date, has deployed to the Solomon Islands, Philippines, Vanuatu and Fiji.
NZMAT involves a partnership between the Ministry, Counties Manukau District Health Board, Fire and Emergency New Zealand, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and about 150 trained staff from across the health sector.
A four-day training course for new NZMAT members next month will include using part of the new tent hospital.
| A Ministry of Health release || October 16, 2017 |||