Author: Louis Lau

Executive Director and Head of Group Strategy & Monitoring.

What Is CMT Welding and How Is It Similar to MIG Welding?

Welding can be defined as a fabrication process that utilises high heat to melt and join materials, commonly metals or thermoplastics together. In other words, it is basically a joining process that involve the manipulation of material phase from solid to liquid and back to solid. Welding technology has long been and is constantly evolving. It is no surprise that nowadays there are numerous welding methods currently being applied in the industry.

We explore the differences of MIG (Metal Inert Gas) and CMT (Cold Metal Transfer) in this article.

Basics of MIG Welding

In MIG Welding, the workpiece and the welding gun are part of the same electrical circuit. The electrode wire is automatically fed through the gun. Current instantaneously flow the moment the electrode wire touches the workpiece. As the electrode wire rapidly heats up due to the high amperage, the tip of the solid electrode begins to melt into metal droplets.

The metal droplets would then separate from the electrode forming an electrical arc that is around 3500°C which heats up and melts the workpiece forming a molten puddle. This enable the metal droplets to fuse with the base metal. As the temperature decreases, the molten puddle of base material and metal droplets solidify, forming weld beads. This process continuously repeats itself several times each second until the seams are fully welded.

Basics of CMT Welding

The differences in CMT and MIG welding process is fairly subtle with the exception in the way the electrode wire is fed.

In contrast to continuously feeding the electrode wire into the molten puddle (MIG), in CMT, the electrode wire is instantly retracted the moment current flows. This provides the welding some time to cool before each drop is placed. In doing so, this process leaves a smooth weld that is way stronger than the hotter weld (MIG).

These steps are repeated throughout the welding process. Obviously, this requires a lot of sophisticated control technology which is why it is commonly performed using a welding robot.

Enabling the welding some time to cool means that this welding process can be carried out at a lower temperature. Thus, reducing the risks of heat-related defects from occurring in the welded materials. Through the usage of robotic arms and advanced control system, welding can be carried out at high-speed precision and consistency.

Why use CMT Welding?

There are tremendous advantages in opting to use CMT for your products that include:

  • The ability of CMT to weld materials at a lower temperature can be leveraged to mitigate heat-related defects such as, material warpage and the oil-canning effect.
  • Works well with thin metals that are prone to warping.
  • Allows the welding of dissimilar metals (eg: steel and aluminium) through its controlled metal disposition and low heat-input.
  • Automated process, means greater speed, precision and consistency in products.

Contact us today to find out more

We also offer in-house design and fabrication services for welding fixtures and jigs to optimize the process lead-time and efficiency. Contact our experts today to discuss on how we can help you.

About Demand Options Sdn Bhd

Demand Options was established in 1997 and currently has a suite of metal fabrication capabilities, including laser cutting and metal stamping processeses and secondary processes like welding, powder coating, and assembly services. Demand Options is a subsidiary of Ge-Shen Corporation Berhad.

About Ge-Shen Corporation Berhad

Ge-Shen Corporation Berhad (www.gscorp.com.my) is a contract manufacturer that specializes in plastic injection moulding, sheet metal fabrication and assembly services in 3 locations across South East Asia. GSCORP has years of experience helping product owners bring their ideas to life. Ge-Shen Corporation Berhad is listed on the main market of Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad.



Large tonnage injection moulding machine added to Hanoi facility

We are proud to announce that a unit of the 1100 tonne injection moulding has arrived and in the process of commissioning in our Hanoi, Vietnam factory. With this addition, we will be able to serve customers in the Hanoi region for large-sized plastic parts.

We have been adding additional large tonnage machines in our Hanoi factory over the years. Last year, we added a new 650 tonne machine to our Hanoi factory.

Do let us know if you have any injection moulding requirements!

About Ge-Shen Vietnam Co. Ltd.

Ge-Shen Vietnam, located in Hanoi, Malaysia, was established in 2006 and currently has 50 units of injection moulding machines, a suite of secondary processes like spray painting, printing & ultrasonic and 5 assembly lines. Ge-Shen Vietnam is certified ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.

About Ge-Shen Corporation Berhad

Ge-Shen Corporation Berhad (www.gscorp.com.my) is a contract manufacturer that specializes in plastic injection moulding, sheet metal fabrication and assembly services in 3 locations across South East Asia. GSCORP has years of experience helping product owners bring their ideas to life. 



Medical injection moulding with certified ISO-13485 facility in Johor, Malaysia

In our pursuit to offer better assurance & services in medical injection moulding to our customers, we have pursued to and are now certified ISO-13485 in our plastic injection moulding facility (‘Ge-Shen Plastic (M) Sdn Bhd’) in Johor, Malaysia!

We have for years been relentless in our passion to improve ourselves to ensure that we meet the increasing demand from our customers. The ISO-13485 certification now means that we now have a certified comprehensive quality management systems for the design & manufacture of medical devices.

Having said that, medical injection moulding is not new to us. Ge-Shen has been pursuing customers in the medical segment for years. We have moulded plastics and made moulds for end-products like and automated external defibrillator (AED) machine, tube & connectors, etc.

Contact us today to see how we can help you with you medical products!


Other medical injection moulding components and product manufacturing solutions Ge-Shen can offer:


About Ge-Shen Plastic (M) Sdn Bhd

Ge-Shen Plastic, located in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, was established in 1995 and currently has 72 injection moulding machines, a suite of secondary processes like spray painting, printing & ultrasonic and more than 10 assembly lines. Ge-Shen Plastic is certified ISO 9001, 14001 and now 13485. Its integrated management system also complies to the TS 16949 standard.

About Ge-Shen Corporation Berhad

Ge-Shen Corporation Berhad (www.gscorp.com.my) is a contract manufacturer that specializes in plastic injection moulding, sheet metal fabrication and assembly services in 3 locations across South East Asia. GSCORP has years of experience helping product owners bring their ideas to life. 



Management Discussion & Analysis 2019: A Summary

An extract of the MD&A for 2019. Full version can be found here.

In the ongoing evolution of GSCorp from a single manufacturing site specialising only in injection moulding in Johor Bahru to a multi-site, multi capability manufacturer capable of providing manufacturing solutions to end customers, the company is bound to face up to numerous issues and challenges. However, it must be said that 2019 and the early part of 2020 have proven to be one of the most challenging times to be managing a manufacturing business never mind the transformative changes that the management have set out to achieve. Just as 2019 ended and we began the new year with a degree of optimism as some significant new orders start to materialize, the impact of the Covid-19 suddenly reared its ugly head and we are back to being on the back foot, trying to manage around the uncertainty of the pandemic outbreak on our operations.

We shall be writing a bit more about this issue a bit later, but we will start our management discussion on the revenue side of the business.

REVENUE

The company faced a steep fall off in sales in 2019 when compared to 2018. The revenue recorded for 2019 was RM159mil a decrease of 21% from the year ago level of RM202mil. This fall off in sales is due to a combination of weaker global economy and a decrease in orders from a few key customers.

The Penang facility experienced the steepest fall in sales revenue as key customers pulled in less than expected and this drop in sales had a very significant impact on the profitability of the Penang facility. One of the customers had chosen to relocate their final assembly plant away from Malaysia while other customers had their own particular reasons for their drop in purchases. In the plastic facility in Johor, likewise a reduction in customers’ orders and unfavorable sales mix caused our sales to suffer accordingly. Meanwhile a marginal decline in sales was seen in the Johor sheet metal facility as its customer base
is biased towards industrial products which is generally a more stable demand source as opposed to consumer electronics which has more ups and down. The plastic plant in Vietnam, having moved into a larger and better built facility, gave it an opportunity to increase its sales on a year on year comparison. There was also an increase in enquiries from customers for manufacturing capacity in Vietnam as a lot of companies have set up their plants in Vietnam to supply into the US market to circumvent the US imposed tariff barrier. We are confident that this trend will continue to benefit the Vietnam facility going forward into the future.

COSTS, PROFITABILITY AND CASHFLOW

The reduction in sales revenue is the main reason for the company’s lack of profitability in 2019. Manufacturing companies like ourselves operate on the principle that a certain level of sales revenue is needed in order to cover fixed costs and after which the operational leverage can be quite significant. In the case of GSCorp in 2019, the converse is also true. In this case, all the subsidiaries suffered a drop in revenue and hence all the subsidiaries registered losses for 2019. In particular, the Penang facility experienced a delay in the mass production run for several new customers due to the long gestation period of new products. This was acutely felt as the lost revenue resulted in Penang’s operating result being the worst of all the subsidiaries. In the Johor facilities, extra costs were also incurred in management’s effort in keeping the company in compliance with 5S workplace organization and greater effort in complying with CSR standards expected of a modern manufacturing company. Finally, the successive hikes in the minimum wage rate in Malaysia also had a material adverse effect on our profitability as arguably these wage hikes were not fully supported by productivity improvements especially coming so soon after the previous year’s hike. In order to combat this increase in costs, management is taking active efforts
to instill more efficient manufacturing methods and the practice of lean manufacturing process is being instilled into the work force. There has also been some reduction in the workforce over the year as a cost reduction exercise. The management is confident that when there is an upswing in volume, the company will be able to leverage off these improvements to run on a better operating margin.

The operational overheads of the Company have also increased due to the substantial capex in plant and machinery that has been undertaken by at the various subsidiaries over the past years. These capex have been financed by an increased in bank borrowings therefore increasing interest expense and the depreciation charges of these newly acquired asset also add to the overheads of the company.

Notwithstanding the losses that has been suffered, the company have always been operationally cashflow positive and have at all times been in compliance with banking covenants. The management have been carefully monitoring the situation and giving transparency to our bankers through active engagement. The management is very appreciative of the support from our banking partners who bought into our long-term vision and have been very supportive of our capex programs as well as the working capital requirements that is required to operate in this business.

CAPITAL EXPENDITURE

Over the past few years, the company has been transitioning to be a manufacturing company which can be relied on to provide manufacturing solutions to our customers from near and far, business development efforts have been focused on reaching out to these customers and the capex programme have been initiated in order to give these customers confidence in our ability to fulfill their requirements both in terms of capacity as well as capabilities jobs. For some of the sites, efforts are made to re layout the floor to be more efficient as well as improvements in process and workflow to give us the ability to handle higher production volumes as we supplement those much more substantive capex to purchase additional land and factory previously.

After the capex programs of the past years, the management believe that the increase in the available plant and facilities is at an optimal level and we do not anticipate significant additions to land and building over the next year or two. In the meantime, there may still be requirement for additional machinery to be installed as available capacity or machine tonnage may not match production requirements. Investments may also be made in the area of automation and critical processes as the company moves into being a complete manufacturing partner to our principals. The Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Manufacturing Execution System (MES) that we are in the process of rolling out over the next two/three years will be a vital tool to link up the whole company to allow for data to be collected, stored and used over the entire business activities of the company thereby allowing for better management control of its activities.

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AND SALES FOCUS

While we have pointed to the weaker macroeconomic overtone and the reduction of customer orders as the primary reason for the steep falloff in our revenue, it can be argued that inadequate business development efforts in the past have resulted in a lack of customer/project pipeline and an inadvertent reliance on existing customers only. Eighteen months ago, the management initiated a more proactive business development area which resulted in better leads and project wins. An integral part of the process of business development was also the anticipatory capex such as acquisitions of strategically located plant and property and the necessary refurbishment in order to convince our principals that we have the capability and capacity to serve them better.

The other part of the business development effort is to be more proactive in meeting up with prospects. On a regional basis our colleagues in the business development department undertook many trips to Southern China and also further afield to reach out to those who may have been disrupted by the trade war to offer our manufacturing solutions. The realignment of supply chains as a result of the trade war between US and China have certainly increased the level of enquires from principals and brand owners wishing to diversify its supply chain away from China. It is however still incumbent on the efforts of the company to be out there to get the business.

Over the past year, besides the numerous trips over to China, the company also have participated in a medical device fair in Singapore, the K Fair in Dusseldorf, Germany and also in a MATRADE promoted US road show. In these instances, the
Company is very grateful to MATRADE the national trade promotion agency under the Ministry of International Trade and Industry for organising these overseas engagements. We are also very grateful and thankful to MATRADE for our enrolment in a sponsored coaching and mentoring programme under the MTCDP programme which benefited the company collectively and us individually tremendously. It is very heartening to be able to draw on the resources of MATRADE in our overseas marketing efforts and we have no doubt that this will be a very fruitful undertaking.

ENGINEERING AND MANUFACTURING SOLUTIONS

In this age of data and online solutions, devices is increasingly becoming more of a conduit for software connectivity and delivery, therefore product owners are more focused on the development of software, functionality, and marketing aspect of the product while leaning on their manufacturing partners for greater value added solutions in the manufacturing of the hardware. In some recent cases, we have been urged to suggest design improvements for better manufacturing or cost savings. In many ways this complementary capability is not only a value-added service but increasingly seen as a requirement to win new businesses. We recognise this trend and are gradually positioning ourselves in this value chain.

We have been equipping and reorganising ourselves with the right skills and capability to serve this market. We aim to be a globally recognised engineering and manufacturing solutions company.



Laser cutting in metal fabrication

Why Laser Cut metal?

Laser cutting can dramatically decrease lead times and reduce material scrap while maintaining tight tolerances.  It can also reduce costs by eliminating the need for some secondary processes.  Unlike stamping, laser cutting does not require tooling and offers practically burr-free holes and edges.

Our metal fabrication facility in Johor, named DOSB (Demand Options Sdn Bhd) a metal fabrication & stamping manufacturer located in Johor Bahru (Southern Region of Malaysia) offers the latest laser cutting technology to bring you high quality, cost-competitive, precision parts. As of today, DOSB has total of three CO2 laser cutting machines and one Fiber laser cutting machine to cater for metal fabrication demand by providing: –

  • Metal sheet max size up to of 5ft x 10ft (1.50m x 3.00m)
  • Wide range of material like aluminium, mild steel & stainless steel
  • Aluminium sheet thickness 0.5 – 12mm
  • Mild steel sheet thickness 0.5 – 22mm
  • Stainless steel sheet thickness 0.5 – 16mm

Why Fiber Laser?

Fiber Laser has a shorter wavelength and is 3 to 4 times more easily absorbed than traditional CO2 laser. This enables high quality processing of highly reflective, difficult to process material such as stainless steel, aluminum, brass or copper materials.

Fiber lasers can process more safely than CO2 because the beam is more readily absorbed and not reflected. Electrical consumption is also less compared to CO2 laser. More importantly, it is quicker to process metals using fiber lasers, allowing for our shorter cycle time and quicker turnaround times.

Why choose Ge-Shen / Demand Options for your metal fabrication?

Our metal facility Demand Options, has been cutting metal since 1997. Drawing on our years of experience, we are able to provide you with manufacturing solutions to ensure smooth delivery of your products to the marketplace.

We have associated services in-house like welding, powder-coating and assembly and have a vast supply network of vendors providing services like plating and hardware, accessories & components.

We can provide you with metal components or assemble your products for you.


Contact us today to discuss how we can help you!



Plastic injection moulding: clear transparent parts

We wrote about the high quality, appearance parts especially for housing, cover & enclosures. Today we will touch a little on injection moulding for clear transparent plastic parts.

Clear transparent plastic parts are used in various end-products like lighting, medical devices, medical consumables and dental products, cosmetics, food storage & packaging, lenses and consumer electronics. These products typically have similar requirement: good transparency, good light transmission and sleek & clean looking.

Experience and quality in appearance

Typical clear transparent plastic part defects (apart from regular dimensional requirements) include silver streak, bubbles, flow marks, gas marks and black dots. We deploy various methods to ensure such defects are eliminated using our scientific moulding process, including, mold-flow analysis and simulation, adherence to material technical data sheet (TDS) guidelines, good manufacturing processes and clean environment.

We believe that having years of experience in producing clear transparent plastic parts for various applications, we are able to help our customers launch successful products into the marketplace.

Why manufacture your clear transparent plastic parts with Ge-Shen?

  • We manufacture all your products according to good manufacturing standards (ie. ISO 9001).
  • Medical manufacturing / medical moulding and clean room moulding according to ISO 13485 standards (where required), including 100K clean room environment (where needed).
  • For moulds manufactured by us, we conduct thorough Design for Manufacturing (DFM) and/or if you provide the moulds to us maintained in tip-top condition to ensure consistent quality.
  • RoHs and Reach-compliant

For more information, contact us today!



Concerned about your supply chain and how COVID-19 will impact on your business?

It is without a doubt that the COVID-19 related lockdown in various countries have affected global supply chains. Just as many economies are re-opening, there has been many talks about “the second wave”.

Please be assured that the Ge-Shen team, in every factory (which are all operating now) and office, is doing everything we can to ensure minimal impact on your business. We are proud to announce that we are on top of almost all orders on hand and have not met with any catastrophic delivery failures.

We believe that employee wellbeing is of utmost importance to ensure stability in your supply chain, and so that all your orders are completed and shipped as soon as possible.

We are doing amongst others, the following:

  • Compulsory use of face mask on site, which is provided to all employees daily
  • Compulsory temperature screening at all entry points
  • Limited visitors, social distancing (ie. minimum 1-2 meters apart), restricted business travel and work-from-home arrangements, where possible.
  • Increased frequency of cleaning and sanitization of the workplace
  • Constant communication with our suppliers regarding schedules and wellbeing
  • Established training, emergency protocols, and risk management committees to ensure we are constantly updated with the evolving nature of the pandemic

We will continue to work towards business and supply chain stability. We trust that the professional and dedicated team at Ge-Shen will be able to assist you to alleviate any concerns. Contact us today if you need any help with your supply chain.



Ge-Shen completes new assembly line in Vietnam to meet surge in customer manufacturing demand

Over the past couple of months, (despite the disruptions in supply chain caused by the COVID19 pandemic), our team in Vietnam has worked tirelessly to ensure smooth delivery of manufacturing solutions.

We are proud to be able to help our customer to fulfill their manufacturing needs for final product assembly and packaging. These products are for various markets and shipment to consumers in the US, Europe & Japan.

With the technical support and guidance from our customer, our team has managed to quickly acquire the skills & know-how to deal with PCBA, blades, motor, other various component assembly and final testing. These are in addition to our specialisation as an injection moulding component manufacturer.

Being an injection moulder with assembly skillsets has its advantages – we are able to help our customers, especially those who have a ready product to quickly scale production.

This new journey brings Ge-Shen a step closer towards our Group’s Vision as a “Globally recognized engineering & manufacturing solutions provider”

With over 190 injection moulding machines and 80 sheet metal and metal stamping machines of various kind, various assembly lines, and a passion for manufacturing, you can be assured that you will have quality products when you need them. With the additional investments in new manufacturing capacities, we now have excess capacities and are able to take on more projects. For further enquiries how we can help you with your manufacturing needs, please do contact us here.



The heros of Ge-Shen group have begun work

We would like to give a big shout out to all our employees who have begun work, some as early as April and some this month. Our frontline employees have been working tirelessly during this period to fulfill some very important orders for products that are used directly and indirectly in the fight of COVID-19 and other essential services (eg. Ventilators, connectors, sanitation, airway management products, AED, etc)

All our factories and offices are prepared with the necessary social distancing guidelines, sanitation equipment and personal protective equipment to ensure the health and wellbeing of our employees.

And to our customers who are making a difference, your relentlessly hard work and support during these uncertain times is deeply appreciated. We are all ready to continue serving you and make a difference!