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KI Industries expands molding operations in Mexico

By: Frank Antosiewicz

October 31, 2013

Berkeley, Ill.-based KI Industries Inc. is boosting its presence in Queretaro, Mexico, with the opening of a new 45,000 square foot facility for injection molding and painting parts for the automotive and appliance industries.

President Dave Goltermann said the new facility is set up to enable the company to produce larger parts, extend its paint lines and handle more subassembly work.

The plant is in the El Marques Industrial Park, about 10 miles from a plant that KI Industries has operated in Queretaro since 1999. The older facility is about 50,000 square feet, but Goltermann noted that it is fully utilized and no longer had room for growth.

“This gives us a clean sheet of paper. We were able to design the interior and place the machines in a way so we can have an optimum flow,” Goltermann said in a telephone interview.

He said the company will continue operations at the older plant, but that the newer plant gives it more capabilities. It has a chain-on-edge dual robotic paint system for decorating and is currently in phase two where it will install 20 injection molding machines ranging from 200 to 500 tons that are capable of gas assist molding and in-mold design. A second paint line is expected to be built in 2015 as part of phase three.

He said that the machinery will be a mix of Arburg and Battenfeld presses.

Goltermann said KI supplies decorative plastic and die-case parts such as heat and air conditioner controls, headlight assembly decorations, knobs, end caps, trim and name plates, and membrane switches.

The company employs about 350 people worldwide. It has about 200 workers in Mexico and he said that number may double over the next two years.

KI Industries was founded in 1964.

At a grand opening Oct. 11, a number of Mexican officials attended, including Marcelo Lopez, Secretary of the Economy and Sustainable Development of Queretaro’s Constitutional Governor’s office; Rogelio Israel Carboney Morales, Queretaro’s Secretary of Labor; and Jose Belen Robles Campos, Secretary for Economic Development of El Marques.