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BATAVIA, OHIO—Cincinnati Milacron Inc. officials already plan to expand Milacron's joint venture factory in India, which built 85 injection molding machines in 1996, its first full year of operation.

Bruce Kozak, vice president of the marketing group for Milacron's U.S. Plastics Machinery division, said about 20 percent of the output is being shipped outside of India, to Southeast Asia and South America.

The factory in Ahmedabad, India, is a joint venture between Milacron and Mahendra Patel. The plant employs 122.

Production began in late 1995, according to Thomas Zacharias, Milacron's business manager of Indian operations and chairman of the venture, called Cincinnati Milacron Pvt. Ltd.

Interviewed in Batavia on May 20 at Milacron's Plastics Machinery Group headquarters, Zacharias said the plant makes Sigma-brand machines. Milacron con- verted its Vista Sentry and Vista Toggle machines for production in India, making them open-loop for the local market.

Selling more of the India-built machines to Brazil and other South American countries is a priority this year, Zacharias said.

According to Milacron's 1996 annual report, it wants to boost production in India by 75 percent in 1997. Milacron also wants to build a new plant to begin operating in 1998 — boosting capacity to 600 machines a year.

Zacharias said the company is not releasing any more details about the expansion.