KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 7): Property developer Mah Sing Group Bhd’s foray into the manufacturing of rubber gloves will depend on automation to get around the shortage of foreign workers in the country.

Founder and group CEO Tan Sri Leong Hoy Kum told The Edge Malaysia that with automation, “the requirement of two workers to produce a million pieces of rubber gloves will be reduced significantly”.

“We are at about two workers per million pieces for a start. Eventually, we will reduce the number of workers required to produce the quantity as automation kicks in. In other words, to produce more than three billion pieces a year, we will only have to recruit a workforce of about 600,” Leong explained.

He revealed that Mah Sing’s factory design will have an efficient layout and workflow, “with new and efficient high-speed machines that can produce up to 38,000 pieces of rubber gloves an hour”.

“That should help with cost-effectiveness, compared with existing players where 60% to 70% are older machines with slower speeds,” Leong added.

He said the factory will have “minimal to no human intervention” during manufacture.

With “state-of-the-art automation and the right volume”, Leong said Mah Sing will be able to “compete effectively against the more established players”.  Also planned is product innovation via investment in R&D.

Mah Sing's factory in Kapar will be developed over two phases, involving 24 production lines, reported the weekly. The first 12 lines, with the capacity to produce up to 3.68 billion pieces of rubber gloves a year, are being developed at an investment cost of RM150 million.

To further reduce the dependence on foreign labour, the company will also opt for the hiring of locals.

Mah Sing wants to become one of the top five rubber glove producers in the country, with plans to start making gloves by April next year.

Read the full report in this week’s The Edge Malaysia

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