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Arburg installs hundreds of presses for Lego in Mexico

By: Stephen Downer

March 14, 2013

MEXICO CITY — Arburg GmbH & Co. KG has completed the installation of several hundred injection molding machines at the Mexico plant of toy-brick maker Lego A/S.

"We installed the last 100 machines in February," Gui­ller­mo Fasterling, manager of Arburg SA de CV in Naucalpan, Mexico, said in a March 13 interview.

The predominant clamping forces of the presses are 80 and 90 tons. Fasterling declined, however, to be precise about the number of presses sold to Lego, citing competitive reasons.

The plant, in Ciénega de Flores near Monterrey, is run by Lego Operaciones de México SA de CV. Lego of Billund, Denmark, opened the site in 2009, and it is believed to be one of Lego's biggest plants.

According to Fasterling, Lego is Arburg's biggest customer in the country, where it also has 20 major clients in the automotive industry.

Fasterling said family-owned Arburg of Lossburg, Germany, will open a technical center in Mexico, complete with showroom, spare parts depositary and training area, in June.

Without the Lego business, which was negotiated outside Mexico, Arburg has about 5 percent of the Mexican injection molding machinery market, he said.

The Mexican subsidiary was established in 2008 and Fasterling is optimistic about the future "largely," he said, "because of the projected growth of the automotive industry's expansion in Mexico, but also because of the packaging industry's potential."

Fasterling believes that being family-owned has given Arburg an advantage over many of its rivals. "We have a clear strategy and trust between management and employees. In the economic crisis several years ago, a lot of our competitors had to let staff go. Arburg lost not one employee, meaning that we kept all that experience. It was a family decision."

Arburg employs 12 in Mexico and plans to expand to 15 in the next couple of months, according to Fasterling.