SHANGHAI, CHINA: Completed just in time for China’s New Year celebration, Visitech’s light engine and photohead manufacturing division has moved into their all-new 2.200 m2 state-of-the-art factory in Shanghai.
Aligning for growth
According to the Chinese Zodiac, 2022 is the Year of the Tiger. It may be a coincidence, but the tripled production capacity and cutting-edge facilities of the new factory mirror the apparent symbolism of the tiger’s strength and braveness, as the company leaps into the new year – well-prepared for ambitious growth.
Visitech provides state-of-the-art solutions in three core areas: Lithography, additive manufacturing, and 3D metrology. All are used for advanced manufacturing, which has boomed globally in recent years. Combined with the company’s continuous investment in R&D that has resulted in new and attractive products for the industry, expanding the production capacity became necessary to keep up with the growing demand.
Rigged for export
Located in the Jinqiao Export Processing Zone, adjacent to Zhangjiang Science City in the free trade zone of Shangai’s busy Pudong New Area, Visitech’s new factory is situated well for efficient export processing. It will be supplying a global market with triple capacity compared to the previous factory.
Moving factory after nearly ten years at the old location, while at the same time serving customers during their busiest production year, required an extraordinary effort for the Shanghai team. “To solve it, we picked up the necessary materials for production from the warehouse in advance before moving the existing warehouse. Then we kept on track during the warehouse move. When the time eventually came for moving the production line, we held stock and organized the warehouse so that we could resume production immediately”, says Gary Gao, Managing Director of Visitech Shanghai.
The entire operation was completed in two weeks, just in time for the comprehensive Chinese New Year celebration – allowing workers to catch their breath for a whole week.
Hopefully well-rested, the Shanghai team now faces a recruiting task. To fill positions within production, quality assurance, and procurement, Gao will be increasing his factory staff. “Visitech Shanghai is the manufacturing center of the Visitech group, responsible also for the business development and support in Greater China,” says Gao. “The new factory will facilitate the development of even better products and improved service to customers worldwide while enhancing its manufacturing center position for the Visitech group.”
On the technical side, the Shanghai team points to several important factors that will be particularly useful: “The new factory has a dedicated warehouse for electrical and optical components, where the ESD and humidity are well-controlled for those sensitive and important parts. Further, there is a Class 10.000 cleanroom with Class 100 additional airflow benched, dedicated for projection lens assembly – and a darkroom for projection lens testing. To accommodate our thorough burn-in testing, which we do before shipping any product, we have established a burn-in room to eliminate any early failures”, explains Gao.
Assuring maximum quality
Dedicated rooms for equipment and quality control enable raw material inspection using suitable equipment before warehousing – a routine that is important for Visitech. “Since our customers are world-renowned in their respective fields, they all have very demanding requirements for quality for our products, so this is always our priority. Quality improvement is a continuous commitment for us – and a mantra that keeps our team performing at their best.”
Battling the component shortage
To maintain steady production in the face of the resistant global component shortage was last year’s top challenge for Visitech’s procurement team. In Shanghai, however, the factory managed to keep up with demand, winning the company new contracts based on a reliable supply stream. “Our team has performed well throughout this challenging period and even aims to step it up to another level in our new facilities,” says Gao.
Although confident that the new factory will perform as expected in the coming years, Visitech may find that “taming the tiger” requires even more: “There is still an option to further expand in our current location, and we are already evaluating it!”