SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - In what it hopes will prove to be a gateway into the lucrative Brazilian bottle market, Johnson Controls Inc. has signed an exclusive licensing pact with one of Brazil's largest injection molding machinery makers to produce Uniloy blow molding machines in SÃo Paulo. IrmÃos Semeraro Ltda. of SÃo Paulo and JCI formally unveiled the new alliance May 18 at BrasilPlast'95, though they had signed two separate agreements in December and received Brazilian government approval a few weeks ago. One pact calls for Semeraro to build Uniloy machines locally using technology from JCI's subsidiary in Florence, Italy, while the other makes Semeraro the authorized Brazilian sales and service agent for all Uniloy products, regardless of where they are made.
The 300-employee Semeraro was founded in 1939 by two brothers who seven years later built the first plastics injection press in Latin America. Now run by brothers Francisco and Nelson Semeraro, the firm has for the past six years been the licensed Latin American maker of Sandretto injection molding machines, last year selling $25 million worth.
Semeraro also represents several other equipment firms in Brazil, including Rexdale, Ontario, mold maker Tradesco Mold Ltd. and Italian reaction injection molding machine maker Cannon Group. This deal gives Semeraro its first blow molding machinery line. The company had 1994 sales of about $35 million, not including Sandretto-related business, said President Nelson Semararo.
The manufacturing agreement calls for Semeraro to begin building the MS series of Uniloy machines immediately, with delivery of the first Brazilian-made machine expected in September to a local customer who on May 19 bought a machine at BrasilPlast, said William R. O'Day Jr., managing director for Latin America business development for the Plastics Machinery Division of JCI in Manchester, Mich.
Last year, JCI did not sell any blow molding machines in Brazil, O'Day said. Including the deal done at the show, the firm now has sold six machines in Brazil in 1995.
O'Day said the MS series of Uniloy continuous-extrusion shuttle machines includes models capable of producing bottles with volumes ranging from 100 milliliters to 10 liters. They are designed for lower-volume, highly flexible production runs, particularly for bottles used to package water, detergent, shampoo and lubricating oil.
The MS line represents about 20 percent of JCI's worldwide blow molding machine sales, said O'Day, who added that within three to five years, Semeraro projects it will generate $15 million to $20 million annually on sales in Brazil of Brazilian-made Uniloy machines. O'Day said there is no commitment for Semeraro to make any other Uniloy models at this time.
The current plan calls for Semeraro to source increasingly more components locally, and for those components to be completely interchangeable with similar parts made by JCI at any of its existing four Uniloy factories - in Manchester and Williamston, Mich., and in Florence and Milan, Italy.
The two firms have been working closely together since January on staff training. Semeraro already has hired 11 blow molding engineers and service staff, and has about 25 sales agents in place around the country with blow molding expertise, according to Jose Renato Saia, general manager of Johnson Controles Ltda.'s Uniloy division in SÃo Paulo.
As Uniloy demand grows, O'Day said Semararo is likely to have to expand beyond its 118,800-square-foot headquarters in the south of SÃo Paulo.