PENANG-based UWC Holdings Bhd is aiming for growth as a medical devices original design manufacturer, riding on growing demand locally and overseas.
The company, which is engaged in precision-making and electro-mechanical parts, is upgrading its manufacturing facilities and capabilities with a move to a new plant in Bukit Minyak, Nibong Tebal.
The construction of a US$30 million (RM96.3 million) facility is expected to break ground on a 6.4ha site next year, managing director Datuk Ng Chai Leng said.
"A research and development department will be included in the new facility which will be dedicated to medical and life-science products," he said at a media familiarisation tour organised by the Northern Corridor Implementation Authority, here, on Tuesday.
Ng said the proposed expansion is expected to see the company's current Malaysian workforce of 500 increase by between 30 per cent and 40 per cent.
UWC currently operates three factories in Penang and two in Vietnam, respectively.
It is a leading supplier of high-precision machining to design and manufacture diffusion pumps meant for medical mass spectro-metry and analytical instrumentation in enabling the chemical and life-sciences industries.
"We work with the US companies to design and develop lifters and produce diffusion pumps, which are Class A low-risk medical devices," Ng said, adding that UWC is also looking at producing dental chairs.
With revenues of US$38 million last year, UWC is projecting an increase to US$45 million this year.
By 2020, when the company is targeting to boast revenues of RM300 million, Ng said about half the figure will be derived from sales of medical devices.
Statistics from the Association of Malaysian Medical Industries showed that the medical devices market in Malaysia is worth one per cent of the total US market.
The domestic consumption of medical devices is expected to grow by 50.4 per cent to US$1.7 billion in 2015, from US$1.13 billion in 2010.