Johnson Zhang, Tech-Long USA managing director, took the stage with Boss at PTI’s The Packaging Conference Tuesday evening to break the news to conference attendees. Zhang began doing business in the US in 2010 and in June 2012 he opened Tech-Long’s US facility in Commerce, California.
Boss is a 25-year packaging industry veteran who previously held senior executive positions with Husky Injection Molding Systems and Sidel. Both Boss and Zhang will report to Song Ming Zhang, chairman of Tech-Long China.
Why the Americas now?
Boss told conference attendees that Tech-Long’s management felt it was time to loudly and clearly make its US presence known because of their confidence in their products’ quality and in the US market’s receptivity to their product line.
“In the past 5 years, our US sales have gone from $77m to $147m,” Boss said. “And we have achieved CE certification in Europe, UL (Underwriters Laboratories) certification in the US, and ISO9001 certification worldwide.”
The US division has three major initiatives planned for this year. “First, the company will introduce the CPX Generation 5 blow-molding machine,” Boss said. “That machine provides operating speeds of up to 2,400 bottles per hour, per cavity at competitive price points.”
Second, he said, “Tech-Long USA will partner with Unique Injection Molding Systems Co., Ltd., a provider of injection molding machinery, systems, molds, robotics and auxiliary equipment.
Third, Tech-Long Americas will be opening a service center somewhere along the East Coast later this year.
“This is an incredible time to be joining Tech-Long,” Boss said. “We are at an unprecedented point in the company’s growth and I’m excited to be part of the continued expansion as our reputation and brand continues to increase globally.”
Although packaging equipment — especially beverage packaging equipment — may be the Guangzhou-based company's bread and butter, the company has also diversified its product line to include water treatment equipment and beverage processing systems, Boss said.
"Our customers include Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nestle Waters," he noted. "Our business approach is flexible. We want to work with converters, bottlers and brand owners."
For instance, Boss said an Asian tea company, Telford International, contacted Tech-Long China and inquired about co-packing. Although Tech-Long had not previously offered that service, it is now co-packing bottled, ready-to-drink tea for Telford and shipping finished product to the teamaker's distribution facility in Hong Kong.
Boss noted that the parent company has also grown at a phenomenal rate since Song Ming Zhang founded it in 1999. “We’re now the largest beverage packaging equipment manufacturer in China,” he said. “We have a 1.85 million sq ft manufacturing facility with a single campus for doing FATs (Factory Acceptance Tests).”
“We have customers in 110 countries we’ve done 2,400 projects in the Asia-Pacific and US regions,” he added. “And we’ve increased the manufacturing capacity of our blow-molding equipment from 800 bottles per cavity in 2002 to 2,400 bottles per cavity today.”