Swiss plant celebrates official opening in Penang

KEMIKON Sdn Bhd, a contract manufacturer from Switzerland, has invested a significant capital in its new plant in Penang.

The factory’s chief executive officer Marcel Wismer said they chose Penang mainly because of its mixed higly-skilled talents, established ecosystem of experienced suppliers and strong government support.

The plant, located in the Perai Industrial Zone, was officially opened by Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow today.

“We aim to contribute to making Penang an important and growing hub for world-class semiconductor equipment manufacturing and also to provide a large number of high-skilled jobs that will support the company’s growth and thus contribute to Malaysia’s economic development,” Wismer said in his speech at the opening ceremony.

“We’ve invested significant capital in new generation production equipment and enterprise systems to cater for Industry 4.0.

“The company also employs 6S as a manufacturing standard to promote and sustain a high level of productivity and safety throughout the factory.”

A number of customers, Wismer said, wanted to relocate more of their manufacturing operations to South East Asia in the ongoing trade war between the United States and China.

Kemikon, which occupies 75,000sq m, now hires 130 employees. It specialises in building metal structures, parts and modules for semiconductor equipment manufactures and has a strong client base with 80% of its clientele coming from the US.

Chow said the state government, through investPenang, has been consistently focusing on attracting strategic investments on companies that specialises in cutting-edge technologies which create high value skilled jobs for the people.

“I believe that the vast ecosystem of specialised suppliers in Penang is our added advantage and Kemikon is definitely one of the good examples,” Chow said in his speech before officiating the launch of the production facility.

“Kemikon is modernising and reinventing the traditional metal fabrication by investing in a state-of-the-art factory and production equipment, as well as adopting the Industry 4.0 elements in its operations.

“Its philosophy, in terms of modernising its operations and being an employee centric company, is very much in line with one of the themes of Penang2030 vision in advancing the readiness of manufacturing industry in the digital age.”

Chow added that Penang has more than 50 years of industrial experience and the state is currently housing more than 300 multinational companies (MNCs) while the number keeps increasing.

“In the first half of 2019, Penang recorded RM9.2 billion of approved manufacturing investment, out of which, 93% is from electrical and electronic (E&E) related industry.

“Penang also contributed 35% of Malaysia’s total manufacturing of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the first half of 2019, which is the highest among the various states and it has already surpassed 2018’s full year FDI of RM3.7 billion,” he said.

Story by Riadz Akmal
Pix by Ahmad Adil Muhamad
Video by Darwina Mohd Daud