GENETEC Technology Sdn Bhd, aiming for a Mesdaq listing next year, is expanding to offer solutions to the pharmaceutical, fibre optics, electronics and even semiconductor industries after its successes in developing several prototypes and machines for the hard disk drive industries.
It is also currently testing its prototype for cutting gemstones; and if this is successful, the time taken to cut gemstones would be reduced substantially.
The scope is there but customers must be willing to open manufacturing plants and work with us so that we can automate their processes, Genetec managing director K.W. Chin told StarBiz in an interview.
He said the constant challenge faced by the company was in educating manufacturers on how they could improve yields by automating their processes.
But Genetecs machines are not for volume production. It is meant for high-tech and high-end usage since the company designs and makes customised machines.
Genetecs current clients include Western Digital, Seagate, Nidec Group, Essilor Manufacturing (Thailand) Co Ltd and Ya Hsin Industries Sdn Bhd for whom it has successfully designed and built machines to automate their processes.
Atis Corp Bhd owns 51% stake in Genetec while Chin holds the remaining 49%. Earlier this month Atis announced that it had submitted a proposal to the Securities Commission for the listing of Genetec on Mesdaq.
Genetec's principal activity is designing and building customised factory automation equipment and integrated vision inspection system from conceptual design development of prototype to mass replication of equipment.
It has capabilities to design and manufacture highly precision jigs, and fixtures and machine parts used as spare parts in these machines.
So far Genetec has developed 33 prototypes for different kinds of machines, and each prototype has resulted in mass replication. Chin said all the prototypes developed had been successful.
It has a pool of 16 engineers who are supported by a team of technicians. The companys competitors are mostly American and Japanese companies.
Our advantage is that most manufacturing plants for high-tech products are in Asia and we are closer to them than the Americans. It also costs 20% - 30% cheaper if we design and make these machines, Chin said.
All the machines that it designs and builds are exported.
Genetec, set up six years ago, turned in RM22mil in revenue and RM2mil in net profit for financial year ended Dec 31, 2002.
Chin is looking at annual revenue growth of 20% to 25% in the coming years given that it is moving to other industries and is not solely dependent on the hard disk drive market.
The rationale for a listing was to tap into the capital market since the company is on an expansion drive over the next five years. Chin said being in the precision business, recognition was crucial.
Our competitors are big boys in the US and Japan, some are Nasdaq listed. When you work with foreign companies, integrity, financial standing and technical capabilities come to play.
And if we want to remain a serious player, we have to list the company, Chin said.
Apart from expanding its scope into other business segments, the company is also developing its own range of standard automation equipment (SAE) using laser and vision technologies.
SAEs are standard modules that are required by majority of manufacturers within an industry and these standard modules can easily be tailored to meet a specific manufacturers need.
Chin, however, could not say how much it would be raising via its IPO.
In its quest to educate manufacturers to open their manufacturing plants to Genetec the company would be participating in trade shows and exhibitions besides going on a road show to promote what the company could do to help manufactures optimise on yields.