‘Ansell invests nearly $ 2m in R and D centre’
The newly constructed Research and Development centre (R and D) of
Ansell Limited, an industrial solutions company was opened on Thursday
at the Biyagama Free Frade Zone to increase manufacturing capacity.
Ansell Lanka Limited has invested $ 1 to 2 million on a 16,000 square
foot, state-of-the-art R and D centre to manufacture better products in
protective solutions for customers. “We have one of the biggest
manufacturing plants in Sri Lanka and it is fitting to have the
company's first research and development centre in Asia to be set up in
Sri Lanka. We have three more in Malaysia, Mexico and North America,”
Ansell Global, Managing Director, Magnus Nicolin said.
“We also have 18 manufacturing plants in various countries of which
are mostly in Asia. We are geared to sell ‘injury avoidance’ and see
tremendous growth potential in Sri Lanka,” he said. Hand injuries are
the most common injury at industry level and we deliver the best hand
protection technology. Over 40 percent of sales are accounted for by
Europe and 24 percent are from emerging markets such as Russia and
China, he said. “Our choice of country was influenced by not only the
level of productivity in Sri Lanka, but innovation and free thinking. We
deploy lean and Kizen management techniques and believe that Sri Lanka
is a good place for innovative manufacturing,” he said.
BOI Chairman Dr. Lakshman Jayaweera said that Sri Lanka produces 153
metric tonnes of natural rubber. It is an industry that employs 300,000
people in the rubber trade value chain. The country has secured 23
percent of the global natural rubber market that gives premium prices.
The industry generated $ 857 million in exports recording a 28.7 percent
growth for the past year. The global industry growth is 4.6 percent.
Research and development is key to product innovation and adopting to
sophisticated technology will ensure competitiveness of the product. The
R and D facility will create a conducive environment in a growing
consumer market, he said.Ansell is a large exporter of surgical gloves.
The decision to set up an integrated manufacturing R and D facility is
to serve the unmet market potential. The country needs to make a
conscious effort to improve on innovation and identify resources in this
regard. Sri Lanka’s strength is the sizeable pool of professionals and
entrepreneurs who could transform the country in to a knowledge hub, he
Ansell accounts for 20 percent of latex industry volume and uses 7
percent of total rubber production for manufacturing purposes. The
company is the pioneer in introducing latex technology and dipped
manufacturing process in Sri Lanka.