Leuze electronic GmbH + Co. KG, short: Leuze, one of the world class optical sensor producers, has identified Malaysia for its first production plant in Southeast Asia.

During a virtual press conference held recently in January 2021, while presenting the company’s 2020 performance and its outlook for 2021, Leuze made the official announcement of the new manufacturing plant’s opening in Malaysia. The plant is currently under rapid construction phase.

Dato’ Azman Mahmud, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) congratulates Leuze on their significant move to Malaysia for the business expansion.

Working visit by MIDA Management and MIDA Munich to Leuze HQ in Owen, Germany April 2019

This decision speaks volumes of the confidence Leuze has in Malaysia. MIDA initiated the first contact with Leuze in December 2018. Since then the Malaysian Government through MIDA has been engaging with Leuze‘s team to facilitate the project’s provisions, especially in obtaining the necessary licence approval.

Azman reiterates, “Malaysia has a mature and diverse ecosystem for the rapid development of sensor applications in the electronics industry.

“The milestone of Leuze’s activities in Malaysia is definitely in line with the Government’s aspirations to transform Malaysia into a high technology and knowledge-based economy. New era of electronics is emerging globally and MIDA is in the forefront of the technologies, as Leuze will bring in frontier sensor products and new technology into the country.”

Leuze, known as the specialists in the optical sensors, will be establishing its first production facility in the ASEAN region and second in Asia, after the opening of their factory in Shenzhen, China in 2006.

To cater to the high demand in Asian market, Leuze decided to expand its international production locations, also to support the company’s multi-location production strategy. The company offers an extensive line of optical electronic sensor products for electrical automation.

It is active in intralogistics, packaging, tooling, automotive and lab automation. Its group has more than 1,200 employees in 21 subsidiaries in the development, production, sales and services segmentations worldwide.

In addition, more than 40 distributors are actively servicing Leuze’s five (5) existing production plants and soon, the upcoming plant in Melaka, Malaysia.

leuze 1Drone view of the first building stage of the factory in Melaka (present)

According to Sebastian Raible, Director of Global Projects Operations and Project Manager of Leuze’s construction project in Malaysia, “Melaka plant will primarily produce sensors for the lucrative market in Asia.

“The new production site will operate as Leuze Electronic Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. and will be a 100 per cent subsidiary of Leuze Electronic GmbH + Co. KG, Germany. The plant is being constructed on a site area spanning over 17,000 square meters and the first building stage of the plant is estimated to be completed by the first quarter of 2022.

“Besides some minor impacts in the construction works due to the MCO, the project runs as planned and the pilings as well as the groundwork are in process at the moment. With the great support of the local authorities in Melaka, Leuze expects no further impacts on the construction project.”

He added “One reason for selecting Melaka for the new Leuze production site was because of the excellent talent pool in the region. The well-established universities in Melaka as well as the thriving electronic industry played an important role in the site selection process.”

“With a total usable floor space just below 7,000 square meters in the first expansion phase, the new Leuze plant targets a demand of 150 to 200 qualified employees”, said Jochen Wimmer, Chief Operating Officer of the Leuze Group.

“In the medium-term, Leuze is also targeting for future partnerships with the local universities. With the support of MIDA, Leuze has successfully started hiring local graduates in engineering positions, in line to provide adequate training to the young talents prior to starting the production”, explains Jochen Wimmer.

Meanwhile, Azman also emphasised “The Government will ensure Malaysia remains as the preferred investment location with a favourable environment for quality investments.

Investors from Germany such as Leuze, acknowledge and benefit from the competitive advantages the nation has despite the unprecedented pandemic. We are at the vanguard to entice more new investments in the areas of technology and innovation to position Malaysia as a manufacturing powerhouse of Asia.”

Over the past 50 years, Leuze has evolved into a high-tech company and an innovation leader in industrial automation. The family-owned company was founded in 1963 in Owen, a small town in the state of Baden-Württemberg in Southern Germany, initially developing electronic sensors for textile sector, but soon after, expanding its product portfolio into various other industries.

In 2020, during the global pandemic, Leuze achieved sales of 210 million euros, compared to 222 million euros in the previous year, which records only a five (5) per cent decline.

“For a corona year we can be very satisfied with this result. That is why we rate 2020 as a successful business year, despite the small minus. Moving forward, Leuze is fully committed to its growth plans for 2021 and intends to double its sales again in the next few years.” said Ulrich Balbach, the CEO of Leuze.