Lego Mexico expansion means big business for Motan-Colortronic

By Bill Bregar
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: October 4, 2011 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Consumer Products, Injection Molding, Machinery

MONTERREY, MEXICO (Oct. 4, 3 p.m. ET) — Toymaker Lego A/S has installed more than 500 Gravicolor gravimetric mixing and dosing units and 1,500 Metro loaders for its factory in Monterrey, Mexico — the largest-ever single order for Motan-Colortronic GmbH.

Motan-Colortronic announced the news Oct. 4.

A year ago, Lego of Billund, Denmark, announced plans to invest more than $100 million to expand the Monterrey plant, which injection molds interlocking plastic bricks for the United States, Mexico and Canada. The factory opened in 2009.

After the expansion, Lego’s plant in Monterrey will have more than 700 injection molding machines, according to the news release announcing the auxiliary equipment installation.

Motan-Colortronic and Lego did not specify the investment amount for the new material handing equipment.

The last installment of the Motan-Colortronic equipment was delivered in April. Detlev Schmidt, sales director at the auxiliary company, said Motan-Colortronic had as many as 20 installation technicians on site during the year. It took more than 50 large 40-foot containers to ship equipment to the site, he said.

Lego also installed 24 large resin silos, mounted on load cells that are linked to 48 fully automatic Metrolink material selection and distribution units, which feed the resin to the injection molding machines. Material drying is performed by 16 Luxor dryers.

Officials of Motan-Colortronic, based in Friedrichsdorf, Germany, said more than 60 miles of material feed lines have been installed throughout the system.

Lego and Motan-Colortronic have worked together for the last decade. Schmidt led the initial discussions for the latest Monterrey project in 2009.

Schmidt said Motan-Colortronic had already finished a complete central raw material handling system for more than 150 injection presses at Lego’s Monterrey factory.

“Despite installation delays due to the swine flu in Mexico and volcanic eruptions in Iceland, we were able to complete the project on time,” Schmidt said in a news release.

But the new project is bigger and more complex, covering the major plant expansion, he said.

Material handling equipment that is very flexible and trouble-free is critical to Lego’s plastics operations, according to Jes Bladt, the senior director and production manager at Lego in Mexico.

“We have to be able to totally rely on timely delivery of all bulk raw materials to each one of the injection molding machines,” he said. “Here, straightforward and fast material and color changes are essential. All of the gravimetric mixing and dosing equipment is mounted on movable frames adjacent to the machines. This enables the highest degree of flexibility.”

Following the color or material change, individual units are moved to a separate area and cleaned, ready to be deployed again.

Each production line of about 25 injection presses are supplied with virgin and regrind material through two side-channel blowers — Velocis blowers from Elmo Rietschle. Schmidt said they are quiet and maintenance free.


Comments

Lego Mexico expansion means big business for Motan-Colortronic

By Bill Bregar
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: October 4, 2011 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Plastic Omnium makes China investment push

February 26, 2015 4:35 pm ET

Three of the six new plants that automotive molder Plastic Omnium SA plans this year will be in China, part of a broader push it’s making in...    More

Image

German molder picks North Carolina for US manufacturing plant

February 26, 2015 4:21 pm ET

German medical goods company Raumedic AG has chosen Mills River, N.C., for its first U.S. manufacturing site and U.S. headquarters.    More

Image

NFM Welding Engineers opens direct office in China

February 26, 2015 2:05 pm ET

MASSILLON, OHIO — Extrusion equipment manufacturer NFM Welding Engineers Inc. has opened a sales office in Dalian, China.    More

Image

Amut buys Dolci and Bielloni

February 25, 2015 3:41 pm ET

Amut SpA, the Novara, Italy-based maker of extruders, thermoforming machines and plastics recycling equipment, has acquired the Italian company that...    More

Image

Extrusion equipment makers adapting to market demands

February 25, 2015 2:11 pm ET

Extrusion equipment suppliers strive to meet new needs of the marketplace. While they continue upgrading speed, output and quality, they're also offer...    More

Market Reports

Flexible Packaging Trends in North America

North America represents about 30 percent of the global consumption of flexible packaging. Annual growth in this region is forecast at 4 percent during the next 5 years.

For more insight on growth opportunities, drivers of growth and the outlook for 2015, download this report.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 billion plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events