SCARBOROUGH, ENGLAND - An undisclosed U.S. company is helping to fund a new Russian injection molding firm that will manufacture vacuum cleaners. The new company, called Formata, is located in a former munitions factory in Kachkanar, Russia, between the Ural Mountains and the Siberian border. British vacuum cleaner manufacturer and exporter Osprey Ltd. of Scarborough has a $1 million contract to provide expertise in injection molding technology and tooling.
``The cash comes from U.S. and European grants, although Formanta is contributing a high proportion, through the sale of Russian copper,'' sales manager Jeff Smith said in a recent telephone interview.
Smith declined further comment on the source of U.S. cash. Osprey is being paid through the bank Schweizerischer Bankverein of Basel, Switzerland. Bank spokesman Thomas Staffelbach declined to provide information on any transactions, citing Swiss banking secrecy.
Smith said Russian production methods are antiquated, labor intensive, and often totally inflexible. Production there also requires more machinery than would be needed in the United Kingdom.
``Russian work forces will have to make radical changes to move into line with Western working practices,'' he said.
Osprey has supplied tooling for upright vacuum cleaners. Tooling for tub and cylinder cleaners is expected soon.