Tapping Penang’s proximity to growth markets

New lines: Vamp Tech’s new plant produces up to 6,000 tonnes of resins a year.

VAMP Tech Sdn Bhd’s new RM30mil flame retardant resins production facility in Bukit Minyak is well-positioned to tap the growing markets of China, Europe and South-East Asia, says president and chief executive officer Piero Eigenmann.

Penang, he adds, is an ideal location to invest in due to Malaysia’s proximity to these markets.

“From Malaysia, we can also tap into India and the South-East Asian markets, which have a combined population of about 700 million people, ” Eigenmann says.

China is an important market to the company, consuming about 80% of its flame retardant resins. The remaining 20% of its production go to other Asian markets like Singapore and the Philippines.

“We would like to see Asia taking up 40% from us in the future, and China making up the remaining 60%, ” he says.

Vamp Tech’s flame retardant resins are used in well-known electronic and electrical products, household appliances and electric cars. Eigenmann says Vamp Tech has an established presence as a choice supplier for the household appliance market, with a wide range of approved materials used for different applications.

Some of its notable customers include Samsung, Bosch, Miele, Sony and Siemens.

Chinese market: Eigenmann (left) and Vamptech Malaysia director Ambrogio Turchi say there is strong demand for its flame retardant resins in China.Chinese market: Eigenmann (left) and Vamptech Malaysia director Ambrogio Turchi say there is strong demand for its flame retardant resins in China.

The company has 100 UL (underwriter laboratories) certified Yellow Cards for its plastic compounds, which also have EN45545 approvals for use as raw materials in public transportation systems.

Penang is Vamp Tech’s first Asia-based production facility outside of Italy.

“We chose Malaysia because it has strong intellectual property protection laws, which China lacks. The ability of Malaysian workers to converse in English is also another reason for investing here, ” he adds.

The plant, which was launched last Wednesday, is equipped with two extrusion production lines that can produce up to 6,000 tonnes of resins per annum.

“We plan to add two more extrusion production lines over the next five years, ” he says.

According to Eigenmann, the company plans to bring its production of environmentally friendly resins over to Penang.

“These environmentally friendly resins are produced from non-petroleum based sustainable sources.

“They are marketed under the Vamp Green brand name and are available in polypropylene, polyamide and high-density polyethylene resins, ” he adds.

The company also plans to increase its supply of resins to electric cars. It is currently supplying such products to Volvo.

“Lowering CO2 emissions is a mandatory target for the automotive industry. Aerodynamic improvements and motor electrification are some of the most important solutions to achieving the challenging requirements of the new regulations.

“Electrification and metal substitution are bringing new challenges for plastic components, ” he notes.

Vamp Tech competes with its rivals on quality, certifications and services, according to Eigenmann.

“Our resins don’t burn easily and don’t emit toxic and dark smoke, which make the exit signs impossible to see in a burning building. People usually die in a fire because of the toxic smoke, ” he says.

At the moment, Vamp Tech has more than 4,000 formulations developed under its research and development department.

“We are able to provide customised solutions to meet the most challenging requirements for thermoplastic applications.”

Vamp Tech was founded in November 1988 with the vision to be recognised as a specialised player in the area of flame retardant formulations.

“In over 30 years, we have developed a strong chemical know-how and a large understanding of the most important needs for the markets we are serving, ” says Eigenmann.

Vamp Tech’s commercial organisation allows it to manage sales and technical support in all the continents with warehouses located throughout Europe and Asia and offer customers a complete range of high performance compounds.

Its quality assurance laboratory in Bukit Minyak is fully equipped with state-of-the-art instruments that allow Vamp Tech to perform all the necessary tests and simulations to develop new products following specific customers’ needs.

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