SaO PAULO, BRAZIL - New Abiplast President Merheg Cachum began his independent plastics industry career modestly, and now, 31 years later, is laying plans to expand the company significantly. While he completed work toward a college degree in physics in SÃo Paulo, Cachum, from 1961-1963, managed a small plant injection molding plastic parts for mopeds. On March 31, 1964, he started his own business with one manual injection press in 65 square feet of space in his SÃo Paulo basement. He said he remembers the exact date well because it was the Day of Revolution in Brazil, in which the military overthrew the president.
From those humble beginnings evolved Injetec Industria e Comercio de Pl sticos Ltda., a 160-employee, 21-press molder making primarily automotive and bicycle parts. Cachum, in the early days, completely rebuilt his one molding machine and did everything at his company.
``I was a one-man show,'' he said during a recent interview at Abiplast headquarters in SÃo Paulo.
He started by molding electronic parts, and in 1971 began to serve the auto industry directly. Today, Injetec uses presses with clamping forces of 60-550 tons to makes parts for General Motors, Mercedes, and some Japanese car makers, among others. The biggest part he currently makes is a fiberglass-reinforced nylon bicycle wheel.
Injetec started in just one building and, as it has grown, has taken over other, neighboring buildings and finally has run out of space.
``My factory is a big confusion,'' conceded Cachum with a smile.
Though his plans are still in the early stages, he now is looking for a 100,000-square-meter site in SÃo Paulo where he can build a modern factory in the next one to two years.
He said he then would look to separate Injetec's mold-making operations from its processing operations, expand its product portfolio to include nonplastic components, and add injection molding presses with clamping forces of more than 1,000 tons.
Until then, though, his plate will be full, running Injetec while tackling the challenges of his new role as Abiplast president.