Mecaplast planning second Mexico injection molding facility

By Stephen Downer
Correspondent

Published: June 16, 2014 2:39 pm ET
Updated: June 16, 2014 2:43 pm ET

Image By: Stephen Downer Philippe Vaysettes, left, business unit director of Mecaplast Group, and Pierre Boulet, Mecaplast CEO, plan to expand the company's presence in Mexico.

Related to this story

Topics Automotive, Injection Molding, Mexico

PUEBLA, MEXICO — Tier 1 auto industry supplier Mecaplast Group says it will open its second injection molding facility in Mexico within 18 months.

The Monaco-based company is considering locating the new plant in the city of Silao.

“We are still in negotiations but it looks like it will be in Silao,” Mecaplast Chairman Thierry Manni told Plastics News June 4. Initially the new plant will have 10 injection molding machines, he added.

Silao, a fast growing industrial zone, is 300 miles northwest of Puebla. Mecaplast has manufactured parts in Puebla since 2002 when it took over French supplier Groupe NEYR’s sites in France, Spain, the Czech Republic and Mexico.

General Motors has a light vehicle assembly complex in Silao and Volkswagen AG produces engines for its Puebla and Chattanooga car assembly plants there.

Both GM and VW are customers of Mecaplast’s Puebla facility, as are Chrysler Group and Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. Audi AG has named Mecaplast as a supplier for the Q5 SUV to be assembled in San José Chiapa, in the state of Puebla, from 2016, according to Mecaplast CEO Pierre Boulet.

This month Mecaplast unveiled a $1.5 million upgrade of the 70,000-square-foot Puebla factory, which employs 350, 240 of them blue-collar workers. The facility manufactures body, interior and engine parts. It contributed 36.7 million euros ($50 million) to Mecaplast’s global sales of 661 million euros ($902 million) in 2013.

Globally Mecaplast employs 6,000 at 26 plants, six technical centers and a number of other installations in 16 countries. One of the technical centers is in Mexico, which also has a customer service center.

The Puebla facility’s facelift took six months to complete. Among the major new features are a 17,000-square-feet mezzanine above the 23 presses lined up, single file, in the center of the factory floor and two large silos.

The presses include 14 KraussMaffei, seven Husky and two Netstal presses. All but two are hydraulic machines — the exceptions are two Husky machines. The presses have clamping forces ranging from 150 to 1,600 tons. All of them are fitted with Sepro robots.

Miguel Ángel Flores Botella, the plant’s production manager, explained to visitors that the new layout had led to a marked improvement in the efficiency of raw material movement inside the plant, which consumes 12 million pounds of virgin resin a year.

“What used to take an hour now takes a matter of minutes,” he said.

Mecaplast did not allow photographs to be taken inside the refurbished facility.

“This is the sort of press layout you only read about in magazines but you rarely see in real life,” commented the senior representative of a European press manufacturer.

In a speech at the unveiling ceremony in Puebla, Boulet described Mexico as “a country where we want to invest,” but he expressed doubts about Brazil, where Mecaplast opened a plant, in São Paulo, in 2000.

Asked to explain his Brazil skepticism later, Boulet said: “Brazil is very difficult. We have a very unstable [labor] environment there.”

Charles Manni, Thierry Manni’s father, started Mecaplast with half a dozen employees in 1955. He died in 2012.


Comments

Mecaplast planning second Mexico injection molding facility

By Stephen Downer
Correspondent

Published: June 16, 2014 2:39 pm ET
Updated: June 16, 2014 2:43 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Illinois injection molder expands

July 21, 2014 1:23 pm ET

Automotive supplier All-Rite Industries Inc. has added two new injection molding machines to its operations.    More

Image

More head-up displays going into cars, with improved information, graphics

July 21, 2014 10:48 am ET

Head-up displays with "augmented reality," the technology that employs much of the windshield as a display area for data and images, is poised to...    More

Image

Infiltrator goes very large scale for injection press

July 18, 2014 1:45 pm ET

Infiltrator Systems Inc. has designed and built a mammoth injection press, with 6,000 tons of clamping force, to mold septic tank halves measuring 15 ...    More

Image

This is one bump that looks good on a car

July 18, 2014 1:34 pm ET

PSA Peugeot Citroen Group is using plastic for both design and protection on the exterior of one of its newest cars.    More

Image

New Smart cars start production

July 18, 2014 10:46 am ET

Daimler AG has launched new versions of its Smart ForTwo and ForFour city cars, which, as in previous models, make extensive use of plastics in exteri...    More

Market Reports

Injection Molders Market Report & Ranking 2014

This special package contains our 132-page 2014 Market Report on the Injection Molding segment and our exclusive 2014 RANKINGS database of 500+ Injection Molders for a discounted package price.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Market Review & Outlook 2014

This special report from Plastics News examines the North American plastics recycling industry and provides insight into indicators that impact market viability, including Resin pricing trends for virgin and recycled market material and historical Resin production trends for post- consumer and industrial waste.

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

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

More Events