TORONTO - German composite kitchen sink producer Blanco GmbH & Co. has established a North American production base by acquiring a Toronto facility from bathware producer Mirolin Industries Inc. Blanco Canada Inc. of Mississauga, Ontario, bought the 60,000-square-foot plant for undisclosed terms. It also acquired Mirolin's license to make acrylic/silica sinks using technology from Schock GmbH of Schorndorf, Germany, said Blanco Canada President Gord Bertrand.
``Freight and European currencies keep going up,'' Bertrand said in a telephone interview. ``We need to manufacture in North America to keep a competitive marketing strategy.''
Mirolin sold the operation, called Mirostone-Advantage Kitchen Sink division, to exit kitchen sinks and concentrate on bathware such as shower stalls made from thermoformed acrylic sheet strengthened with glass-reinforced thermoset polyester backing.
``Today a company needs to concentrate on one market,'' said Mirolin President Joseph Primucci.
Primucci said North American markets for bathware are weak, but his firm is enjoying strong sales in the growing markets of Pacific Rim countries.
Bertrand said Blanco Canada has been importing composite sinks from its German parent since 1990, when Blanco Canada was established. Before that time, Bertrand acted as a Blanco sales agent.
Blanco in Germany also has a Schock production license to make sinks using silica sand and acrylic-based resin from a slurry baked in a mold to cure. Bertrand said the technology makes a hard, nonporous product.
Blanco Canada will emphasize sales in North America, but also will produce for South America, the Pacific Rim and Europe, Bertrand said. It will produce sinks under the Blanco tradename.