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2018 TFTA Factory Visits and City Tour in Malaysia
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by William Liao, correspondent & Fastener World president


Benefited by the growing fastener demand in targeted industries and development of innovative fastening applications in recent years, the global fastener industry in 2018 is continuously trending upward. Not only sales in major fastener supply countries are mostly better than expected, but also several leading companies in Southeast Asia reported positive results. With the aim at making TFTA members have deeper understanding of the current fastener market conditions in Southeast Asia and wash away their stress at workplace, TFTA chairman Jimmy Chang arranged TFTA’s first overseas factory visits this year particularly for all members and chose Malaysia as their first stop. 35 people from 23 member companies participated. During the 5-day trip, they visited George Town street arts and Kapitan Keling Mosque in Penang and Petronas Twin Towers and Putrajaya in Kuala Lumpur, and also paid a visit to 3 Malaysian fastener related giants (incl. Chin Well Holdings Berhad, ACKU Metal Industries (M) Sdn. Bhd. and Inmax Sdn. Bhd.).    


Below are profiles of these 3 companies:

Chin Well Holdings Berhad


Chin Well Holdings Berhad established in 1989 is one of the world’s largest high quality carbon steel screws, nuts and bolts manufacturers. Its products are mainly applied to highway guard rail, power transmission towers, furniture and other applications. In addition to two plants (Chin Well Fasteners and Chin Herr Industries) in Malaysia, the group also has a manufacturing plant in Vietnam- Chin Well Vietnam. The capacity of its plants totals nearly 20,000 tons per month. Chin Well executive director Ms. Tsai Chi-Yun said, “Chin Well is Malaysia’s largest fastener supplier and around 80% of the group’s sales are generated overseas. The well-organized in-house automated wholesaling system (30,000 tons of finished products + 6,000 tons of semi-finished products) could fully satisfy the domestic demand in Malaysia and offer real-time shipments according to different needs of buyers from Southeast Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Our one-stop, low-volume/high varieties and shipment-within-24hrs service offer customers competitive edges.”


ACKU Metal Industries (M) Sdn. Bhd.


Founded in 1989, ACKU Metal is a company based in Penang with nearly 200 employees. It is specialized in manufacturing drywall screws, self-drilling screws, chipboard screws and drawn wire. Customers are mainly from USA, Canada and Europe. It has a complete line of manufacturing process, which includes screw manufacturing (capacity: 1,100 tons per month), wire drawing (capacity: 1,600 tons per month), heat treatment (capacity: 1,600 tons per month) and electroplating (capacity: phosphating 1,200 tons per month; zinc or yellow electroplating 300 tons per month). ACKU has been certified to ISO 9002 quality management system. General manager Ming H. Wang said, “Our products are mainly exported to Europe, however, our sales in the Middle East market have been also increasing these years.”


Inmax Sdn. Bhd.

Established by general manager Chiang Wen-Chou and a group of young engineers in 1990, Inmax is specialized in manufacturing types of nails, staples and brads. Inmax adopts corrosion resistant galvanized wire in manufacturing. General manager Chiang said, “Sales of Inmax are mainly generated in U.S. market and we have been certified by ICC. Our monthly shipment reaches about 200 containers. Thus far, Inmax has been a major nails/staples/brads suppliers in Southeast Asia as well as a major supply partner of top 5 nail guns brands in the world. The continuous introduction of the latest manufacturing technology, advanced manufacturing facilities and precision quality inspection instruments (incl. metallurgical tester, tensile tester, salt spray tester, etc.) into the company ensures that our product quality is 100% compliant with customers’ stringent requirements and makes us become the main source in customers’ purchase.”  


During the trip, many members also exchanged opinions with each other regarding issues (e.g. wire prices and insufficient labor force). They noted that factors like more stringent regulations, AD measures and fluctuating wire prices have posted huge challenges to the business operation of local Malaysian fastener companies. On the other hand, they also noted that the lack of labor force has made companies have no choice but to hire more foreign employees. In order to retain these employees, many big companies have to adopt different training strategies according to where these employees are from, optimize fringe benefits and introduce automated facilities and simplify manufacturing procedures for employees to operate as efficiently as possible, so they will be more willing to work for the company.   


With the arrangement of chairman Chang and hospitality of the host companies in Malaysia, participant members have not only got a clearer picture of these Malaysian companies working hard in their business, but also have been impressed with the booming development and prosperity of Malaysia over the past 2 decades.  

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