Force Computers to use Penang as global manufacturing centre


  • Business
  • Saturday, 15 Mar 2003

BY K. SUTHAKAR IN PENANG

US-BASED solution provider Force Computers Ltd, a leader in embedded computing, has chosen Penang as its centre for global manufacturing operations. 

Visiting company president Paul Mercadante said in Penang yesterday that the company, a member of Solectron Corp, would be the first solution provider to set up manufacturing operations in Malaysia. 

He said that the global manufacturing operations was located at the premises of sister company Smart Modular Technologies Sdn Bhd in Seberang Jaya where the facilities would be shared. 

“We chose Penang out of the 50-odd manufacturing sites of Solectron and other contract manufacturers because of the low cost of doing bu-siness, good infrastructure and talented local expertise. Although the cost of doing business is important, it is not the sole reason for picking Penang,'' he said. 

Mercadante told reporters this after paying a courtesy visit on Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon at the Penang Development Corp office in Bayan Baru in Penang. Also present were Force Computers worldwide operations vice-president D. Mohana Krishnan, who is also vice-president of Smart Modular Tech-ologies Asia-Pacific, and PDC general manager Datuk Siti Balkish Shariff. 

Mercadante said the facility in Pe-nang would have the capacity to meet customer demand for assembled board-level computers and complete system builds as well as back-end testing. 

He said the company's computing solutions were used in telecommunication and data communication systems as well as in medical and industrial application. 

According to Mercadante, Smart Modular Technologies Sdn Bhd, which was set up in 1998 with RM76mil investments to date, had doubled the size of its facility in January.  

He said investments by Force Computers would be announced later and this would depend on market conditions. 

Mercadante said that the number of workers employed by Smart Modular would be increased to 350 from 200 currently in about six months. 

Koh, meanwhile, said the Force Computer decision to set up global operations in Penang was a vote of confidence in the state's workforce and infrastructure facilities. 

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