Sandor Doors in Malaysia displays a door made of White Oak, a favorite of this company, which is a division of Weng Meng Industries.
Weng Meng Director Says: ‘The Strength Of Our Factory Is American Species’
By Michael Buckley
Selangor, Malaysia–Sandor®, part of Weng Meng Industries, is exactly what the Malaysian government would like it, and other companies, to be. For that matter so would the U.S. government. This is a wood products industry, run by the Yap family, leading in added-value, innovation, high technology in wood and design, aimed mainly for export and using copious volumes of American hardwood species.
The Malaysian government’s aspirations under its New Economic Model to turn Malaysia into an advanced economy by 2020, requires all of these attributes, which includes importing the most appropriate raw materials, when necessary. Malaysian organizations have long accepted the need to import timber for its expanding furniture industry, which “has national export targets beyond its capacity to grow enough timber, let alone the preferred timber species for some export markets. This is also true for flooring, joinery and door manufacturers,” said Weng Meng Director Yap Huileng. She added, “The strength of our factory is American species.”
It’s easy to see what she means, but clearly the real strength is in the hightech doors, many of which are now displayed in a new showroom on site at the company’s manufacturing Headquarters - not too far from Kuala Lumpur’s international airport, KLIA.
Weng Meng Industries was FSC certified as far back as 2004 and valid until 2014. The company is now run by two generations of the Yap family.
Despite the emphasis on export there are now an increasing number of highend residential development projects in and around the capital, where Sandor® doors are installed to specifications calling for security, fire rating and architecturally inspired designs. Many are in several available American species, with White Oak a favorite, as well as Red Oak, Hard and Soft Maple, Alder, Cherry and Walnut. Others include Teak, European Steamed Beech and several African species.
Weng Meng Industries was FSC certified (SCS-COC-00668), as far back as 2004 and valid until July 2014. The company is also certified to the management system ISO 9001:2000 “for the provision of engineered doors, fire doors, door frames, timber joinery and moulding products.”
Doors can be supplied with preinstalled and pre-tested hardware. Production capacity is designed for mixed door production capacity of 25- 30,000 per month, although the company is the first to admit that in today’s lackluster market that target is optimistic. Nevertheless this is a very significant Malaysian user of American hardwoods, which are gaining increasing
The Sandor staff pauses for a photo in the midst of a busy day manufacturing furniture in which American hardwoods are preferred.
interest among producers looking to gain market share of furniture, flooring and architectural joinery in a world that already knows and accepts their proven sustainability. Weng Meng is committed to “work closely to source material from renewable and non-controversial sources.”
Started 30 years ago as a small family business, Weng Meng is now run by two generations of the family, moving in its door production from simple flush doors to environmental friendly engineered doors for residential, leisure resorts and public buildings. In the early days successes included the then-new International Airport, KLCC city centre project and hotels such as Sunway Lagoon Resort Hotel. More recently, as the Malaysian residential market has developed, Sandor® doors have been installed at the new “Troika” and “Park 7” high-end condominium projects in Kuala Lumpur. Many are fire-rated to meet current local (Malaysia and Singapore) and international regulations. But the focus remains on export. Today about 90% of the engineered doors are exported to the USA, Europe, China, Japan, Middle East, Australia, throughout SE Asia and the Indian subcontinent. Overseas references include residences in Sri Lanka, many villas and condominiums in the United Arab Emirates and Gulf States, such as the Gulf Hotel in Bahrain and the Sky City Condominium in Hanoi, Vietnam– emphasising the current focus on Asia Pacific markets, where the best growth is now projected. In 2006 Weng Meng was awarded the “Asia Pacific Super Excellent Brand.”
A Sandor Door product on display made of American Hard Maple (left) compares with a Teak door on the right.
In early fourth quarter of 2006, the group consolidated all its manufacturing (including its wooden and steel cable drum production) to the new site from its original location at Puchong. This gave the opportunity for a complete renewal of the manufacturing plant for engineered doors with state of the art equipment and certified quality systems that allow Sandor® to offer 5-year warranty on its full range of door products. The staff establishment is 60 in administration, sales, QA and production control, with around 320 in production. The new Sandor Gallery in Kuala Langat, opened in April 2011, now serves as an excellent focus for architects, developers and buyers of the huge range of door solutions option provided by Sandor, such as contrasting wood species, glazed options, flush or profiled, interior and exterior, fire-rated, oversize, sliding doors and more.
AHEC’s contact with Weng Meng goes back a long way, to seminars attended by members of the Yap family management, and the rest was left to its several U.S. suppliers. There can be few Malaysian manufacturers so focused on the benefits of American hardwood, and to this extent Weng Meng leads the way. The recent appearance of Tulipwood, sold in their door range as White Poplar referring to the heartwood, may also be a pioneering first, as other whitewoods from local sources and around the world become more expensive and supplies become less reliable. With countries like China and Vietnam buying ever increasing volumes of lower grade “Tulipwood”, higher end buyers looking for FAS and No. 1 Common “Poplar” (not to be confused with Aspen or Cottonwood) should appreciate the stability of “Tulip Poplar,” which may just be another advantage of American hardwood that will attract Asian manufacturers.
This is FAS American Black Walnut to be used in production of Sandor Doors.
Weng Meng is an active member of the Malaysian Timber Council (MTC), which these days are reaching out to overseas suppliers of timber raw material for secondary processing.
For more information about Sandor Doors and Weng Meng Industries, visit online at www.sandor.com.
One-inch kiln-dried No. 1 Common American Tulipwood ready for production at Sandor Doors.