Although the official opening is not scheduled until late October 2004, the Association For Manufacturing Technology's (AMT) Technology and Service Center is up and operating, with 26 AMT members participating. The center is located in Shanghai's Pudong region in the Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone.
The location in the Free Trade Zone is important because participants can bring in machines and components duty free until they are bought and delivered to customers. This means machines can be set up for demonstration in the center, or they can be delivered to and returned from an exhibition anywhere in China duty free.
Currently displayed are machines from Cincinnati Lamb, Extrude Hone, Parker Majestic and Hurco, but many other participating companies will also display machines. The total display area is more than 10,000 square feet. It is anticipated that potential customers will visit the facility and want builders to run off parts prior to purchase.
The facility has private offices for each of the participating companies and also offers modern conferencing facilities. Area is also available for service personnel, who can be provided either by the participating companies or by the center.
Gleason, a builder with many years of sales and service experience in China, is going to use the center for parts warehousing. Again, as with machines, parts can be warehoused in the duty-free zone, and duty does not have to be paid until the part is ordered and shipped.
AMT has gained one new member as a result of the center. Adcole Corporation of Marlborough, Massachusetts, a manufacturer of crankshaft measuring equipment, heard about the center and signed on as an AMT member so they could participate in the center.
The Shanghai area is one of the most important manufacturing centers in China, with many American, Japanese and European companies having manufacturing facilities there. However, it is anticipated that the Technology and Service Center will draw visitors from all over China and will be the main base of operations in China for many of the AMT participating members.