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

One51 adding injection molder Straight to its bin molding portfolio

July 29, 2014 10:12 am ET

Dublin-based One51 plc has had its purchase of British trash bin maker Straight plc cleared by the United Kingdom's Competition and Markets Authority.    More

Image

Gear pump maker Witte expands in Germany and USA

July 25, 2014 2:15 pm ET

Witte Pumps & Technology GmbH, the German maker of gear pumps for extrusion, has moved into a new headquarters factory in the Hamburg area, and the...    More

Image

Columbine Plastics moving to new Colorado site

July 25, 2014 11:38 am ET

Custom injection molder Columbine Plastics Corp. plans to move from Boulder, Colo., to the Colorado Technical Center in Louisville, Colo.    More

Image

Metals and plastics company NN to buy Autocam in $300 million deal

July 25, 2014 10:07 am ET

A Tennessee metals and plastics company said it has agreed to acquire auto parts supplier Autocam Corp. in a deal valued at $300 million.    More

Image

Chinese auto suppliers growing in US

July 24, 2014 4:17 pm ET

Two China-based automotive suppliers are expanding in the U.S., according to information released by the Michigan Economic Development Corp.    More

Market Reports

Plastics Recyclers Data Report & Directory

This exclusive MS Excel database contains all the companies from Plastics News' ranking of top North American Recyclers and Brokers by reprocessed volume and also includes a directory with materials processes, services offered and company contact information. Data is based on primary research by PN editorial staff.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events